A new poll in Ottawa seems to suggest that Ottawa citizens would be interested in the prospect of increased bicycle culture in Ottawa. More Ottawa citizens would cycle to work if the paths were made safer to use, and the bicycle culture of Ottawa promoted generally, including more dedicated bicycle paths, accommodation by transit facilities, and improved bicycle storage areas. Each year, countless deaths and serious injuries occur do to bicycle injuries. These tragic rates of injury, combined with the results from this new study, seem to suggest that we could do more in terms of bicycle reform and culture in Ottawa to help prevent lives and save innocent victims from getting hurt each year on our city streets and pathways in Ottawa.
Some controversy exists between experts regarding if separate bicycle lanes actually reduce accidents and personal injury. One perspective argues that there’s no basis to conclude that it is not safe to cycle on the streets of Ottawa. Only a few high-profile accidents, this side argues, make it appear to Ottawa residents that bicycle culture is not currently conducive to high levels of safety. Currently, about 31 % of Ottawa poll participants state that they would be more likely to bike to work or school if roads were made safer for cyclists.
According to the 2001 Statistics Canada Census data, about 2 % of employed people in Ottawa bike to work. Thus, it is clear that there is a strong basis of bicycle culture already well established, and a willingness to cycle to work in general by the people of Ottawa. 82 % of poll participants felt that the city should do all it can do to reduce Ottawa cycling accidents. At the same time, 23 % of respondents said they would not bicycle to work under any circumstances. Other Ottawa residents said they would consider the prospect of cycling to work if it were made easier to take bikes on public transit. Another 5 % wanted more secure places to lock up their bikes. In terms of gender disparity, more men than women seem amiable to bicycling to work (39 % vs. 19%, respectively).