Last week, I cycled along the renovated canal walls on Colonel By. The path there has been repaved after extensive work on the walls, but I was a bit disappointed that the path wasn’t made any wider now everything was open anyway.
Most of the multi use pathway is a fair bit away from the road, which makes it a much nicer cycling experience. Unfortunately, the stretch east-ish of the Bank Street bridge runs right next to the road, a stretch of about 400 metres. At the other side of the road there is an area that is really mostly serving no one.
Narrower lanes for Colonel By
The road surface of Colonel By is about 30 feet wide, 15 feet or 5 meters each way. That is way too much, even for presidential rides into town. A ‘normal’ lane is at the most 3.50 mtr wide. If we’d cut the lane back to that size there, it would allow for 2 x 1.50 m or 3 meter extra to use as a grassy landscaped buffer between the path and the road.
May 24, 2017, A five-year-old boy died after being struck by a vehicle on Lake Shore Boulevard in Toronto; he fell off a similar path into traffic. It was the third child to die in a road related ‘incident’ (quoting CTV- Toronto here) this year in Toronto.
Bidirectional lanes running next to fast traffic should have some kind of separation. The Portage bridge bike lanes over the Ottawa river is another place waiting for a collision to happen.
This was a missed opportunity to move that part of the road a meter or two to the east now the path was open anyway, or simply narrow the road if we want to save money. I know, I know, it wasn’t part of the project and likely different land managers, but it would have been such a great opportunity.
Even a three feet band of pavers, such as is done across the canal along the stretch near Lansdowne would improve this. Also visually.