Letters to the Editor
Free drugs AND rehabilitation
Regarding Larry Newman’s article “Extra, Extra – Free Drugs in Vancouver!” (June-July IMAGE), yes, the Drug User Liberation Front should be distributing clean drugs in order to halt overdoses and deaths attributed to tainted drugs. But, as always with reports concerning this topic, there is no mention of the word, “rehabilitation.” Government-funded rehab for drug addicts should be the first order of the day, but seems always to be the last. Access to rehab is not a reality for most. It is just too expensive. I have met two recovered addicts, one a master mason who did some work for me. Both young men shared, with passion, their story. Life as a drug addict is hell on earth. So, yes, hand out clean needles and provide a safe place to shoot up. And provide free drugs. But know that these are only band-aids on the gaping wound of human misery.
Moose loose in the Rideau?
The “Moose” (June-July IMAGE) has been a popular backdrop for people posing on the Adàwe Crossing.
Ban everything motorized from bike and pedestrian paths
I have been cycling on a regular basis on the beautiful NCC pathways during the last 15 years. In that time, we have seen a growing number of users who are not joggers, pedestrians, or people pedalling a bicycle. This fact was abruptly brought home to me when, on the east side of the Rideau River between Bank Street and Montreal Road, a very loud motorized bicycle came roaring down the pathway at well over 30 km/hour. It presented a high degree of danger to joggers, pedestrians and regular cyclists in addition to the terrible noise produced by its gas engine.
In my opinion, all e-scooters and motorized bicycles (electric or gas) and motorized skateboards should be banned from dedicated cycling/walking paths. Any such vehicle should be regulated in the same manner as a motorcycle and confined to streets and their paint-delineated bicycle lanes. All dedicated pathways or lanes separated from the street by a physical barrier – whether they are managed by the NCC or the City of Ottawa or other – should be reserved for pedestrians and bicycles which are powered purely by human effort. The only exception should be motorized personal transportation vehicles required by a person with a designated handicap.
Finally, there should also be regular policing or patrols on the City of Ottawa/NCC dedicated pathways to enforce the above approach, with the power to issue tickets and to seize illegal vehicles, as needed. I hope that municipal, provincial and NCC officials will follow through on this recommendation, for the safety and security of all concerned.
It is time to license e-bikes and their drivers
As a senior citizen living in Sandy Hill, I am out almost every day walking the paths along the Rideau River. I have been alarmed at the growing number of e-bikes zooming along the paths, silently stealing up on unsuspecting walkers.
Recently, however, I had an even closer encounter with an e-bike. I was riding my bicycle to the Lowertown Pool and stopped for the light at Charlotte and Rideau Streets. I proceeded across the intersection when the light turned green and it was safe (or so I thought).
I was struck, full force and hard, by an e-bike travelling at high speed westward on Rideau Street. The driver went through the intersection on a red light. When a human body meets a 250-lb. vehicle going 30 km/h, it hurts. A lot. My bike helmet, now toast, saved me from serious head injury. Fortunately, there were two witnesses who came to my assistance.
The young woman who was the driver of the e-bike got up and took off before the police arrived to question all of us. An ambulance transported me to hospital. Fortunately, I am only badly bruised and lacerated, nothing broken. It could have been much worse. Unfortunately, because e-bikes have no licence plate, there is next to no chance of finding the young woman on her red ninja-style e-bike who broke the law by running a red light and leaving the scene of an accident. My point is that users of e-bikes need to be licensed.
I have been told that they are used by a number of drug dealers in town as well because e-bikes are untraceable. And fast. And can get away quickly. Anything that has a motor should require some regulation and licensing.
Laurier Avenue East
Thank you Bianca: you started a clean-up
In response to Bianca Bertrand’s diatribe about the garbage in Sandy Hill:
I agree completely. We have so many beautiful and well-tended gardens in the neighbourhood but the pleasure of walking along to admire them is marred by all the garbage in the streets.
We had been thinking about trying to do something about it and Bianca’s article spurred us into action. We have cleaned up Nelson Street from Besserer to Laurier and decided to make this our beat.
Please tell Bianca her article had an effect. Thanks very much for all the work you put into your publication. It looks very professional. I just discovered the website and have bookmarked it.