Hurdman Transitway bridge reopened
The Hurdman transitway bridge is open again for cycling and walking now the Transitway has been converted to LRT. The pedestrian and cycling space next to the tracks, separated by a high fence, is an important link over the Rideau River. It connects with the NCC eastern pathways, which connect to the Hospital Link I described earlier this month. It also connects with Lees Ave LRT station and Hurdman Station as well as to the western pathway along the Rideau River which is currently being developed.Not all is in place though but since I was in the area, I thought I take some extra photos in the area.
Spaghetti near Hurdman
I am starting just east of Hurdman station, where a path coming from the Industrial Rd. area goes around Hurdman station. The part that I saw looked quite narrow. I don’t know if that will be upgraded. There is another path going underneath the LRT line, but this one is not entirely finished yet. The whole area is a bit of spaghetti of paths and I never know what goes where: a few directional signs would be great. Small directional signs like ‘Hurdman station’, ‘Via Rail’, ‘Adawe bridge’, ‘Lees station’ and even ‘Hospital’, ‘Rideau Falls’ or ‘downtown’ would help a lot.
New path from Hurdman
When crossing the Rideau River westbound towards Lees Ave, you will notice there is now a path going underneath the Hurdman Bridge. Northbound, the path runs behind the U of O Gee-Gees football field towards Strathcona Park and towards an old rail bridge crossing the Rideau River that gets you to the VIA Rail station (closed for the LRT construction) and further towards the Max Keeping Bridge over the Queensway.
Southbound, on the west side, the path runs along the Rideau River and connects Springhurst Park, Brantwood Park and Windsor Park. Parts of the paths are paved already, other parts are being built. The path connects nicely to the new developments on the Oblate Lands off Main Street.
The path going underneath the Hurdman bridge is very nicely landscaped, I think though that I read that the path is prone to flooding in spring time. It is unfortunate to see the hideous 6 feet high fences that are starting to pop up more and more.
I understand the risk of a steep decline, but that could be solved with 3-4 feet high fences too, partly covered up by greenery eventually. If a 6 feet fence is built to keep people out, then 4 feet will do too. Yes, it is easier to climb over a 4 feet fence, but then you will do that on purpose; I can fairly easily climb over a 6 ft fence too, so maybe the fence should be 8ft or perhaps even 10ft just to be sure?
Following the path you’ll veer to the left to arrive behind the Oblate lands development. The path is partly paved now. This new development is partly the result of a cooperation between the developer and area residents. Initially it was going to be yet another suburb in the downtown area, but eventually the developer saw the light (kudos) and adjusted the plans.
Towards Carleton U and Rideau Canal Hartwell Locks
Further down the pathway, you‘ll cycle behind residential areas along the river, towards Smyth Rd. bridge, which is officially called the George McIlraith bridge. Keep following the path and you’ll end up at Bank Street. You’ll cycle through Linda Thom Park (who is Linda Thom?) and when you take quiet residential Cameron Ave, bidirectional for cyclists, you eventually enter Carleton U and just behind Carleton, the Hartwell Locks and the NCC pathways.
Bike Ottawa always hammers on connecting what we have already. This is a nice example of better connections. I still find it unfortunate that Lees doesn’t have separate bike infrastructure as I am sure there is enough space to do so and it would become a much more pleasant ride. But that station was passed a few years ago.
There is another new pathway just somewhat east of the Hurdman bridge. Read about the Hospital Link here.