Having touched down in Ottawa for a business trip yesterday, I can report that the transit strike is having an impact on thousands of people. Not a surprise there.
My cabbie was cursing the strike all the way from the airport to downtown. Especially when he started cutting through side streets packed with snow drifts.
Given that I was going against traffic into the downtown, I could only imagine the choice words being used by the drivers who were all bumper-to-bumper heading out of the city. Yes, thousands of cars all packed on the highways heading out to their suburban single family homes at about 10 clicks an hour. It was all a bit eery...kind of armageddon-ish. At least for Ottawa anyway.
What I found most amazing was how the strike was impacting pedestrian traffic in the downtown core. On a good evening downtown Ottawa is a dead zone. Yeah, you may find a pedestrian or two, but they are the exception. This is no longer the case.
No buses translates into thousands, and I mean tens of thousands of people actually walking all over the downtown core. No matter which street you look at, they are bustling with activity. It certainly made Ottawa feel alive.
As for the strike, there seems to be mounting pressure to have the union members vote on the City's offer. At least that's what the headlines in every news box says. Not sure that strategy will work, but one can only hope.