The residents of Manotick Place Retirement Community and the Miller Apartments will be holding a walk Wed., Sept 14 from 9-11 a.m. to protest the heavy truck traffic in Manotick.
The idea for the protest originated during Dickinson Days. There was a community-organized petition to re-route excessive heavy truck traffic from the village streets. Within 24 hours, more than 1,000 people signed the petition.
“People kept asking, ‘When are you going to organize a demonstration,’,” commented Monty Doyle. “Well, here we are.”
Doyle said that everyone is invited to “Come Walk With Us” on Wednesday, Sept. 14. People are invited to meet in front of Manotick Place between 9 a.m. and 9: 15 a.m., and the walk will begin at 9:30 a.m. The walk will be on the sidewalks of Bridge Street and at the intersections of Manotick Main Street and Dickinson Street.
Municipal election candidates are welcome to join in the walk.
“The message of the walk for our election candidates is simple: Our lives matter! Seniors’ lives matter! Kids’ lives matter! And safe streets matter! We demand action by the City and the trucking industry to come to grips with this issue. Heavy truck traffic is excessive now and will only get worse with the additional road, housing and industrial plans already approved for the future,” said Doyle.
Truck traffic in Manotick has been an ongoing issue for decades.
“We don’t need more studies and reports,” Dayle added. “Imagine your loved-one having a heart attack at home. You call 911 and ask for an ambulance. Instead, two days later you get a bureaucrat at your door who says, ‘Thank you for your enquiry, I am here to do a health survey.’ You don’t do health studies in an emergency situation. You treat the patients. We need our politicians and industry to recognize what two minutes of observation makes crystal clear: this is an acute care issue. It needs the immediate attention by our politicians to bring all the players together to get this figured out: specifically, how to get the heavy trucks off Bridge and Main; and how to re-balance to tension between transportation efficiency and the health and safety of the community and our residents.”
Trucks roll through Manotick on a regular basis for a number of reasons. Rideau Valley Drive and Bridge Street serve as a cut through between Highway 416 and Highway 417 at Boundary Road. The route is also a cut through for construction trucks between quarries east of Manotick and the heavy construction areas in Barrhaven.
“For anyone not familiar with this issue, Bridge Street is a two-lane residential street that is home to 160 seniors’ apartments and retirement suites, two churches, parks and schools, six private homes as well as recreational and historic areas. This 40 Km/hr residential street was never planned or constructed as a major artery for heavy truck traffic,” Dayle said.
In 2014, there was hope in Manotick that the construction of the Vimy Bridge that connected Strandherd Road in Barrhaven and Earl Armstrong Road in Riverside South would alleviate the Manotick truck traffic problem. However, the bridge has not taken trucks out of the village.
“In 2021 the MVCA documented that 800 heavy trucks use this short-cut every day despite the impact that their number, noise, size, speed, and exhaust fumes have on the mental and physical health and safety of our residents and pedestrians,” Doyle said. “The Strandherd Bridge was supposed to change all that. Well, that didn’t happen! Its time for change people, “Coem Walk With Us.”