Cycling in the City - May 2017

May is Bike to Work Month

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The beginning of May marks the start of Bike to Work Month. The City of Ottawa is proud to be a core partner of this fun and engaging commuter cycling campaign. Bike to Work Month celebrates commuter cyclists and gives them a chance to win over $10,000 in great prizes from local businesses. There are many ways you can participate, visit www.biketoworkottawa.ca to find out more and sign up, or contact the Bike to Work team at transport@envirocentre.ca or 613-656-0100 ext. 120.
Note: You can join the Bike to Work Month team in launching the campaign at the 'Bike-in Breakfast', at the corner of Bank Street and Laurier Avenue West on Thursday May 4 from 7am to 9am.

Mackenzie Avenue Cycle Track 

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The finishing touches, including applying the green pavement markings, are currently being applied to the MacKenzie Avenue cycle track, which is planned to be completed later this month. This segment of MacKenzie Avenue is part of a long-term goal to complete a cycling facility around Confederation Boulevard, in partnership with the National Capital Commission and City of Gatineau. The MacKenzie Avenue facility, a two-way cycle track on the east-side of the street, will help to improve the connectivity of the NCC's Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway and will also connect to recent improvements along St. Patrick Street to the north. 

Main Street Renewal

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Through May and June a number of items remain to be completed on the Main Street renewal project including construction of the retaining walls and sidewalks at Lees Avenue, installation of the demarcator stones between the cycle track and sidewalk, and installation of the public art. While the northern segment of Main Street (from Clegg Street to Harvey Street) was completed and opened to traffic late in 2016, the cycle tracks south of Clegg Street will remain closed until they are completed later this spring.
A joint road re-opening event and Old Ottawa East community festival is planned for June 17 to celebrate the completion of this project. Look out for more details in the local press.  

Construction starting in 2017

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Construction on a number of new active transportation projects is anticipated to begin later this year. This includes new multi-use pathways along the western bank of the Rideau River through Old Ottawa East and along the route of the Trans-Orléans pathway. A number of significant roads will be resurfaced, with paved shoulders added for cyclist-use where feasible. This includes Prince of Wales Drive (from Barrhaven to Hunt Club Road), Bearbrook Road (Centrepark Drive to St. Joseph Boulevard), and Navan Road (Blackburn Hamlet to Pagé). An additional stimulus-funded project in the east-end will add paved shoulders to sections of Old Montreal, Cox Country, and Dunning roads to improve access to Wilhaven Drive as an alternate east-west route for travel to and from Cumberland village.
In the west, the City is also undertaking stimulus-funded improvements along March Road at both Carling Avenue and Herzberg Road. Improvements planned for this area include adding bike lanes through the March Road and Carling Avenue intersection, with a two-stage bike box to accommodate left-turns. The Herzberg Road and March Road intersection is being planned as a 'protected intersection', integrating the bike lanes along Herzberg and March roads with the pathway connection from Penfield Drive. 

Beechwood Avenue Bike Lanes

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The annual Bruce Timmermans Awards were announced at Transportation Committee this morning (May 3). For his commitment to positive community building, Gareth Davies, President of Citizens for Safe Cycling since 2015, received the Individual Award. Gareth is recognized for his work in bringing different parties together to collaborate and make cycling safer and better for all.
The Ottawa Safety Council received the Bruce Timmermans Organizational Award. In 2016 the Ottawa Safety Council's Bike Rodeo Program provided over 2,000 young cyclists across Ottawa the chance to learn safe riding skills and the rules of the road. Through fun activities and demonstrations, the rodeos helped children from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 4 learn about safe and responsible bicycling. In addition to the Bike Rodeo Program, the Ottawa Safety Council also supports children's mobility through its Adult Crossing Guard, Walking School Bus Leader Training and Pedestrian Safety Presentation programs.

Take the Scenic Route on Your Next Cycling Adventure

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Ottawa's large rural areas are great cycling destinations, crisscrossed by quiet country roads and a network of trails. The City has mapped out an initial set of six urban and nine rural cycling routes that have a lot to offer for recreational cyclists. Routes comprise primarily of rural roads and trails to provide a safer environment that minimizes interaction with motor vehicle traffic. The routes are available in a variety of different lengths, degrees of difficulty and differing road surfaces. The accompanying maps show the points of interest, rest areas and other features for each route.
These trips explore different parts of the city and include attractions such as conservation areas, lookouts and historic sites, with country stores, historic wineries, farms and markets located along the way. You can find out more information about these routes by visiting the City's website where you can also download the directions to a mobile GPS device, such as a smartphone.

Get Ready for Rail!

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The O-Train Confederation Line will transform OC Transpo's current bus-centered system into a multi-modal transit system, and will completely change the city's landscape and the way people get around. The City wants to help prepare you so that you have all the information you need to take your future journey on board the O-Train Confederation Line in 2018. At the April 19 Transit Commission meeting, a new information and education campaign – called Ready for Rail – was unveiled. The Ready for Rail campaign aims to answer the questions that people may have about the new system, things like: "Where will it go?", "How often will it come?", "How will I get to it?" and "Where will I buy my fare?"
Of particular interest to many residents will be the integrated cycling features that have been built into the O-Train Confederation Line.  For example, all stations will have cycling connections, bike parking, and bike "runnels" to easily walk bikes up and down the stairs. Cyclists will also be able to take their bikes on the train with them as trains will be able to accommodate bikes in the co-operative seating areas inside each door when they are not occupied by customers who need priority seating. Over the next year, please keep a look out for information across the city on bus shelters, bike racks, within city facilities, and online as Ottawa gets "Ready for Rail". 

Coming Soon - 2017 Bike Map, Bike Corrals and Sunday Bike Day News!  

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The 2017-2018 Official Cycling Map for Ottawa-Gatineau and the Outaouais Region is now available online, with printed copies expected to be available by mid-May. The printed maps can be picked up at City of Ottawa client service centres in Nepean, Kanata, Barrhaven and Orléans, as well as downtown at City Hall. Residents can call 3-1-1 to confirm availability.
Also later this spring, the popular on-street bike parking corrals will be returning. The City, in partnership with Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) representing Wellington West, the Glebe and Bank Street, is looking forward to the three brightly coloured bike racks providing additional bike parking for customers arriving on two wheels to these destinations.
On May 21, the NCC will launch the 47th season of Nokia Sunday Bikedays. To celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary, Confederation Boulevard will be car-free for a one-time event from 9 am to 1 pm, which includes Wellington Street in Ottawa, Laurier Street in Gatineau, as well as Portage and Alexandra bridges. This special loop will connect to Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway and Colonel By Drive, allowing residents and visitors to take in the heart of the Capital Region's rich history and natural beauty. 

Winter Cycling Network 2016/2017 

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Ottawa Police Service (OPS) in association with Safer Roads Ottawa (SRO) is leading a pilot scheme using a sonar device on OPS bikes. The device measures the distance from the cyclist's handlebars to the passing car.
With the January 2016 update of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) drivers must now pass cyclists with a distance of at least 1 metre between their vehicle and the person riding the bike. In order to increase awareness of the new law and show how drivers can be compliant, the sonar device will be used as an educational tool across the city during the summer months. The device is intended to let drivers know about the new law regarding passing cyclists and the potential $110 fine, rather than being used to charge drivers at this time. 

Projects Wrap-up

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Together with the recent construction of new types of cycling infrastructure (such as raised cycle tracks and two-way bikeways) the City has produced a number of short videos to help educate residents about these topics. The videos, produced by Safer Roads Ottawa and the Ottawa Police Service, are aimed at ensuring that residents using these facilities or driving are educated on how to navigate the new infrastructure safely. The topics covered by the videos include information on how to correctly use some of the features, such as bike boxes, as well as guidance for motorists on how to safely turn or cross two-way cycling facilities. By better educating cyclists and road users on how to share the road safely the City can help reduce car-bike collisions. Please share these videos with your friends and family.

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