Last week I shared several Ottawa cycling infrastructure projects that are finished or close to being finished. You can find that blog post here. We’ll continue this week with another 8 projects.
Colonel By bike tracks extension
Finally, this year, the City built a safe separate connection in front of the Senate from Rideau Street east of Chateau Laurier to the Canal on the Colonel By side. Although there was a southbound bike lane, this vastly improved bike track is now bidirectional and separated by a curb.
St. Patrick at King Edward raised tracks
St Patrick is not a place to bike, it is a major arterial towards Gatineau via King Edward and traffic can be pretty atrocious. However, there is a small new separate bike track built now on St. Patrick towards King Edward. This track allows you to stay away from the two northbound turning lanes. The previous bike lane used to run through the middle, with cars on both sides.
You can now stay on the separate track and cross the two lanes at the light instead. I would have liked it even more if the crossride (a “crosswalk” for cyclists) was situated right next to the crosswalk. Unfortunately, it doesn’t start at the Beausoleil/St.Patrick intersection, but a 100 meters west of the intersection. You can use St. Andrews and Michael Riel Private to bypass that scary little remaining stretch of St. Patrick or simply continue on St. Andrews and cross at the bike signals at King Edward (green dotted line). Careful when you cross there, because more than once I have seen drivers going through red there.
Fun fact: when cycling by on St. Patrick, I saw two people stealing pavers and loading them in a plastic crate. Given the weight of pavers, I think they have to do a lot of trips for a very low cost product.
Lincoln Fields pedestrian bridge
There used to be a long bridge across the Transitway from Sackville St to Woodroffe High School. The new bridge is built slightly north of the old bridge. I don’t find it a particularly attractive bridge. But at 5 metre wide, it is a nice route to avoid Carling.
Bank Street bike track infrastructure
A long standing issue in the Glebe has been the lack of safety on the Bank Street bridge across the Canal. With four ‘car’ lanes and two narrow sidewalks, this bridge was finally adjusted to the increasing demand for active transportation. A car lane was removed in order to build separate bike track infrastructure. The tracks are slightly lower than the new sidewalk but higher than the road. At the bottom of the bridge you can turn into quieter streets and connect to the Rideau Canal.
I would not be surprised if the City of Ottawa has built more protected intersections than any other city in Canada. Here are two examples. One protected intersection was finished this year at Romina St. and Eagleson Rd. in Kanata South. (left image). Another one was built on Longfields and Highbury Park in Barrhaven (right image) across from an area with schools and a sports facilities.
Montreal Road complete street
Montreal Road has been a $25 million construction zone for several years, but finally this year the last part of the road towards Saint Laurent was finished. This means you can now cycle from St. Laurent to the Vanier Parkway on raised bike tracks, due to underground infrastructure renewal. It all feels very tight with trees, signs, bus stops etc, but we have to remember these tracks are not built to set a new Strava record on your bike, but for local shopping and visiting services. What is important to remember here is that the BIA was squarely behind adding cycling infrastructure, which is not always the case. Kudos to Nathalie Carrier, executive director of the Quartier Vanier BIA.
It is very unfortunate that the tracks stop at the Vanier Parkway to accommodate turning lanes on Montreal at River Road. I think that was a wrong decision. I bike on the road between Vanier Parkway and River Road anyway but I can imagine not everyone will. The City has provided a not overly welcoming, somewhat shady bypass from the Vanier Parkway to River Road by building a shortcut behind the Tim Hortons’ to Mark Ave. From Mark Ave you can connect to the pathways along the Rideau river.
Lincoln Fields Shopping Mall
This one was a surprise. All of a sudden a photo of councillor Kavanagh at a new MUP appeared in my social media feed. The mall owners built a multi use pathway right through the mall property! This whole area is slated for renewal over the next 25 years. The first 10,000 ft proposals see highrises, a park, better active transportation connections and around 11000 new housing units around the Lincoln Fields transit hub. Picture captured by Patrick McKay.
O’Connor infrastructure improvements
O’Connor, downtown, has a separated bidirectional cycling lane for several years. Unfortunately, it has quite a number of side streets. Normally, you wouldn’t build bidirectional bike infrastructure in a downtown setting with many intersections, but the city choose to do so, I suspect for cost reasons. This way, they only had to modify one side of the street. To improve safety, the city now added several improvements to slow down traffic turning into one of the side streets. Extra reinforced posts should further slow down drivers. Note that the sidewalks and the bike tracks continue across the side street. That is usually not the case but you’ll see it built more often in the future.
We also celebrated the opening of the Trillium pathway near Carling again, after being closed for 13 months in order to adjust the LRT station down below. Advocacy to create an alternative route didn’t go anywhere unfortunately. But then another part was closed next to the hospital construction site, which is an even bigger pain in the butt. I also cycled across a creek on a new bridge between the Aviation Parkway and Blasdell Ave but I am not sure if that was there already last year. Photo below.
Check out the first part of the 2023 cycling infrastructure updates here. Did I miss any cycling infrastructure projects? Let me know on the connect page or in the comments below.
Thank you to the several people who helped spot projects, gather information and took photos (you know who you are).
Recent blogs from Hans on the Bike
- The Short Life of the Ottawa & New York RailwayReading Time: 12 minutes At some time in our history, Ottawa had a direct train connection to the Adirondecks and Tupper Lake in New York State via Cornwall. From there, you could travel further south to New York City. The original idea was to create a direct connection to NY, NY, but that didn’t materialise. (with video of the route)
- The Food Map of Merivale Road in 2024Reading Time: 4 minutes This is the second year I am posting a Merivale Rd Food map. The 2024 Merivale Food map shows all food outlets on a stretch of Merivale Road, and the post describes who left and who started.
- Will the Rideau Canal open for skating this year?Reading Time: 5 minutes The Rideau Canal in Ottawa has been a beloved skating destination since 1970. However, warmer winters are affecting its ice quality and duration. With fewer days open in recent years, speculation arises about this year’s opening. Upcoming cold nights could lead the canal to open end of January and when it does, don’t wait to go out.
- More new cycling infrastructure in Ottawa – part 2/2Reading Time: 7 minutes Last week I showed a number of new bicycle infrastructure improvements in Ottawa. This week we’ll look at several more new bike infrastructure projects in the city.
- Cycling infra updates in Ottawa in 2023 – part 1/2Reading Time: 8 minutes As 2023 comes to an end, I made an overview of the cycling projects that are (nearly) finished in Ottawa this year. Here is part 1 of 2 posts.
- New Raised Bike Tracks on Byron AveReading Time: 5 minutes Part of Byron Ave in Ottawa recently went through an integrated road, sewer and watermain upgrade. The city used that as an opportunity to upgrade the road with separate bike infrastructure. Let’s have a look!