Ramping up the Ramps

Ottawa City council gets input from several advisory groups (soon to be abandoned apparently) on specific issues. One of those groups is called the Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee aka RCAC. RCAC has 9 members at large and 3 representatives from the cycling community, amongst others the Ottawa Bicycle Club and Citizens for Safe Cycling. This is a valuable channel [Read more…]

bus shelter Rijssen

Rain Sensor for Dutch Cyclists – “Braille” for the Viennese Pedestrian

No more seeking shelter in this bus stop for this Dutch family when rain threatens. Picture: Urban Commuter Ottawa Dutch city of Groningen councillor Karin Dekker activated the first rain sensor in the city with the highest bike modal share in the world. The sensor measures rain and snow. If precipitation is measured, the traffic light cycle changes, so that [Read more…]

Bikeway image by Dennis Leung - Ottawa Citizen

Whoosh!

You probably read already that Ottawa city staff is designing a bike way through the city. Some will argue that it is yet another example of a waste of tax payer’s money (as if $220,000,000 for the Queensway isn’t), but the reality is, that it will be a long term gain. The idea behind a bike way is to create a safe corridor [Read more…]

Halifax Revisited

She is young, she is bright and she is an entrepreneur. Twenty four year old Sarah Craig decided to forego a government career in CO2 calculations (who can blame her?) and decided to start a bike rental shop on the board walk in Halifax. Really, how many people, fresh from university start a bike shop? I decided to visit Sarah [Read more…]

A Bow to Calgary

Last week I spent four days in Calgary. In terms of layout, there are many similarities with Ottawa: our Ottawa River (albeit a tad bigger) is Calgary’s Bow River, the Elbow River meandering from the south is our Rideau River. Ottawa has the Queensway, Calgary has its railway tracks running through down town. (I once spent a few days in [Read more…]

Opening Laurier Bike Lane in style

Approximately 150 people gathered on the hot Sunday afternoon of July 10th, 2011 to witness the opening of the Laurier Bike Lane, which runs through downtown Ottawa. This bike lane is the first one of its kind in downtown Ottawa, to accomodate cylists who are not yet comfortable sharing the road with the hectic downtown traffic. City staff and cycling [Read more…]

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The Mystery of the Scenic Orange Road Barrel

We’re obsessed with safety. We make big orange road barrels to mark an upcoming danger to make sure no accidents happen. However, if someone calls in for a large dangerous pothole, you’d think road crews just go to Tim Hortons, have a smoke, stare to the pothole and eventually fill the hole. No such thing: the city or the NCC [Read more…]

NCC study on winter pathway usage

The NCC commissoned a study on the usage of their pathways in wintertime. Although some claim that the winters in Ottawa are ‘cold and dark’ the numbers might stun you. Here are some results: Close to four in ten (36%) Canada’s Capital Region residents aged 16 and older (some 196,000 individuals) have used a recreational pathway during the winter months. [Read more…]