Safety on Woodroffe north of Carling Avenue in Ottawa

Report of the November 4, 2013, Community Discussion

Participation and representation:

At the meeting, there was participation by residents of the Woodpark, Woodroffe North as well as Carlingwood communities. Furthermore, the Carlingwood Library, the Woodroffe Avenue Public School and city councilor Mark Taylor’s office were formally represented. Some of the residents were from the local congregations of St. Martin’s, as well as Our Lady of Fatima parishes.

In total there were between 22 to 25 participants in attendance.

Supporting materials:

A copy of the Woodroffe Avenue Public School Traffic Issues Summary (2012) was provided, as well as a copy of a recent Facebook discussion on traffic issues in the area. In addition, a large-scale map of Woodroffe Avenue North and several sign-up sheets were available.

Facilitator and meeting secretary:

The meeting was facilitated by George Langlois, Director, Woodroffe Community Association. The meeting secretary was Michelle Langlois.

Key observations and traffic issues:


Speed and disregard for pedestrians and cyclists are two key issues with through-traffic on the Woodroffe Avenue North arterial.

Woodroffe at Carling

It was noted that crossing the intersection at Carling Avenue near the bagel shop is difficult since vehicles continue to turn right from Woodroffe North onto Carling regardless of the pedestrian crossing being lit. Likewise for people wishing to cross north at the same intersection; they become stuck at the meridian on Carling waiting for the flow of traffic to cease.

Woodroffe at Flower

Several persons reported that while waiting for oncoming traffic before turning left onto Flower Avenue (facing northbound), they were over-taken on the left by passing vehicles also heading north.

Woodroffe at Saville Row

The south crosswalk on Woodroffe at Saville Row is dangerous with several individuals citing near misses. One individual was even hit on the heel by a car turning left from Saville Row, which didn’t stop. One woman’s stroller was hit by a car.

Cars traversing the Saville Row intersection heading north on Woodroffe, use the left turn lane (on the north side of the lights) as the beginning of the two-lanes north of that intersection. Those cars travel at high speeds through the intersection as though it is a passing lane. One participant noted that during one of those situations, the car veered (as to avoid the other car passing) and crashed into the curb where pedestrians were waiting to cross.

Woodroffe in the school zone

Several participants noted that there is very little compliance to new 40 km/hr. school limits and that more enforcement is required.

Woodroffe at Anthony

Vehicles are often required to brake rigorously at the Anthony traffic lights. One individual reported often hearing screeching tires, as they are required to quickly come to a halt for pedestrians.

Woodroffe at Knightsbridge

Two weeks prior to this meeting, there was a pedestrian fatality near this intersection across from McGarry’s funeral chapel.

Woodroffe at Richmond

It was noted that the new planned Azure condo / apartment would exasperate congestion, particularly for the 87 bus, which effectively blocks arterial traffic now heading south. That blockage forces traffic to cut out around the bus and into the intersection at high speeds in order to make the green light.

Vehicles coming off Byron often nose into the left turn lane at the Richmond intersection, blocking traffic

Woodroffe and the River Parkway

Speeds are such a concern from the River Parkway turn-off to Richmond that residents in Woodroffe North will not allow their children to cross. One resident stated that even neighbours on opposite sides of the avenue do not know one another since they rarely cross the street.

Suggestions and discussion:

  • Continue to report all safety incidents to the Police non-emergency line (613-236-1222 ext 7300), as statistics are gathered and diligence in reporting incidents could lead to additional police enforcement presence in the neighbourhood.  Residents were reminded that even if license plate information was not available, the incidents can still be reported.  If the license plate information is available, warnings may be possible.
  • Continue to lobby for increased police enforcement, particularly of the new 40 km/hr signage in front of the school
  • Explore options for large speed bumps along Woodroffe similar to Kent Street downtown
  • Place a crossing guard at Woodroffe / Saville Row.  Since crossing guards are funded by the City,  it was agreed that the proposal for a crossing guard would be raised at a Woodroffe Avenue Public School parent council
  • Several people suggested changing the lights at Woodroffe and Saville Row so that pedestrians crossing Woodroffe would get a walk signal, while the drivers on Saville Row who want to turn onto Woodroffe would continue to get a red light for about 10 seconds to allow pedestrians to safely cross.
  • Electronic driver speed displays would raise awareness to drivers of their own speeds; such measures were recently implemented on Woodroffe North with positive impact cited for the duration of the campaign
  • Explore prohibiting exit into Woodroffe for traffic emerging from Byron near Our Lady of Fatima
  • Explore increasing the duration of the yellow light at Anthony in order to provide vehicles enough lead time to effectively stop, as well as putting a flashing yellow “prepare to stop” sign at the top of the hill
  • Introduce a cross walk or fence at the Flower exit

Post meeting, other suggestions included:

  • bike lanes (preferably protected)
  • painted bike boxes at intersections
  • more visibly painted pedestrian crossings
  • raised crossings

Next steps:

  • Form a Woodroffe North Traffic Issues Working Group to pursue opportunities for pedestrian and cyclist safety along Woodroffe north of Carling Avenue
  • Increase the length of the yellow light at Anthony
  • Bring to the school’s parent council the requirement for a crossing guard at Saville Row during pre-school and after-school periods
  • Request the city / police increase enforcement along Woodroffe north of Carling Avenue, particularly in light of new signage and limits