Friday, February 18, 2011

Another segregated bike lane for Ottawa!

The NCC has announced some more good news for those who would like to cycle more in the downtown core. The following item is courtesy of the Centretown News.

"A National Capital Commission pilot project will see a segregated bike lane on Wellington Street as early as this summer.

The NCC plan follows the city’s recent approval of a highly controversial segregated lane for cyclists along Laurier Avenue, which was strenuously opposed by the Bank Street Promenade BIA before it was given a green light earlier this month.

The NCC’s planned Wellington Street route for its segregated lane stretches from Bay Street to the Portage Bridge. The protected lane is to run westbound along Wellington Street, with a non-segregated, eastbound lane marked in paint on the southside of the street.

NCC spokeswoman Jasmine Leduc called the northside route a “temporary segregated bike lane” that will be closely studied before officials determine whether it will become a permanent part of the downtown streetscape – and possibly whether it would be extended further east along Wellington."

Hopefully it will eventually be extended to cover the length of Wellington. The NCC is working with the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau to make Ottawa a bike friendly capital. Small steps now but it's a start.


  1. I suppose we should make sure to use it the segregated lane as much as possible this summer as usage will probably help determine whether or not it will be made permanent. /Marie

  2. I used to travel along that part of Wellington from the War Museum to Wellington & Lyon.It was a horrendous ride. Especially just west of Lyon all of the cars turning right to head up Lyon from Wellington. (there are 2 right hand turning lanes) I would usually travel along the sidewalk. It was at 6:30 in the morning so I was not really in any pedestrians way. I don't usually use sidewalks but this area was dangerous to cyclists.

  3. @Marie, I agree. I think it will be well used judging by the packed bike racks at the government buildings across the bridge in Gatineau.
    @Rob, it is dangerous. I believe it is #3 on the Citizens for Safe Cycling's list of problem areas.

  4. @All, yeah...let's distort reality so if it turns out to be a stupid implementation, we all get stupider. All bike facilities are good. To hell with science.

  5. Anonymous, I posted your comment but in future if you have anything to say, say it respectfully. And if you want to talk about science then kindly back up what you are saying with science.

  6. Sorry Chris. To be clear- How about we all use the facility as required for our daily activities, and if it proves itself cost-effective and safe to the NCC and City, then they decide whether it should become permanent. Solve the problem by identifying, testing, and weighing options, rather than jump to the politically trendy fixz.
    There is way too much distorting numbers going on these days.

  7. @Anonymous, Thank you.
    "Identifying, testing, and weighing options"...
    I think that is the idea. The Laurier Ave segregated lane is a pilot project only. If the numbers don't warrant it they may put it back to the way it is now. I think the Wellington lane would be a safety issue and there are no commercial enterprises that would be compromised.

    "Too much distorting numbers". This is always the case. The local BIA did quote a Copenhagen study on the increase in injuries with the segregated lane but they did not mention (deliberately excluded?) that this was due to several factors including a huge increase in cycling commuters. As well, Copenhagen fixed the infrastructure problem that had caused many of the accidents. The Ottawa planners are bringing these solutions in from the start.

    To take a different tact though...most people would agree that Ottawa has lacked cohesive and exciting urban planning for most of its history. Rightly or wrongly, the city, the NCC and the city of Gatineau have decided they would like to make the capital more bike- friendly. Influenced by the cycle summits and urban planning architects, they have made the decision to try and influence how we will live in the future. It may be bold and it may not work. But I think it is a good idea. People can adopt new ideas and new lifestyles. Coffee culture is a great example. 20 years ago, who would have thought there would be a cafe on half the street corners downtown?