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.
RE; “Spaghetti Near Hurdman” – “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 have asked that it be widened but have been told that this is NCC responsibility (!?)– seems logical to widen it so people don’t have to walk or ride through the Hurdman Station per se. It may be necessary to advocate for more action as this narrow path is getting narrower due to plants/weeds.
Speaking of Lees Ave, it is unfortunate that where it meets Main Street (heading downtown)the curb bulges outward and bikes are often squeezed onto the sidewalk as there is not enough room for them and cars/buses. A missed opportunity when Main Street was re-developed
The ugly high chainlink fencing thing is becoming something of a City of Ottawa fetish.
They should take a leaf from Edmonton’s book for LRT fencing: there they put up posts every few metres and drape three chains between them. That’s it. It’s not going to actually stop anyone (but then, neither will chainlink, ultimately) but its purpose is like Police crime scene tape – to tell you not to cross, not to actually try to prevent you from doing so.
That sounds very sensible. I agree no fence keeps a person out, so a clear indicator not to cross a certain property should be enough. Isn’t that the same psychology for traffic lights anyway?
Interesting commentary Hans. As for remarks about Lees Avenue, I am happy to say that creating full cycling tracks was carefully explored, but unhappy to confirm that there was not in fact sufficient road width to make this possible. Some on- street parking did have to be maintained. The city cannot remove all parking.
Thx for responding David, I know the history but it in my modest opinion it is not a matter of width but how far we want to in redesign options and accommodating motorized traffic. I also know I don’t need to convince you. 🙂
Multi Use Pathway
Linda Thom won a gold medal for Canada at one of the Olympics for shooting. It was at a time when Canada rarely won medals. She lived for years (and may still, I don’t know) in those townhouses along the MUP east of Billings Bridge and worked locally as a real estate agent.
Linda Thom Rocks !
She is a wonderful person. A fine example of how to govern yourself as a Human being.
I just cycled by the park and noticed it needs a bit of upgrading. It starts to look a bit tired. (Benches, garbage cans, grass).
The Old Ottawa East cycling and walking infrastructure is some of the best in the city. The wood chip pathway along the river beside Greystone Village will be paralleled with a paved MUP adjacent to a new roadway (hopefully by the fall). Lees cycling is a whole lot better than it was (an eastbound cycling lane was created) but westbound remains problematic. But aside from that, the City has done well. Now if we can just get the MUP on the eastern side of the LRT to open. Took forever to have them re-open the western side.
Thanks for this extra piece of info John. Appreciated.