Cycling in the City - August 2015

2015 Budget and Strategic Initiatives

2015 Budget logo and documents
On July 8, 2015, City Council approved the four-year (2015-2018) Term of Council Priorities, which includes funding for the phase 1 Ottawa Cycling Plan projects. Over $8M of capital funding was committed for the period, with[SR1]  additional funding expected through development charges. The projects planned within phase 1 are shown on the City's GeoOttawa portal (under Cycling > Cycling Plan > Project Timing) and also listed in Annex E of the Ottawa Cycling Plan.

At the same time, City Council also approved a further $11.6M in capital funding for 'Community Pathways and Connections'. This initiative aims to support safer, more convenient, and comfortable access to transit and community facilities via walking, cycling and other active modes of transportation. A number of other cycling-related initiatives were also approved, including funding for a 40km winter-maintained cycling network and continuation of the cycling safety improvement program.

East-West Bikeway Update

People riding on the east-west bikeway
Construction on a new multi-use pathway connection between Laurier Avenue and Albert Street is anticipated to begin in early August. This project addresses a missing link along the East-West Bikeway, connecting the Laurier Avenue segregated bike lanes with the existing multi-use pathway on the north side of Albert Street. Elsewhere, along the East-West bikeway, additional pavement markings have been applied at the southwest corner of the St. Patrick Street and Vanier Parkway intersection. These markings improve the visibility of eastbound cyclists coming off the St. Patrick Bridge, prior to merging into the shared lane on Beechwood. Looking further ahead, the Beechwood corridor is being studied to see how cyclists can be better accommodated in the future. A public open house was held in late June to study various possibilities. 

Finally, June and July were busy months on the Laurier Avenue Bike Lane. Record numbers of cyclist trips were counted at the Metcalfe Street intersection; the total number of trips reached over 3,300 per day, over 16,300 per week, and over 65,000 per month.

Hickory Street Bridge Installed – Progress Update

Hickory Street Bridge installed
Construction of the Hickory Street Bridge over the O-Train is progressing well and on schedule. All of the bridge and deck elements were delivered to the construction site in late June and assembly of the bridge elements has taken place. The next major step was the bridge being lifted into place and installed, which took place on July 22. The installation took place at night as a safety precaution, when the O-Train was not running. Over the coming weeks, the contractor will finalize the installation and complete the landscaping. All construction activities are expected to be complete by the end of August 2015 with the bridge anticipated to be open to pedestrians and cyclists by early August.

Ottawa's Pathway Patrol

 Pathway Patrollers and logo
Did you know that since 1996 the City has had a dedicated core of volunteers patrolling pathways and parks across Ottawa? The patrollers provide information, improve safety and courtesy, and promote healthy living on Ottawa's multi-use pathways. Pathway Patrol is a City of Ottawa volunteer program working in partnership with the National Capital Commission – the Pathway Patrollers are the "eyes on the path".
If you need assistance, first aid, minor bike repair or advice on how to get somewhere, the Pathway Patrollers are there to ensure everyone's safety and enjoyment.  Be sure to say hello when you see them on your neighborhood trails. Pathway Patrollers can typically be identified by their uniform, distinctive orange t-shirts, and their official identification badges. 
To volunteer or find out more, visit the Pathway Patrol webpage, call 613-580-2854 or email pathwaypatrol@ottawa.ca.

A Safer Crossing of Colonel By Drive at Clegg Street

 Crossride at Colonel By and Clegg St
In late May, a new traffic signal was implemented at the intersection of Clegg Street and Colonel By Drive. The traffic signal, a partnership project between the National Capital Commission and the City of Ottawa, improves the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, particularly those crossing Colonel By Drive to access the Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway. The innovative design reflects a desire to create better intersections for cyclists and contains both 'cycle tracks' (bike-only space that is separate to the road) and 'crossrides' (crossings for bikes, typically adjacent to a crosswalk).  The intersection also includes traffic signal detection for bicycles, indicated by three yellow dots. With the new design, the City urges cyclists to follow signage and traffic controls, stay on the bike-specific surfaces and use extra caution as people become accustomed to the new intersection. 

Another Major Milestone - Rideau River Bridge

 Rideau River Bridge concrete deck being poured
Another major construction milestone was achieved in early June with the pouring of the concrete bridge deck. Throughout July, work has been undertaken on the Donald Street connection, constructing new curbs, sidewalks and paving. The bridge curbs were poured on July 22. On the west-side, the reinstatement of Strathcona Park will be undertaken in the fall. Over the next three months, the railings will be delivered and installed along the bridge deck. Overall, construction has progressed well and the project is scheduled for completion in June 2016.
The Rideau River Bridge will also feature public art, created by artist Kenneth Emig. You can find out more about the public art selected for the Rideau River Bridge on the City's website.

Bike Lanes coming to St. Laurent Boulevard

St. Laurent Boulevard streetscape and project documents
Later this summer, bike lanes will be added to St. Laurent Boulevard between Hemlock Road and Montreal Road. At the northern end of St. Laurent Boulevard, the bike lanes will provide a connection to the East-West Bikeway along Hemlock Road. The project will also create an added benefit for pedestrians using the corridor by providing greater separation between the sidewalk and vehicle lanes. An open house to present the recommended design was held on June 17. The design is available on the City's website

Coventry Pedestrian and Cycling Bridge Enhancements 

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park and stadium driveway
In the coming months, work will begin to construct a pedestrian and cycling link along the east side of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park, home of the Ottawa Champions baseball team. This new link will provide a more direct connection between Lola Street and the new multi-use Coventry Bridge over Highway 417. The route around the eastern side of the park will utilise the existing stadium driveway with a number of modifications including pavement markings, fencing alterations, sidewalk enhancements and a small section of multi-use pathway. The new route will provide a connection to the cycle tracks being added along Coventry Road as part of the road reconstruction.

Wellington Street West enhanced markings

 Dooring markings painted on Wellington West
Following concerns about the number of 'dooring' incidents within Wellington West, distinctive cycling symbols were initially painted in 2012. Shared-lane arrow ('sharrow') pavement markings were implemented to guide cyclists away from riding too close to parked cars. Recent observations and concerns from both residents and the ward councillor indicated that cyclists were still not riding a safe distance from the dooring hazard zone. As such, through the Cycling Safety Improvement Program, the markings have been repainted and enhanced with dashed lines and wording placed next to the sharrows to try and encourage cyclists to ride within the safer portion of the roadway. The added text, 'dooring zone', helps explain to both cyclists and drivers why cyclists should be within the centre of the lane. The City is working in collaboration with Carleton University to determine the effectiveness of this approach. 

Cycling Education Programs 

 Cyclists undergoing training
The City of Ottawa offers a variety of cycling programs to citizens of all ages.  Whether you are new to cycling, wanting to explore new roads, start commuting, or interested in becoming an instructor, the Cycling Education Program offers something for everyone.
Check out the City of Ottawa's CAN-BIKE courses, children's bike rodeos, commuter and cycling safety classes, or ask us about our private lessons! For more information or to sign up, visit the cycling education programs webpage, call 613-580-2854, or email cycling@ottawa.ca.
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