City of Ottawa

Cycling in the City - November 2019


Flora Footbridge

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The Flora Footbridge officially opened for use on 28 June 2019. In the four full months since opening, over 330,000 active transportation trips have been recorded by people crossing the Rideau Canal in this location. The new bridge connects the intersection of Queen Elizabeth Drive and Fifth Avenue on the west-side of the canal, with the intersection of Colonel By Drive and Clegg Street on the east-side. Onward popular cycling routes are via the Rideau Canal Eastern and Western Pathways, Fifth Avenue and Main Street. The Flora Footbridge provides a car-free cyclist and pedestrian-only alternative to the upstream (Bank Street) and downstream (Hawthorne Avenue) road-crossings of the canal. You can read more about the history of the project on the City’s website and find the location of the bridge on the City’s GeoOttawa mapping portal.


Bank Street Underpass

Another project completed earlier this summer is the underpass of Bank Street along the Rideau River Eastern Pathway. For people walking and biking along the pathway, this underpass provides an alternative route that by-passes the intersection of Bank Street and Riverside Drive intersection. The project was initiated to address safety concerns at the intersection; there is no dedicated crossing for cyclists and the current intersection configuration does not allow for an upgrade. As the Rideau River is prone to periodic flooding, the underpass pathway will need to be closed temporarily on occasion. During such flooding events, cyclists and pedestrians will be able to approach Bank Street via the existing multi-use pathway adjacent to Riverside Drive and cross at the signalized intersection.

Cycling and Light Rail, New Routes

With the opening of O-Train Line 1, cyclists are welcome to park at Line 1 and Line 2 stations and use the train and bus connections to extend their trip, or to take their bike on-board the train. The City’s Ready for Rail webpage provides information about how to use the new system and answer any questions you might have.
The completion of the Stage 1 Light Rail Transit (LRT) project also includes a number of new or rerouted connections for cyclists and pedestrians. One of the popular new routes constructed with the project is the multi-use pathway that runs largely adjacent to the light-rail line between Laurier Avenue and Hurdman station. This new segment, approximately 2 kilometres long, provides a great way to access stations along this eastern segment of the Confederation Line (uOttawa, Lees, Hurdman, and Tremblay stations) as well as the Via Rail, Ottawa Station. The pathway also provides a largely traffic-free route between the downtown core and residential neighbourhoods to the southeast, such as Riverview Park.   

Nepean Trail

Residents in central Nepean now have a new low stress cycling route that can be used as an alternative to busy Merivale Road between Baseline Road and Woodfield Drive.  The 5 kilometre long Nepean Trail alternates between buffered bike lanes, quiet side streets and multi-use pathways and forms the eastern part of a longer 12 kilometre route leading towards the western Greenbelt. The new route enhances access to Merivale High School, numerous businesses and services along the east side of Merivale Road, and to existing and future cycling routes, such as the Nepean Creek Pathway and cycle tracks along Baseline Road.  The route includes a new style of wayfinding signs that make it easy for users to follow the route. A map of the route is available from the project webpage on the City’s website.

Roll Slowly and Lock Securely

With an increasing number of people walking and cycling on shared paths, especially around Confederation Line 1 stations and multi-use bridges, please remember to roll slowly through high-traffic pedestrian areas. Pedestrians have priority on multi-use pathways and all-wheeled users are reminded to roll with care.  
Residents are also reminded to lock their bikes securely when leaving them to help prevent theft. U-shaped bike locks offer better protection than cable or chain locks and its best to use a lock that can secure both the bike frame and at least one wheel. Further tips for how to secure your bike when leaving it in public are provided on the Ottawa Police Service website.

2019 Bruce Timmermans Cycling Awards Nominations

The City of Ottawa is seeking nominations for the annual Bruce Timmermans Cycling Awards. The Bruce Timmermans Cycling Awards program was created by the City of Ottawa in honour of Bruce Timmermans. Bruce was a long-time cycling educator and advocate, an active member of the Ottawa Bicycle Club and a founding member of Citizens for Safe Cycling (now Bike Ottawa). Two awards are presented annually in May to recognize outstanding contributions to encourage cycling. One award is presented to an individual and the second to an organization. If you would like to nominate a worthy individual or organization for an award, please visit the City’s website. 
Please note that the Bruce Timmermans Award nomination deadline is November 22, 2019.

Ottawa Cycling Plan Update

The Ottawa Cycling Plan, an accompanying document to the Transportation Master Plan, is the City’s guiding document when it comes to planning and implementing new cycling facilities. The current plan, approved by City Council in 2013, sets out a vision for the City’s cycling network and staff are currently working towards this. Earlier this year, Council approved the scope of work for the update to the Transportation Master Plan to take place over the next 3 years, with an updated Plan to be presented to Council in 2022. The Ottawa Cycling Plan will also be updated over the same timeline and as the update project gets underway, staff will be undertaking various public consultation sessions to hear residents’ feedback on a variety of cycling-related issues. Residents interested in following the update process are advised to visit the Transportation Master Plan Update webpage or e-mail to be added to the project mailing list.

Fall 2019 Round Up

Alongside the projects identified above, other new cycling and pedestrian projects have been under construction through 2019 including a short pathway between Coronation Avenue and Industrial Avenue at Trainyards Drive, a multi-use pathway between the recently constructed Hospital Link pathway and the multi-use pathway on the south side of Smyth Road at the intersection of Roger Guindon Avenue, and the replacement of the Harmer Avenue bridge structure.
Elsewhere, the City has updated its website to reflect what was heard through the public consultation on the updated design for Stage 2 of the O’Connor Street Bikeway. Consultations will also take place this winter for two cross-town bikeway segments.  Laurier Avenue, between Nicholas Street and Waller Street, will be reconfigured to enhance the separation and comfort of cyclists with cycle tracks and protected intersections.  Additionally, Wellington Street between Mackenzie Avenue and O’Connor Street is planned to get a new bidirectional bikeway. The public consultations are planned for late this year and early next year respectively.  You can find out more information on the Laurier Bikeway Project webpage, and the Wellington Bikeway Project webpage, where the updated design and consultation will be posted in due course – watch these spaces.

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