It took virtually everyone by surprise, but all of a sudden it was there. A MUP along the LRT Confederation line between Ottawa U station and Hurdman station, creating a direct connection between downtown and the VIA Rail station. The first reactions I read are very positive so it was time to check it out and put some images in a blog post for those who haven’t seen it or live out of town.
The path is obviously a by-product of the LRT project and I am guessing its main reason is actually a service road in case there is an issue with a train and first responders have to get to the train. Cycling from City Hall to the VIA rail station is now a breeze and when VIA is starting to accept bicycles on trains in a few years, we get to see some multi-modal pieces falling into place.
The route in pictures
I am taking you on a photo trip from City Hall to The Via Rail station in the images below.
The paths around Hurdman are a nightmare to figure out. That is nothing new but the number of intersections and forks in the road are mind boggling. The expanded Hurdman station has made it even more cumbersome to figure out where to go.
As part of it is NCC jurisdiction (closer to the river) and part of it is City of Ottawa/OC Transpo, I am not holding my breath that the bureaucracy can figure out how to properly guide people to the Via Rail station, Byward Market, the shores of the Rideau River and the Max Keeping bridge/Baseball stadium to name but a few destinations/routes.
Great network addition
The path is a great addition to the network. It gets you in and out of town really quickly. I heard that the path will continue north from Ottawa U station towards Laurier Ave. along the LRT corridor eventually. That would be a nice addition. Currently, the path follows more or less this line after the dog leg over the canal:
Isn’t it ironic?
As I am writing this, the LRT is still not open to the public yet while the path is open since spring. To quote Ottawa native Alanis Morisette: Isn’t it ironic?”
You may also want to read my post on Visiting Hurdman Bridge with some more images of new pathway around the bridge.
Yes, there is an urgent need for signage in the scrubland south of Hurdman Station. But then there has been the same urgent need for many decades in the spaghetti at the south end of the Portage Bridge.
On the bright side, after yet another blockage of the Trilliun path (Q’way underpass this time), and an initial long and hilly diversion signed via Bayswater Avenue, the city came up with an excellent route via Preston Street including a lane closed to traffic. Pity the NCC did not close a SJAM lane at Woodroffe during the springtime washout repair of the MUP there…very dangerous.
Appreciate the tips and photos. For baseball fans like me, the access to “RCGT” park by bike is fantastic with a dedicated bike path over the Vanier Parkway. Agree that the pavement before the Max Keeping bridge is lousy, but it still beats the road. Keep up the good work!
early in the LRT planning process and route examination the city took the position that a service lane was required all along the LRT route but it would be “too dangerous” to share that with cyclists or pedestrians. I expect it was cost considerations that caused them to back off that position.
the route from uOttawa to Hurdman and the multitude of connections it offers truly reshapes the cyclist and pedestrian image of the city. It is very functional. Yet was such a route identified as a cycling link when doing cycle route planning? It seems to have come about serendipitously, which says volumes about the utility of bureaucratic master planning.
The trillium pathway was also a hard push for advocates to get implemented. City hall experts saw little or no value in it. Now it is ridiculously popular. City staff has also been reluctant to fully promote the east-west route from downtown along Albert-Scott to Churchill.
As for signs … last evening I noticed the new black-style LRT-cycling sign at uOttawa mounted to the tunnel portal had half fallen off. By time I returned a few hours later and could take a picture, it was gone completely. Not yet open, and falling apart already …