Friday, July 31, 2015

Sure, you risk your life, but there are ducklings.

So, I saw a jogger nearly get hit by a car this morning.

I have been relishing the fact that a large portion of my path to work right now takes me on the Rideau Canal pathway. There are baby ducks, there are joggers, there are people fishing and kayakers and paddleboarders and people curled up on the grass with books at Dows Lake. The canal is a great way to get through town.

Unfortunately, as I've mentioned before, it's decidedly less pleasant to get to, most of the time, and the places where bikes and foot traffic access it are often downright hazardous.

To get to the Colonel By Drive side, you turn off Bank at Echo (if you're turning left, just use the pedestrian signal, because Lansdowne Bridge north of you is a blind hill), go down a hill (if you're on a bike, you travel against the direction of traffic, illegally: if you're on foot you get a path), stop at the bottom, and then cross Colonel By at an unsignalized, unmarked intersection. Thusly:

Yes, Google Maps apparently thinks there's a Tim's in this intersection.
Sight lines to the left are terrible, as the road vanishes around a curve. And the bridge makes it pretty hard to see what's coming to the right, as well. And I watch people cross it pushing bikes. Or strollers. Skates in hand, in winter, through the snowbanks. With small kids in tow.

This morning I had just made it to the Queen Elizabeth Drive side (a whole other bad intersection in itself), and was heading west, when I heard a squeal of brakes. Looking across the water, I saw that a minivan had just nearly hit a jogger crossing Colonel By at Echo. An SUV, hot on its heels, had also had to slam on their brakes.

The minivan's bumper was maybe four feet from the jogger.

These crossings are all along the canal path. I get it, improvements are bring made. There's a bike/ped crossing at Clegg now. There's a stop sign and crosswalk at Somerset. But so many of these crossings are still not safe.

Colonel By and Queen Elizabeth were designed and conceived as "scenic drives." Pleasure drives. So they wind and curve and have few stops to interfere with the driving experience. All of those things make them extremely dangerous to cross - and yet we have to, to ride or walk or jog or skate along the canal.

On the up side, once you've made it across, there are ducklings.


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  3. Ducklings:

    Let's see if I can get that gutwrenching video's link not to break.

  4. Maybe this one:

  5. Oh MAN I was scared to actually watch that. . . tho I figured you wouldn't post it if the ducklings *didn't* make it. But AUGH.