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Queen Elizabeth Driveway closures to continue 2 more weeks, NCC says

The NCC's decision to close a portion of the Queen Elizabeth Driveway is receiving positive initial reviews from cyclists and pedestrians.
The NCC's decision to close a portion of the Queen Elizabeth Driveway is receiving positive initial reviews from cyclists and pedestrians. NCC / Twitter

A pilot project to close a portion of the Queen Elizabeth Driveway to motor vehicles in an effort to give cyclists and pedestrians more space for physical distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic will continue another two weeks, the National Capital Commission says.

The NCC announced it would temporarily close the QED between Laurier and Fifth avenues from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in a pilot project to see whether the extra space would benefit Ottawa residents looking to stretch their legs amid physical-distancing measures.

READ MORE: NCC wants your feedback on Queen Elizabeth Driveway closure

Public health officials have been wary about closing down city streets amid the coronavirus pandemic out of concern that additional space for pedestrians might result in people congregating in the road.

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The Crown corporation responsible for managing the major Ottawa roadway announced Monday that the first two weeks of its trial were a success, according to a survey of residents who walked or cycled along the QED in the past two weeks and oversight from the NCC itself.

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“Monitoring results indicate that users are overwhelmingly respecting physical distancing directives when using the QED,” the NCC said in a statement.

The NCC’s survey said that 89 per cent of users were from the local area, and the same proportion of respondents were highly receptive to maintaining the closures for the foreseeable future.

The pilot project will continue until May 10, with the NCC continuing to monitor and evaluate how residents are using the space.