Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bike launch pads on Laurier Avenue

launch pad

If you have been down Laurier Avenue in the last few days you may have noticed these "launch pads". These pads will facilitate the turns of cyclists from the Laurier segregated lanes. According to the City of Ottawa, "To enable safe left turns for cyclists using the pilot facility, bike “launch pads” have been proposed at intersections in front of automobile traffic and pedestrian crosswalks. These launch pads would enable cyclists to safely perform a two-stage left turn: the cyclists would cross the intersection in the designated cycling lane, then would wait on the launch pad for the traffic signal to switch to allow movement on the cross street.

Originally these were going to be blue but green works for me too. This one is at Laurier and Bay but there will likely be more in the next few days. On inspection, they appear to be made of a skid resistant material that should last a good while. I am looking forward to sitting in my launch pad!


  1. If the material is skid resistant maybe they should make under shorts out of it.


  2. Hmmm, anoymous guy named Ray. With a comment like this I wonder who that could be : )

  3. One of the goals of this Laurier Bike Lane was to allow a twelve year old to safely bike down Laurier. I wouldn't let my 12 year old WALK down Laurier!!! And I must admit to never having seen a 12 year old walk down Laurier alone.

    Having to perform a 2 stage Left turn will certainly make me feel like a 12 year old...


  4. Thanks for your comment Demetri. If a twelve year old did want to ride down Laurier, it certainly will become safer to do so. The launch pad is really simple and even a twelve year old will see the directional arrow in the launch pad. Proceed through the green light to the launch pad and wait there for the green in the other direction...easy peasy! And safe, as has been proven elsewhere. Ottawa is taking advantage of the solutions found elsewhere to turning problems with segregated lanes. I hope you try them. Two stage turns may not be as fast as the old way but will be much safer.

  5. how should they handle other left hand situations like Percy street (which is a bike corridor as well)?

    I don't think turning left from directly at Percy and Laurier, is safe you are doing a 90 degree turn.

    ie go down Laurier to Percy. Then try to turn left. what happends?

    either you:

    a) (I think this is the safest option) leave the bike lane 1/4 of block early (which pisses of the motorists).


    b)you make a 90 degree blind turn right at the intersection.

    I think there should be markings on the road to enable option a)...


  6. id love to ride a bicycle, and do ir everyday...

  7. In berlin and other europian cities such left turn areas are common and help to avoid people who wish to keep going straight from crashing into those trying to turn left..... not everyone is a two wheel ninja, willing to cut in front of cars to get into the left turn lane that is used for cars.