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City of Ottawa warns of traffic delays during ‘Rolling Thunder’ event this weekend

The city of Ottawa and Ottawa police are warning motorists to expect brief delays on Hwy. 417 and in downtown Ottawa on Saturday for the ‘Rolling Thunder Ottawa’ event.

The motorcycle rally, billed as a “salute to those who went before us,” is scheduled to travel from Arnprior to the National War Memorial around the noon-hour on Saturday.

In a media release, the city says the motorcycle ride will travel eastbound on Hwy. 417 and will “briefly impact traffic” in the area of Elgin Street and Laurier Avenue before leaving the city on Hwy. 417.

“The Ottawa Police Service will monitor public safety and will be present to ensure the safe passage of motorcycles through the downtown core,” city officials said.

Bylaw Services officers will be on city streets this weekend to ensure parking regulations are observed by residents and visitors.

“All vehicles found in violation of parking restrictions will be ticketed and/or towed,” the city said.

OC Transpo will maintain regular service during the ‘Rolling Thunder Ottawa’ event. City officials said that if there are extended road closures, OC Transpo and Para Transpo service will be maintained with detours, but there may be some delays.

Ottawa Police Chief Eric Stubbs has said police have a “robust plan” for the event, and have reached out to organizers about the plan.

“When we work with organizers of events, we look for them to be peaceful, to be safe and to be lawful,” Stubbs said.

Rolling Thunder Ottawa organizer Neil Sheard said on Facebook that the rally is intended to be a “ride around” the National War Memorial to salute the men and women that died for our country.

The ‘Rolling Thunder’ was first held in Ottawa in April 2022, with Sheard saying at the time that the rally was intended to “give back the dignity” to the National War Memorial. Ottawa police, with assistance from Ontario Provincial Police and other police forces, maintained a heightened police presence during that weekend.

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