Dutch Style Intersections at Dynes Road

Dutch style intersection with separate bike tracks in green
Fisher running north south, Deer Park on the west side and Dynes on the east side: a Dutch style intersection

Dynes Road will get a make over as there is sewer work to be done. Much of the cycling infrastructure is usually put in place when the sewers have to be replaced. Main Street was an example of that. The road is open anyway, so this is a good reason to rebuild the street and these cost don’t eat into the cycling budget. So essentially we’ll get free Dutch style intersections.

The residents at Dynes complained about speeding and part of the reason is that the road is very wide. (Mind you, it is drivers who speed, not roads). The part of Dynes near Fisher has a strip on the south side that appears to be a parking zone, but no one parks there as the south side is a school property and the north side has houses with driveways. So that strip is mostly used by cyclists and school kids who don’t bother crossing the road to the sidewalk at the north side.

Bike lanes and bike tracks

Dynes will get mostly on-road bike lanes on both sides, but will have partly raised bike tracks closer to Prince of Wales.  The really exciting thing is that the slip lanes (the traffic bypass lanes) at Dynes and Prince of Wales will be removed. The intersection is unnecessary large in terms of pavement and makes for lazy driving: you hardly have to take your foot of the gas. It is not friendly for cycling and walking. Further complicating is the gas station at the corner, with wide entrances as you can see in the picture below.

The current Dynes - Prince of Wales intersection is one grand oversized asphalt fest
The current Dynes – Prince of Wales intersection is one grand oversized asphalt fest – Google screen grab

Dutch style intersections coming your way

In the following picture, you ‘ll see the newly planned Dutch style intersections. Also note that on the east side of Prince of Wales, you can see that the bike tracks going north are bypassing the lights. That is somewhat of a novelty in Ottawa and something Bike Ottawa has asked for a number of times. As cyclists know, having to produce your own power, nothing is more frustrating than having to stop for a sign or light (especially if the light turns green just when you come to a full stop), so the easier the law makes it the less likely people break the law and the more pleasant it is to bike. Every one is happy.

The much improved intersection. Some corners may have to smoothed out a bit more
The much improved intersection. Some corners may have to be smoothed out a bit more.

Note: Ideally though, Meadowlands should have bike tracks all the way from Centrepointe to Hog’s Back as a trunk bike route. There is still a chance for the Prince of Wales to Fisher part, but the part from Fisher to Merivale was redone a few years ago; we missed a huge opportunity there to add bike infrastructure. Faded sharrows and Share the Road signs are all there are now. The 40k/h signs are largely ignored.

Dutch style intersection with separate bike tracks in green
Fisher running north – south, Deer Park on the west side and Dynes on the east side: a Dutch style intersection. The south east corner bike lane Dynes bound merges to quick into traffic. Likely a property line issue.

Greekfest

Although I am generally not in favour of bike lanes as a means to slow motorised traffic down (that would be the wrong reason to put them in), I do think the Dynes residents will notice a change in speed. Nearly everyone has driveways, so I am not concerned about parking. And during Greekfest the organizers always puts  shuttle service in to St Pius X high school anyway for the parking overflow. With an average of about 8 cars parked or so, parking shouldn’t be an issue if 19 are provided. Everyone wins. If you want more detail, check the drawings here.

UPDATE

Eric Darwin made some small comments in the comment box and sent the two following screen shots separately to me. The first one shows the extended curbs so that cyclists won’t be hit from behind. The second one shows an extend bike lane in the lower corner (arrow).

Small suggestions to easy in and out of the driving lanes
Small suggestions to easy in and out of the driving lanes
Smoother exit lane on Prince of Wales south bound
Smoother exit lane on Prince of Wales south bound

Emotions ran a bit high at the meeting, read what was said here.

2 Comments

  1. The Fisher intersection has curbs at the corners that direct motor traffic to turn right into what becomes the cycle lane. Wouldn’t it be better for the curb to gently direct motor traffic into the vehicle lane only, with the road widening out a few feet as the “protected intersection” bit of cycle track joins the road to become a “lane”?

    This would help keep cars out of the cycle lane, and allow cycles to carry on from the track to the lane portion smoothly, knowing it is unlikely to find cars in the cycle lane, which the current design allows.

    This design would also make the cycle lane discontinuous thru the intersection, ie cyclists would be obliged / encouraged to take the protected cycle track thru the intersection rather than some cyclists on the track and some (insert bearded lycra speed demon comment here) on the “lane” beside the cars.

    Surely one of the objectives of the design to separate cyclists and cars, and to let everyone know where everyone else is, for safety reasons. Rather than the mixed message this city design proposes.

    The “after intersection” section of track is waaaaaay to short, as it is on ALL city protected intersections. These short track segments deliver cyclists onto the shared road too quickly, and make for unexpected “merges” or “share the road” situations. This awkward and dangerous merge maneuver is compounded by ending the protected track portion just before the commercial driveway entrance/exit where turning vehicles increase the probability of an accident. The track should continue thru the dangerous commercial driveway spot another 50′ or so, then merge onto the road.

    • This was indeed something we had noticed but I wanted to stay mum to see if others would make the same observation. It is indeed a design flaw that is on the list to address with the designers. I will post the pics you have sent separately as an update at the bottom of the blog post.

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  1. Emotions at Dynes Road Info Session | Hans on the Bike
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