Tips to stay safe on your cycling commute

As warm weather quickly approaches, Ottawa cyclists are beginning to dust off their bike chains. Bike shops like Bushtukah in Kanata have already put away their skis for the year, and are offering tune-ups to cyclists eager to hit the streets. Although many Ottawans are keen to get back on the roads, Akil Spooner, a senior sales representative at Bushtukah, said riders should remember the importance of safety while cycling. 1. Wear a helmet Spooner said the main precautions that cyclists should be taking on the roads is wearing a helmet. “You’ve got to have a good lid, and what a lot of people don’t know is that helmets expire,” he said. The material in helmets becomes brittle with time, […]

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Is it safe to cycle in the winter?

When the snow starts to fall and the frigid Ottawa winter begins, most people think it’s time to store their bike away until the season is over. But this isn’t the case for everyone. Winter cycling is becoming an increasingly popular mode of transportation in Ottawa, and this is bringing more attention to safety issues for cyclists brave enough to bike through snowy winter streets. In recent years Ottawa has taken many steps to promote cycling. They have implemented segregated bike lanes on many of the roads such as Laurier Avenue and O’Connor Street, and have connected bike paths across the city for commuters in the spring, summer, and fall. In 2013, Ottawa released a cycling master plan that allocated […]

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A (crazy) commute: Cycling safety for students in Ottawa

Bronson Avenue is unavoidable for 22-year-old math and physics student Ben Wilkinson-Zan when he commutes to Carleton University on his bike. His daily route takes him twisting through the side streets known to local cyclists as “dangerous.” First, he heads down Lyon Street South, turning right onto Fifth Avenue, then a left onto Muriel Street before heading west down Holmwood Avenue towards the lights on Bronson—he said it is safer to turn left at the lights, but it is not guaranteed. Safety is important for every type of commuter, but cyclists need to be particularly cautious, considering the City of Ottawa reported 1,509 cyclist collisions—which included one fatality and 246 injuries—in the 2015 Ottawa Road Safety Report. The City of […]

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Is marijuana-impaired driving an impending possibility?

The Trudeau government said it hopes to introduce marijuana legalization in legislation by the summer. Many Canadians believe this move is long overdue, but there are still precautions and safeguards that need to be implemented to avoid potential risks—including the possibility of an increase in stoned drivers on the roads. But what are the laws surrounding marijuana-impaired driving? Drugs and driving Provisions about drug-impaired driving are found at both the provincial and federal levels of the law, according to Eugene Oscapella, a criminology professor at the University of Ottawa (U of O) and an expert in policies and laws related to illegal drugs. At the federal level, section 253 of the Criminal Code of Canada prohibits driving or operating any […]

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Student activism in the Trump era

Donald Trump took his seat as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20. Less than two months later, global citizens have been banding together and protesting in response to his leadership. The Women’s March in Washington, D.C. and around the world, and the demonstrations across the globe against Trump’s travel ban, are just a few examples of solidarity. And students are no stranger to this type of activism. Students have a long history of social activism, and the number of student activists is on the rise. According to the American Freshman National Survey from 2014 to 2015, there was a 2.9 per cent increase in those who said there was a “very good chance” of them participating […]

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