Is Ottawa’s Bixi Bike Missing Its Target Group?

Reading Time: 6 minutes (See for a spring 2012 update at the bottom of this page). Since the Bixi bikes (Bixi bike is rental bike that you can pick up and leave at a number of unmanned fixed locations) were introduced in Ottawa on May 18th 2011, over 13,000 (13,187 to be precise) times a bike was taken out of one of the ten stations. There are one hundred bikes, divided over ten stations. De average time a Bixi was used is 85 minutes. 24% of the bixis is used in Gatineau versus 76% in Ottawa. That makes sense as there are seven stations [Read more…]

NCC Bike Sundays: 10 Great Summer Pics

Reading Time: 3 minutes For a North European, closing the road for people to cycle feels a bit odd; people simply cycle every day everywhere over there. As long as you have to close roads, you obviously have a (perceived) safety issue among the population. However, North Americans consider cycling still mostly a sport (although it is changing), which you do in an enclosed environment, like on track, in a hall, or in this case a closed circuit. Canada’s National Capital Commission has been closing a number of parkways (kind of beautified roads, with lots of landscaping to impress locals and foreign dignitaries alike) [Read more…]

Opening Laurier Bike Lane in style

Reading Time: 4 minutes Approximately 150 people gathered on the hot Sunday afternoon of July 10th, 2011 to witness the opening of the Laurier Bike Lane, which runs through downtown Ottawa. This bike lane is the first one of its kind in downtown Ottawa, to accomodate cylists who are not yet comfortable sharing the road with the hectic downtown traffic. City staff and cycling advocates have been successfully joining forces over the last two years to establish the long awaited down town cycling improvement. The lane came out under budget and ahead of schedule so that it could be enjoyed in the summer. The City’s bike lane [Read more…]

The Segregated Sisters of Bike Land

Reading Time: 3 minutes My wife thinks I am crazy, but I can’t resist taking bicycle pictures while on holidays (about 200 more waiting for you). To celebrate the opening of the Laurier bike lane on July 10th, 2011 in Ottawa, here are a few images of our recent trip to Holland and Sweden. Seg bike lanes come in all kinds and I thought it is neat to see how other countries deal with an increasing number of cyclists on their roads. Scandinavia has an interesting concept: they often have shared pathways right along the car lanes, but elevated. Probably a good and relatively [Read more…]

Tuning up Place Vanier

Reading Time: 2 minutes Place Vanier is struggling with bike theft. The bikes are parked outside and individual attempts to get the manager to make more space for cyclists inside have not resulted in anything positive. Some individuals are now joining forces in a working group to get the management to pay more attention to the fact that it is already 2011. A prime locations for cyclists, on the Rideau River with its wonderful paths, Place Vanier management is not pulling its weight. The only inside parking is a miserable ten bike wheel bender bike rack under the stairs, with barely any space to [Read more…]

Capital Velo Fest Ottawa a Relaxed Affair

Reading Time: 3 minutes Today was a gorgeous day for Capital Velo Fest, the first bicycle festival in Ottawa. The weather was cooperating, the 60% change of showers never came and the twenty or so booths of companies and organisations like Envirocentre, Citizens for Safe Cycling and the Ottawa Bicycle Club attracted enough people to make it a nice social outing. Although most visitors were cyclists already, there was new stuff to see for them too. Especially the two cargo bikes, brought in by Tall Tree Bicycles, attracted a lot of attention, as did the recumbent bikes of Ergo Cycles in Ottawa. Everyone agreed [Read more…]

Successful Hintonburg Kids Ride

Reading Time: 2 minutes There is hope. A new generation of cyclists is taking to the roads. Kathleen Wilker organised a kids ride on May 28th from the Hintonburg Community Centre to the Parkdale Market and Arts Fair. Despite a somewhat gray morning, a few dozen kids and their parents came out for the ride of less than one kilometer. Kathleen gets it. No need for grants, no large advertising campaigns, just roll up the sleeves and organise a neighbourhood event. A very simple ride for the kids and T-shirts for the best decorated bikes made this a nice community event that doesn’t cost [Read more…]

Quelle différence!

Reading Time: < 1 minute Eighty percent of people are apparently afraid for change. In Ottawa it sometimes appears that 95% is nervous. The management of the condos on Laurier, afraid for a bike lane in front of their building, put a sign out expressing anger their worries. But what a difference in Montreal: condo management uses the bike lane on Maisonneuve to their advantage. They printed four banners with bicycles on it to use the bike lane as a unique selling point (in the world of marketing: a USP). Le2100.com Latter photo by Eric Darwin.

Why bikes and buses don’t mix

Reading Time: < 1 minute Here is a perfect example why buses and bicycles don’t mix. A picture on bike friendly Bank Street, taken last week, shows that if a bus and a bike travel down a road, it is a pain for both. Better to let the bus go for a few blocks first, you think, but eventually you catch up with the bus again as it is so much slower. A case for a bike lane…….(albeit not on Bank – too narrow).

cars on bike lane in Ottawa

Cars in bike lanes at Dow’s Lake

Reading Time: < 1 minute . A few weeks ago, during the Tulip Festival or so, lots of cars where leaving the parking at Dow’s Lake. Rather than waiting, many of them used the bike lane to pass the left turning lane. When I pulled out my camera, they stopped doing it but I bet these are the same people who complain that bikes cycle on sidewalks. In autumn and spring, when traffic is busy, it happens all the time. Just before I took this picture I actually saw a girl sandwiched between two cars on the bike lane, as car-cyclist-car. Truly unbelievable.