Council Member Inquiry/Motion Form

Demande de renseignements d’un membre du Conseil /Formulaire de motion


From/Exp. :


D. Chernushenko

Date :

September 7, 2012


File/Dossier :

TRC 07-12



To/Dest. : Deputy City Manager, City Operations

cc: Deputy City Manager, Planning and Infrastructure


Subject/Objet : Legitimizing and regulating various modes of transportation / Définir les lois concernant différents moyens de transport et réglementer ceux-ci

Inquiry/Demande de renseignements


At the 5 September 2012 meeting of the Transportation Committee, Councillor Chernushenko raised the following inquiry with regards to legitimizing and regulating various modes of transportation:


A number of city policies underline our commitment to encouraging the safe and legal use of alternative modes of transportation, and active or low-emission modes in particular. Many such modes of transportation are currently being used on Ottawa’s roadways and sidewalks -- such as skateboards, longboards, inline skates, scooters and electric-assisted bikes -- despite the fact that they often fall into a “legal limbo” where they cannot be legally used on either roads or sidewalks.  Users are sporadically being ticketed by police and some are refraining from using such alternative modes for fear of being ticketed.


What is being done or can be done to provide greater clarity regarding the use of alternative modes of transportation on Ottawa roads and sidewalks, and, ideally, to encourage legal, safe and more predictable adoption of these modes of transportation?



À la réunion du 5 septembre 2012 du Comité des transports, le conseiller Chernushenko a soulevé la question suivante :


Un certain nombre de politiques municipales reflètent notre engagement à encourager l’utilisation sécuritaire et légale de moyens de transport de rechange, tout particulièrement les moyens de transport actifs et peu polluants. Bon nombre de ces moyens de transport sont présentement utilisés sur les routes et les trottoirs d’Ottawa, comme la planche à roulettes, la planche longue, le patin à roues alignées, le scooter et le vélo électrique, même s’ils font partie d’une catégorie de transport dont la « légalité » est souvent ambiguë parce que leur utilisation n’est pas officiellement permise sur les routes ni les trottoirs de la ville. Les usagers reçoivent ici et là des contraventions de la police et certains d’entre eux s’abstiennent d’utiliser ces moyens de transport de rechange par peur de recevoir une telle contravention.


Que faisons-nous ou que pouvons-nous faire pour éclaircir la question de l’utilisation de ces moyens de transport de rechange sur les routes et les trottoirs d’Ottawa et préférablement, pour encourager l’utilisation légale, sécuritaire et prévisible de ces moyens de transport.


To be on the Transportation Committee agenda of October 3 and Council on October 10, 2012 / Sera à l’ordre du jour de la réunion du Comité de transports le 3 octobre prochain et du Conseil le 10 octobre 2012 prochain.


French version to follow shortly / La version française suivra sous peu.


Ottawa Police Service Response/ Réponse de la Service de police d’Ottawa


The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) is aware of and continues to monitor the trends in transportation used in the Ottawa area.


The guiding documents OPS uses are the Highway Traffic Act and the Ottawa City By-Laws, which lay out the current rules on what can and cannot be used on roads and highways.


Regardless of the mode of transit citizens wish to use, our priority is safety on our roadways. As part of this approach, the OPS uses education and enforcement to make our roads safer.   


The OPS and their Traffic Management Partners have a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP), which runs year round.  Every month different offences and different modes of transportation are identified. Each monthly STEP program focuses on Promoting Safety, Provide Education and Conduct Enforcement.  We also respond to individual complaints from the general public.


There are a number of web sites that the OPS utilizes in its education and enforcement.  These specifically address the questions with power assisted bicycles as well as many other modes of transportation.  There are also a number of handouts on various topics that the OPS distributes.  As well, there are radio commercials and billboards used for public awareness.


City by-laws - rules of the road:


Bike lane:


New and Alternate vehicles


Low speed Vehicles


Ottawa Bicycle laws



Planning and Growth Management Response


The Planning and Growth Management Department has recently developed a usage policy in relation to rural pathways which permits eBikes and eScooters to use these paths.  As part of the upcoming Ottawa Cycling Plan update, the Department will develop appropriate policies for eBikes and eScooters covering pathways and bike lanes within the urban area.