This summer, Mayor Sutcliffe recorded a video of himself on the portion of the Queen Elizabeth Driveway devoted to the National Capital Commission’s Active Use Program. The video ran for 2.5 minutes, and the mayor used the absence of people using the road during that time as a call to end the program. (For a discussion of this stunt, see this piece in the Ottawa Citizen. See also a post on our website.)
Even if the mayor’s argument in this case was obviously problematic, he’s reflecting a sensible intuition: are investments in infrastructure that isn’t used really worthwhile? Yet what he overlooked was that there’s all manner of car infrastructure that isn’t used, and yet we continue to devote it to cars. Shouldn’t it instead be devoted to those who will actually put it to good use?
With this campaign, we invite you to take 2.5-minute videos of car infrastructure not being used for cars. (If a couple cars slip by, don’t worry: this didn’t stop the mayor!) Once you’ve taken the video, please also do the following:
- Email the mayor (Mark.Sutcliffe@ottawa.ca), while CCing the chair of the Transportation Committee, Tim Tierney (Tim.Tierney@ottawa.ca), identifying the portion of roadway in question, and ask him to return it to people instead of cars (see our suggested language below)
- Fill out this form with information about your request; we’ll compile and publicize all the requests at a later date
- Post your video on social media and tag the mayor, and use the hashtag #2point5min
We agree with the mayor when he says, “I am against prioritizing one form of transportation over another, or punishing [any form of transportation] in a way that creates very little benefit for everyone else.” Let’s make this a reality!
Dear Mayor Sutcliffe,
I’m glad that you think infrastructure dedicated to transport modes that don’t use it should be repurposed. As you’ll see on the attached video, 2.5 minutes went by on [SECTION OF ROAD] on [DATE] at [TIME] without a car coming by. I think you’ll agree that this section of [ROAD] should be returned to people rather than cars. I look forward to your reply to my message.