Since 2011, when Laurier Ave got segregated bike lanes, many other infrastructure projects were built in Ottawa. You may have seen a few of my images in Janette Sadik-Khan’s presentation last night (I couldn’t be there myself, but I heard there were about over 1000 people). If she didn’t use them or if you weren’t able to go, here are a few examples of the improvements the city and the NCC have made. I thought I use a ‘before’ and ‘after’ image, so you can see the difference. There are more examples, but I want to keep the post to a reasonable length.
5th Ave and Queen Elizabeth Drive
Carling (west) – Trans Canada Trail
Laurier Ave and Kent
Island Park Drive at Merivale
The intersection itself saw minor changes, but there was a new path built leading towards the intersection. An improvement was made to get to the path from Island Park.
I noticed the new Albert w. of Bronson signals when I was in town this summer, and couldn’t believe the silliness of the pedestrian signals along the main street. There’s no reason anyone would ever cross there!
I don’t think it’s a provincial policy thing because the nearly-identical bicycle signals we have in Toronto don’t have pedestrian signals across the bike path. Maybe there’s some Ottawa policy that requires pedestrian signals on all approaches.
I can’t say for sure, but it probably depends how certain engineers want to interpret the manuals. Plus, the city can request exemptions for certain traffic situations, which sometimes happens, but sometimes not. It has been widely ridiculed by the way.
The intersection at Queen Elizabeth Drive and Queen Elizabeth Place is badly in need of infrastructure improvements. (Google street view: https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-75.6853476,3a,66.8y,172.87h,89.2t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1stBgnxyZ34E2I-i-Of7gGvA!2e0.) It’s a key cycling node, so it’s surprising it hasn’t been fixed yet. It links the bike path on the Canal with the Bank Street Bridge to access the other side of the Canal, with Old Ottawa South, with Lansdowne Park, and with the Glebe. At rush hour, night, busy weekends, pretty much anytime, it’s very hard to navigate in any direction. For example, heading from Bank Street southbound onto the Canal path, a cyclist has to head down QE Place then jockey with vehicles on QE Place that want to turn right or left onto QE Drive, but because there are no signals, and because traffic on QE Drive tends to travel at 50km/h (the speed limit) or 60+ km/h (the reality), those drivers’ focus is on that break in traffic that gives them their one chance to merge, and not on the cyclist in front or beside them. Cyclists need to cross the entire QE Drive, so they need to wait for a break in both directions. Again, there are no signals, so cyclists have to move it when they get the chance and hope drivers behind or beside give them the room they need to get across safely (imagine that with kids?). As a result, the timing between cars and cyclists might not line up – cars may have to wait for a cyclist to move out of their way before they can turn (leading to frustrated rush-hour drivers which can lead to dangerous attempts to turn ahead of cyclists). The difficulty is similar exiting the Canal path, but with oncoming traffic coming from 3 directions. Suffice to say it’s very very bad.
It is indeed a very odd area. I have heard that a roundabout is considered. But never saw any drawings yet. Best is to email the NCC with your concerns too. The more they here from the public, the better.