This week we check out the new intersection at Colonel By (NCC property) and Main Street. This area was a clear missing link in our cycling network as Main Street has raised bike tracks (mostly) and Colonel By has a pathway along the canal.
As you can see in the image below, it is an odd shaped intersection with a refuge in the centre. There are two parallel roads: Colonel By Drive and Echo Drive. As Main St. approaches in an angle, the design was confusing but for northbound traffic the wide corner made it easy to keep the pedal to metal when turning into Colonel By. Not great for the rest of us.
A few years ago, when work on the canal walls was being done, a detour for pedestrians and cyclists followed along Echo Drive and detoured back to the canal at this intersection where a temporary crosswalk was installed.
From experience when taking tourists on bike tours I remember that not all drivers obeyed the rule that they had to wait for pedestrians crossing here, despite the signs, reinforcing the wish of many residents to build a safe crossing here.
Fortunately, there is now a proper intersection. But…you will miss the bike signals. Which makes the intersection a bit weird for cyclists as the detection wires have already been placed in the pavement. For now, you will have to push the pedestrian light button in order to cross the road. This explains why the city puts up a ‘walk your bike’ sign.
That sign will be temporary though as the city explains to me in this email:
“The installation at Colonel By and Main will have cross rides with green thermoplastic and cycling signal heads once the cycle tracks leading up to them are built to the east along Main Street.
We have detector loops installed at the intersection, but they are not active at this time, and will only be activated once the cycling network gets completed.
Given that partial Federal and Provincial funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) was provided with schedule restrictions for implementation (read: Deadline – Hans on the Bike), we separated out the intersection construction to take advantage of these available funds.
The required underground, utility, and road work yet to be conducted on Main Street, made phased activation necessary, while immediate benefit could be realized.”
So although this intersection currently may look a bit odd, it was a smart move of the city to use the ICIP funds before the deadline approached by splitting off this project from a larger project.
Here are a few images of the intersection I took early September 2022
Is it me, or are there a lot of TWSI’s (Twizzies) in this picture? I don’t recall TWSI’s run across cross rides before. (TWSI stands for Tactile Walking Surface Indicators – the rusty nobbed metal strips at pedestrian crossings).
Emmett Proulx reacted on Twitter with the following:
“It’s a complex topic, but TWSIs across cycle tracks was interim guidance until the City (of Ottawa) improved standards for delineation between pedestrian and cycling spaces. The Protected Intersection Design Guide doesn’t include TWSIs across the cycle track. Newer designs will reflect that.”
Church makes place for ECHO near Main Street
Meanwhile there is also construction going on at the corner of Main Street and Echo Drive. There used to be a church at the corner, but it has been demolished recently and a new 7 storey mid rise called ECHO (in capitals) with “sophisticated boutique apartment rentals – Soak up the nautical charm of passing boats or a peaceful solo paddler” is appearing.
Once known as the Holy Trinity Anglican Church of Archville, and opened in 1877, it was purchased eventually in 1977 by the Portugese community and sold to Uniform Developments a few years back.
John Dance in the Mainstreeter: “Although the church was deemed by the City of Ottawa’s heritage staff to be of heritage “interest,” it was not a “designated” building, which permitted the developer, Uniform Developments, to successfully make the case that they had the right to demolish the building.” And so they did.
Here is a fun snippet from the Ottawa East website:
Years after he served at Holy Trinity, the late Robert Jefferson, Reverend and former Anglican Bishop of Ottawa, co-authored a pamphlet called, “Faith of our Fathers – the Story of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa”. The pamphlet reads in part: “few of the congregations in the Diocese of Ottawa have a rowboat as part of their church property, but when Holy Trinity Church on Canal Road in the village of Archville was built in 1877, a boat was provided to ferry parishioners across the Rideau Canal, there being no nearby bridge”.
Connection with Main St.
It is not entirely clear to me if the bike infrastructure will eventually continue into Main as there is still a missing stretch of a few hundred meters. When Main was revamped, I heard it wasn’t wide enough at that part of Main St. but it becomes even harder to ignore now. To which Councillor Menard reacted after I posted this post:
Read how Main street was transformed into a complete street in this previous post.