Visiting Ward 9’s bike infrastructure

Reading Time: 9 minutes Ottawa consists of much more than the usual suspects like Parliament Hill, the museums (musea), the Canal and the Byward Market. Not everyone who is visiting Ottawa will make it to places like Westboro, the Glebe, Old Ottawa South or up and coming Hintonburg, let alone making it all the way to a place like Nepean or Orleans, unless you have family there. Even most Ottawans don’t make it to the other side of the city usually. Before a number of municipalities merged into the current city of Ottawa, there was a place called Nepean. Mostly built up since the [Read more…]

Attractive New Low Impact Pavilion in Vincent Massey Park

Reading Time: 3 minutes Vincent Massey Park, across the Rideau River from Carleton University, North of Heron Road and West of Riverside Drive, is well known among immigrant groups, it appears, as often I see large numbers of East Asian immigrants barbecueing in the summer. The bike path along the river in Vincent Massey Park was closed for a while as the NCC has been widening the path. The NCC and the city didn’t really think of cyclists and simply closed the path, not realising the impact. Consequently, all of a sudden cyclists had to figure out another way around the construction site, which [Read more…]

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…]

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…]

NCC study on winter pathway usage

Reading Time: 2 minutes The NCC commissoned a study on the usage of their pathways in wintertime. Although some claim that the winters in Ottawa are ‘cold and dark’ the numbers might stun you. Here are some results: Close to four in ten (36%) Canada’s Capital Region residents aged 16 and older (some 196,000 individuals) have used a recreational pathway during the winter months. An additional two in ten residents (21%, some 114,000 individuals) say there are winter activities they would do on the pathways if they were better maintained. Winter pathway users tend to be younger, and have higher incomes than do non-users [Read more…]

Great weather for CNCycle CHEO ride

Reading Time: < 1 minute It is common wisdom among organisers of events: without volunteers you wouldn’t get anything done. Roxanne was patiently standing at a quiet intersection to make sure cars would drive the temporary one direction, so they wouldn’t interfere with the cyclists who were raising money for CHEO. It turned out to be a gorgeous day, albeit a wee cool at the start.