Ban cars downtown: The Oslo example
Yes, Ottawa is cold and often unpleasant in the winter. But you know, Oslo is, too. That didn’t stop them from making their city centre essentially car-free.
With what results? Apparently, a lot of happiness and massive improvement in quality of life.
You don’t need to go cold-turkey, either. The approach they favoured, of removing parking spots, had the intended effect. And yes, you do need exceptions for deliveries, emergency vehicles and people with mobility issues. Of course. Not everything has to be pure black and white. For one thing, we could start with a smallish area and see about expanding the zone.
But what if, say, we made downtown Ottawa essentially car-free and had public transit (not necessarily big buses either; we could have lots of smallish, 20-passenger vans instead) that was free? What if you were forced to park your car near the Queensway and leave it there? What if pedestrians and cyclists could move swiftly from one place to the next without having to guard themselves against cars making an aggressive right turn?
Think of the improvement in quality of life. Think how much more pleasant downtown would be. Think how much more attractive… Me, I can see it.