As it was finished late last year, this bit of bike infrastructure dropped off the radar screen somewhat. At the very north end of Parkdale, it is a bit of a pain in the neck to get to the Ottawa River Pathway/Trans Canada Trail. The northbound stretch on the east end of the Tunney’s Pasture buildings is usually OK to cycle ( I am never there during rush hour though), but then you get this onramp after the Indonesian Embassy to the SJAM Parkway eastbound (towards Downtown and Gatineau) and the off ramp coming from the parkway. This whole area is clearly designed for car traffic with no infrastructure for residents on the bike.
Cycling northbound, you had to cross Parkdale more or less before the ramps in order to get to the pathways. That wasn’t ideal. Last Fall (2014) the city made an interesting change. Cycling northbound, you can now keep cycling until you are underneath the Parkway. Once you are (nearly) there, you can either stay on the right and wait in a dedicated place (cut out) or you can move from the right curb to the median and set yourself up in the median to cross. The choice is yours.
As I was there on Bike Sundays (Ottawa’s Cyclovia, every Sunday between mid May and early September since 1970), the road was closed so I couldn’t see how fast motorized traffic is.
When I was taking the pictures, someone who recognised me stopped (“Hey Hans”) (or was he nervous about that middle aged man lurking with a camera underneath the bridge) and he mentioned he thinks the traffic goes too fast to safely cross there as Parkdale dips there a bit. He (with his two little kids) still prefers to move over earlier before the on ramp behind the Indonesian embassy so he is away from motorised traffic earlier.
The drawing below shows in RED the new suggested crossing of Parkdale and in GREEN, the route the father with the two kids decided to keep using.
On and of ramps are a major deterrent for residents who need to cycle there and these ones are not even that bad. A better -albeit more expensive- alternative would have been an earlier cross ride across to the west side, and continue a multi-use pathway northbound as I show below. At the off ramp, you’ll build a proper 90 degree angle cross ride with yield signs and then you connect to the existing path. Only the bottom part of the orange line needs to be built, about 60 meters north towards Goldenrod, the rest is already there but could be improved for another -hold your breath- 40 meters. See map below.
I am not convinced the cut is used much. Road dust, leaves and garbage are usually signs a certain spot is not used much. All of it was there. I am a bit confused with the paint too. It is definitely not the epoxy/acrylic material that is used on Laurier Ave. It doesn’t really scream “Use me!”
Have you used the new set up? Did you happen to use it during rush hour? Let me know.