The Ottawa Valley Cycling and Active Transportation Alliance (OVCATA) issued a warning this week of the potential dangers of installing rumble strips on Highway 17 between Chalk River and the Nipissing boundary, being the only route for trans-Canada cyclists have for travelling through that section of highway 17 with no alternative roads available. Rumble strips, according to the OVCATA, will force cyclists to ride in the main part of the roadway.
“We are very concerned with the absence of a safe and suitable infrastructure for cyclists without any alternative roads or trails,” wrote OVCATA co-chair Ish Theilheimer and Secretary Ron Moss in a letter to Ontario transport minister, Jeff Yurek.
“Cyclists will be left with the only place of travel on the driven portion of the highway creating a very dangerous and unsafe environment considering the traffic volume, the number of large transport trucks and the speed limits. We caution that this environment, as proposed by MTO, sadly, could ultimately lead to fatalities [...],” they wrote.
OVCATA is urging the Province of Ontario to upgrade the abandoned former CP Rail line, now known as the Algonquin Trail, as a trail that would provide safe passage for cyclists. In the meantime, they are requesting the government holds off on the installation of rumble strips that, the group says, could lead real problems. The letter points out that the kind of infrastructure recommended has already been constructed by MTO on Highway 17 west of Nairn Centre. For more information on this matter contact Ron Moss at 613 638 3881.