Cities across Canada and the world have been implementing temporary measures to enable safe cycling in order to take pressure off of transit systems trying to ensure physical distancing, and to encourage people to visit local businesses. Bike Ottawa wrote to city council to encourage Ottawa to do the same, however the city has decided not to pursue any city-wide measures to enhance active transportation. Read our letter and the response from city staff.
The National Capital Commission has released the 90% draft of its Capital Pathway Strategic Plan for public review and comment. There are a lot of good things coming, and a few things we think they could do to improve the safety and comfort of the multi-use pathways. The online consultation runs until 17 June 2020, so we encourage you to take a look at the plan and submit your comments.
The replacement of the Harmer Avenue Bridge over the 417 west of Holland Avenue is nearing completion, with an anticipated end date in late June or early July of this year. When the city proposed sharrows and shared sidewalks for cyclists and declined to provide bike lanes on Holland as part of the cycling detour for this project, Bike Ottawa fought hard to mobilize the community and ensure that the city provided space for cycling as part of the project detour.
At a recent council meeting, Mayor Jim Watson introduced a motion which as passed requires 2/3 of businesses to approve temporarily converting street parking space into wider sidewalks. However, people are already walking in the street to avoid crowding. This is an unsafe situation, and Bike Ottawa has written to the mayor to ask that this policy be reversed and that priority be put on the safety of vulnerable road users.
The update to Ottawa’s official plan aims to reduce car dependency and promote active transportation, but increasing residential development at the edge of the city will make those goals more difficult to achieve. On May 12, Bike Ottawa board member Barbara Greenberg presented a delegation to a joint sitting of the Planning Committee and Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee to oppose expansion of the urban boundary.
Here’s a riddle for you: what place in Ottawa has vehicles travelling in criss-crossing directions, but isn’t an intersection? The answer: any places where paths cross roads!
While the number of people using bikes in Ottawa continues to increase at a healthy pace, there are still growing pains that have left a mark on the city. Four cyclists lost their lives on Ottawa’s roads since May 2019, a toll not seen since 2012.
This is a critical moment for safe cycling in Ottawa. On May 16th, a person was killed in front of city hall while cycling along the Laurier Avenue bike lane.
“Impossible! You can’t end bike theft!”
That’s an antiquated way of thinking.
The City of Ottawa has mostly completed the design for the Montreal Road revitalization from Vanier Parkway to St Laurent Boulevard and will soon begin construction.