This week, Metroland’s Ottawa Community News reporter Megan DeLaire wrote an article on local Greely residents who are proposing a 10-15 km bicycle network to connect their 20 or so neighbourhoods in the more rural part of Ottawa.
It is encouraging to see local residents not only asking for safe bike infrastructure, but also willing to help design it. Kristine van der Pas-Norenius is heading the committee. She is also co-owner of Tulips & Maple, a local catering company (and her name sounds suspiciously Dutch btw). It is nice to see the residents are designing a closed loop, so you can start anywhere. Let’s hope Ottawa standardises some kind of signage. Here is the article.
A group of Greely residents has come up with a way to connect the community’s neighbourhoods using a 10 to 15 km bicycle network. Since last May, the Greely Pathways Committee has met monthly to devise the route, which will use existing streets and pathways, as well as new linkages through public and private property.
20 little neighbourhoods
“Greely is about 20 little neighbourhoods right now,” said Kristine van der Pas-Norenius, who heads the committee. “We’re one of the fastest growing communities in Ottawa and we have a population of about 10,000 people, but we’re disconnected. We’re separated. All our little neighbourhoods are separated by our big roads.”
So the group has proposed building three linkages – one through Andy Shields Park, one through the Quinn Farm development and one to the northwest that was not confirmed as of the publishing of this story – that will connect the area’s existing paths and roadways to create a bike friendly loop. The loop will connect Greely neighbourhoods from Waddion Drive in the west, to Andy Shields Park in the east and from South Village Drive to the north, down to Scottanne Street.
With help from Osgoode Coun. George Darouze, the group has received a green light from the city to build a path through Andy Shields Park, and van der Pas-Norenius said the owner of the Quinn Farm development has given the group permission to construct a path there. Van der Pas-Norenius said Darouze has been instrumental in helping to make the bike route a reality.
Councillor “Super Supportive”
“We had a meeting with George and found out he was super supportive of this,” she said. “So he really made it important in his office and did a lot of work with the city to help make it happen.” Darouze confirmed in a meeting of the Greely Community Association on Dec. 9 that the city would commit $100,000 to the project, and would conduct traffic studies of some of the potentially problematic intersections the route will cross.
“Every crossing will be designed and it will be signed by the city,” Darouze said. “So the major crossings like Stagecoach (Road), Old Prescott (Road), and Bank Street, these are crossings that we, the City of Ottawa permitted and we are looking for the funding for it so we can get it approved.”
As for when Greely residents can expect to able to hit the stone dust path, van der Pas-Norenius said the linkages will have to be constructed in two phases, but hopes to begin work on the first phase by spring, 2016. “For sure we can do the south phase of the loop in the spring,” she said.
“We’re hoping to get the actual construction part done (within) a month, and then we want to promote it to residents so in the second month we hope to get the map printed and distributed. Our wish list is to complete the whole loop next summer so everyone can use it. But who knows.”
Article copied with permission from Ottawa Community News.
Do you want to know what happened in the end? Here is a follow up story when we actually cycled the Greely Loop a few years later: Cycling the Greely Loop
Link to the original article: http://www.ottawacommunitynews.com/news-story/6200517-group-announces-plans-to-build-greely-bike-network/
Great to see communities outside of the core showing enthusiasm for biking and successfully pushing for safe infrastructure! Similarly, Embrun & Russel have linked their two towns via the New York Fitness Trail (see https://ottawavelooutaouais.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/the-new-york-central-fitness-trail/)