News / Ottawa

Stittsville residents poke fun at "Rosehill Expressway"

A tongue-in-cheek sign, unveiled at a community party in Stittsville, speaks to the real safety concerns community has.

A tongue-in-cheek sign unveiled by Stittsville residents on Sunday, to protest the closure of Johnwoods Street.

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A tongue-in-cheek sign unveiled by Stittsville residents on Sunday, to protest the closure of Johnwoods Street.

There’s a new, unofficial expressway in Ottawa, after a group of Stittsville residents gathered to unveil a tongue-in-cheek sign denoting the “Rosehill Expressway”—a one-kilometre strip of road they think drivers will speed through their neighbourhood on.

On November 15, Johnwoods Street, south of the Queensway in Stittsville, is set to be permanently closed and replaced with a multi-use pathway, part of the subdivision agreement between the city and Mattamy, the developer. 

Residents say, the closure will push more drivers onto Rosehill Avenue, where a lack of traffic calming measures will mean higher speeds and more danger. 

Many drivers use the neighbourhood as a convenient shortcut to get to the Canadian Tire Centre or to get to the Queensway. 

A group of residents have felt like their concerns are falling on deaf ears at city hall. So, on Sunday, they held a party, unveiling a sign for the “Rosehill Expressway.” 

“We’ve spent the last 18 months writing letters and trying to meet with city councillors,” said Glen Gower, one of the organizers of the party. He noted that the community was taken by surprise when they showed up to what they thought was going to be a consultation, and were told that the decision to close Johnwoods was already a done deal. 

“There’s been a lot of one-way communication. It’s been a lot of the councillor communicating through his newsletter.” 

Residents are asking the city to delay the closure of Johnwoods until the traffic impacts can be studied and presented to the community. 

Some temporary traffic calming measures, in the form of coloured flex posts (similar to those which protect bike lanes) will be installed until the snow falls this year. Coun. Shad Qadri posted to his website the long-term plans, which include a number of mid-block chicanes that will slow drivers. 

Gower said the event was a positive one that, joke sign aside, got people to think about the issue. 

“It was great,” he said. “Instead of being angry residents with pickets, it was a really fun, positive way to get people out and get people talking.” 

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