Friday, January 6, 2012

The Laurier SBL is clear but how do you get to it?

I was surprised by the number of cyclists I saw today in the snow and messy conditions. The Laurier Avenue segregated bike lanes SBL) were in good shape today as the city had their little machines keeping them clear and salted during the day. However, it was very annoying (to say the least) to see the shape of both the Lyon and Bay Street bike lanes. Just like last year they were completely covered in snow and unusable as bike lanes. The multi-use pathway along the canal was snow-covered as well. Bike lanes are the responsibility of the city and the multi-use pathways (MUP) are maintained by the National Capital Commission. Both bodies seem interested in encouraging cycling in Ottawa. The city is making an effort to keep the Laurier SBL clear, but if you can't get to it on a reasonably well-maintained route is the effort worth it in the end? The lanes on Lyon and Bay, and the MUP, are all well-used bike pathways and it would have been nice to see them maintained as part of a network along with the Laurier SBL.

Laurier SBL

The Laurier SBL looking east from Bay Street. Well salted and plowed but can you get to it?

Lyon BL

Lyon Street bike lane...yes, it's there under the snow and slush.

Bay BL

Bay Street bike lane...what is the sign pointing at? A bike lane?

MUP cyclist

The snow-covered MUP along the Queen Elizabeth Driveway and a dedicated cyclist.


  1. FYI City of Ottawa plows are used to clear the pathways along the Rideau Canal, I suspect through an agreement with the NCC.

  2. Thanks Charles. I've noticed the city plows on the pathway but is it to the NCC's standard or to their own? It would be nice if they could adopt one standard for all the bike pathways wouldn't it?

  3. Biking in winter must be crazy. The motorcycles stay home.....

  4. Michael and Hanne, it can actually fun. Riding in fresh snow is not so bad...icy slush, not so good. There are certainly more people doing it these days.

  5. Quote - Studded tires work miracles - End Quote

  6. Well one more reason not to bother clearing the bike lane in the winter... or even use a bike at all! Instead you should switch to skates or skis...

  7. Anon2, umm, no thanks! All that waxing and skate sharpening would be a real drag!

  8. I think biking is fun in winter