The Ottawa Seniors Transportation Committee (OSTC) works to:
- Improve the transportation options for older adults and persons with disabilities in urban, suburban and rural Ottawa
- Offer education about transportation challenges and options for older adults and persons with disabilities
- Supporting community groups to audit neighbourhood walkability and pedestrian safety
- Addressing gaps in Rural Transportation
- Advocating for changes in OC/Para Transpo services that support seniors and persons with disabilities
- Advocating for changes in hospital parking that increase accessibility & affordability
- Supporting the Gotta Go Campaign to ensure access to washrooms in public spaces
- Reaching seniors with information about transportation options
The Snow Mole Report 2021
Snow Mole Report 2021
This document is the fourth annual Snow Mole Campaign’s Final Report for 2021 that summarizes the data collected and key findings, offers a comparison with data collected during 2020, and gives a list of recommendations to improve winter walking for Ottawa’s older adults and those using mobility aids. The findings in this report reinforce recommendations from previous years Snow Mole Reports.
Walkability and pedestrian safety in winter have been a priority of the COA since 2016. In 2019, we focused on winter walking through the Snow Mole campaign and piloted the use of an online tool to collect the data in addition to paper-based audit tools.
This annual project offers the voice of residents, particularly older adults, and other vulnerable pedestrians, on winter walkability based on “boots on the ground” information they themselves collect. The 2021 Snow Mole Campaign and Final Report once again alerts the City and community to how age-friendly and accessible the city truly is in the winter.
The City’s Older Adult Plan, Action Plan 2020-2022 includes actions to apply an older adult lens to review the City’s Winter Maintenance Quality Standards (WMQS); improve the safety condition of sidewalks in areas highly frequented by older adults, and make improvements in accessibility to public transit and explore actions to improve mobility of older adults. The City’s New Official Plan (due for Council vote in Fall 2021) promotes the concept of “15-minute neighbourhoods”: inclusive, walkable neighbourhoods where daily and weekly needs can be accessed within a 15-minute walk.
These actions and objectives must be realized, and pedestrian barriers and safety hazards must be reduced during the winter months, to achieve an age-friendly city that puts pedestrians before vehicles and makes the city safe and accessible for seniors and other vulnerable pedestrians during all seasons.
Tips for Winter Walking
There is nothing like taking a walk to enjoy the beauty of the season – and walking is one of the best ways to keep healthy. On the other hand, winter can be a challenging time of year to get out an about. Here are some tips for safer walking outdoors in winter.
- Pedestrian Safety and Walkability – audits in areas within the city and advocates for changes to make walking safer for seniors and people with disabilities or mobility issues
- Older Drivers – provides information about safe driving for seniors through brochures, information sessions and education
- Rural Transportation – identifies innovative approaches to respond to rural seniors’ transportation needs
- Community Transportation Information Events – plans, promotes, organizes and participates in events to raise awareness of seniors’ transportation choices & challenges
- Chaired by the COA
- Canadian Cancer Society (Ottawa Unit)
- Champlain Dementia Network
- City of Ottawa: OC Transpo & Para Transpo; Ottawa Public Health, Strategic Community Initiatives, Safer Roads Ottawa
- Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre
- Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre
- MS Society of Canada, Ottawa Chapter
- Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization
- Jewish Family Services
- Champlain Community Support Network; Champlain Community Transportation Collaborative
- Seniors and interested members from the community representing rural and urban Ottawa
- South–East Ottawa Community Health Centre
- Stroke Survivors Association of Ottawa
- Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health
- Walk Ottawa
- Unitarian House