School Street Update

Rue Barrée! Street Closed

Dropping off kids at school in the morning can be intensely stressful. During the morning drop off and afternoon pick up times, the streets next to our children’s school can become very unsafe because of crowding, idling, and speeding among children. Tensions build as parents become worried about their kids safety and residents become frustrated with congestion.

After listening to concerns from parents and residents, I moved ahead with a pilot program in Vanier called School Streets to address these issues!

According to School Streets Ottawa, a School Street is:

…a temporary exclusive walking and cycling corridor during drop off and pick up times, usually carried out with temporary barriers. The objectives of a school street are:

  • Create a safe environment for kids to safely walk and cycle to school;
  • Encourage healthy active travel and promote independent mobility; and
  •  Reduce locally generated congestion in the community.

I experienced a School Street for the first time at École du Lac-des-Fées elementary school in Gatineau in Spring 2023.

I went early one morning in May to watch it all happen, and it was incredible! The kids were so happy to have the full run of the place. I knew I wanted this in my community, too. I had already heard many complaints from parents either fearing for their child’s safety, or frustrated about the traffic every time they dropped off or picked up their kids from school. 

After a couple of trial runs, Trille-des-bois elementary school in Vanier now has a 3-month School Street Pilot running one per week on Tuesday mornings. For now, police cruisers are blocking the streets. Community officers would be in the neighborhood anyway, so this comes at no extra cost to taxpayers. Plus, it’s only for about 40 minutes, once per week. Gradually, as the pilot progresses, parents will take more ownership of the initiative, and we will ween ourselves off of these police resources and rely more softer barricades like cones and parents wearing safety vests, to block the roads. 

I have invited councillors from all over the city to come visit and see how it all works!

You can learn more about School Streets at to learn more! (They have the cutest website ever).

If you haven’t already, check out the media coverage on this pilot so far:

Street in front of Vanier school closes to cars

Street in front of Vanier school closes to traffic as pilot project begins | CBC News

Ottawa Morning with Robyn Bresnahan. Alice Street in Vanier will turn pedestrian-only for about 30 minutes each Tuesday


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