Monday, January 31, 2011

Cycling Vision Ottawa Update

I"ve pasted the email I received from Cycling Vision Ottawa this morning, FYI.

Dear Cycling Vision Supporters,

1. Final sprint for Lane Laurier - Your presence wanted Feb 2!
2. Laurier condos opposition questioned
3. Fundraising: Help us bring another major speaker
4. We're not all hard-core cyclists: Ottawa Citizen
5. Dr. Schiller writes "At 74, I bike everywhere"
6. Montreal's cycling boom is great news for Ottawa
7. Segregated bike lanes quadruple cycling in Vancouver!
8. British cycling success bodes well for Ottawa
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1. Final sprint for Lane Laurier: Your presence wanted Feb 2!

We're in the last lap and headed for the finish line this Wednesday, February 2nd at the critical Transportation Committee meeting.
A show of support may be crucial!

The presence of supporters during this meeting would highlight to councillors the importance of the pilot project. People walking into the meeting carrying a bike helmet would be one way to quietly illustrate interest in the Laurier segregated bike lane. It would be great if you can attend even a small part of the morning. You may come and go as you please during the meeting, but no overt demonstration of support is allowed. Decorum is required.

When: Wednesday February 2, 9:30 am to probably 1 pm (or longer)
Where: City Hall, Champlain Room, second floor, 110 Laurier West

The Champlain Room is located in the older portion of City Hall accessed via an overpass on the 2nd floor from the newer main building. Use the main entrance on Laurier Avenue West or Lisgar Street, east of Elgin. On the second floor, follow signs to the older section of the complex and the Champlain room. Be aware that the meeting location may be changed at the last minute to accommodate larger audiences. Observers may quietly enter and leave the meeting at any time. Many of you have sent us comments in support of the pilot project. Thank you! They have been useful for the campaign - and most heartening for us to read as well.

We've met with most of the Transportation Committee members to discuss the project, with just one meeting left before the TC meeting. We believe there is enough support among the councillors to get a positive vote for Lane Laurier. But there is stiff opposition and nothing is certain. A show of support may be critical!
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2. Laurier condos opposition questioned

Billy Downer lives in a condo building at the West end of Laurier Avenue and he supports the Laurier bike lane project. In his letter to the Ottawa Citizen published Saturday January 22, he writes that the property management company is spearheading the opposition against the Laurier cycling lane project. He adds that he's not aware the building's board of directors had a mandate to act against the project.

He also describes how a similar project in Toronto went ahead in spite of the opposition. The feared negative impacts on parking and businesses did not materialize.

If you missed his letter, you can read it here:
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3. Fundraising: Help us bring another major speaker

This past fall CVO sponsored a public workshop with two cycling consultants from the Netherlands brought to Ottawa by the Dutch Embassy. They were able to share their knowledge with City staff as well. Our event was featured by Louise Rachlis in the Ottawa Citizen:

Bringing experts to Ottawa is a useful way to encourage and assist the city to reach its cycling targets and to develop local expertise. We would like to bring another expert to Ottawa this spring. Your financial support to help us do this would be most welcome.

Please take the time to consider a donation to Cycling Vision Ottawa. A cheque is welcome by mail to Cycling Vision, #572, Station B, Ottawa, ON, K1P 5P7. Or contact us at: . Unfortunately we cannot issue tax receipts. Thanks in advance for your generosity.
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4. "We're not all hard-core cyclists," Ottawa Citizen

If Council approves the pilot project on Laurier, local author Kate Jaimet will be throwing her helmet in the air for joy! She explains in the Ottawa Citizen that the Laurier segregated lane will make downtown more bike-friendly:
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5. Dr. Schiller writes "At 74, I bike everywhere:"

Dr Eric Schiller supports 'Lane Laurier.' His letter was published in the Ottawa Citizen Saturday January 22. If you missed it, please read it here:
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6. Montreal's cycling boom is great news for Ottawa

Montrealers have discovered that, if you build it, they will ride. A 2010 engineering study by McGill University has found that bicycle use increased by as much as 40 per cent in areas where the city invested in bike paths and lanes. The city's success in increasing the number of cyclists by building specialized infrastructure mirrors that of London, England, and bodes well for Ottawa's segregated bike lane pilot for Laurier Avenue. The McGill research is described in this Montreal Gazette article:
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7. Segregated bike lanes quadruple cycling in Vancouver!

Can Ottawa do better? Vancouver cyclists are discovering that protected bike lanes are the way to go. The city has been collecting detailed data on Dunsmuir Street since launching its own separated bike lane pilot project last June. In the first two months, the number of riders using the segregated lanes shot up to an average of 2,000 per weekday, peaking at 2,500. That's compared to an average of 500 cyclists who used that corridor before bike lanes were installed. The fourfold increase in riders on Dunsmuir makes a strong case for more protected bike lanes in Canadian cities, including Ottawa. The trial data are posted here:

Here is a short video to help understand how the Vancouver lanes work:

More info on the Bike Vancouver website:

For our francophone and bilingual friends, here's a writeup about the Vancouver success story from Vélo Québec, the largest cycling organisation in Canada:

Note: Voici l'adresse complète, à copier et coller manuellement:!
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8. British cycling success bodes well for Ottawa

A British biking success story bodes well for Ottawa's Laurier Avenue bike lane pilot project. Transport for London recently reported a huge increase in trips by bicycle since launching its first two Cycle Superhighway routes this past summer. The municipal government found the total number of cyclists doubled on one route, and increased 50% on the other between October 2009 and 2010.

A city press release quoted the Mayor of London's Transport Advisor, Kulveer Ranger, saying: "It is great to see that the first two Barclays Cycle Superhighways are well on the way to achieving our goal to increase cycling in the Capital. "This research shows that people do believe the routes are of value, make them feel safer and are allowing them to take direct and continuous routes into central London."

The full release explaining why specialized bike infrastructure and cycling lanes encourage cycling is here:

And here's a 6 minute video to illustrate:
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Kind regards,
Dianne and Gabriel
Cycling Vision Ottawa - L'Avenir en vélo à Ottawa
572 - 57 Sparks St.
Ottawa, ON, K1P 5P7



Anonymous said...

I'll support that!
(mindya, there are many that don't... on another local web site, but one must ask - do those people really ride downtown and do they get off their trainer?)

I support this in the downtown core:

1) it is a pilot project. If it doesn't work so be it. We spend millions (actually billions in action plan money) on roads each year and no one says boo about it. That's just odd.

2) its intention is to get more people riding to/from work at rush hour. Rush hour brings huge huge tax burdens to us all as everyone wants on the infrastructure all at once. They built that kanata extension at a cost of 155Million, it just brought more cars! more cars equals more need for more infrastructure! This means more tax dollars! Yikes!
with this bike project, hopefully, it removes many vehicles from the rush hour time period thus relieving congestion thus decreasing tax dollars spent on huge infrastructures to house just one person in 3000lbs of metal. That's odd.

3) it is just one street. If people still need the "fear factor" or the buzz of being in traffic - go do Wellington! its a blast!

4) more family oriented. Sure, there are those that whine every day - its not safe having this boundary, we'll get kicked off the road. Is that what we have become? this city so instilled with impatience now... Families, aged, and disabled deserve protection from this impatience and hyper panic society we are becoming (get me there quick). This little project hopefully will provide that comfort zone away from the hustle and the bustle of the city. I hope.

5) as the population of ottawa grows, most recently due to the government hiring spree (2002-2009), more vehicles are on the road than ever before. Disposable income is high in some age brackets and everyone wants to drive due to the convince factor. This bike project will hopefully allow for those that can not afford this "luxury item" (vehicle - it is suppose to be a luxury item, but now, it is a driver for our economy, so everyone seems to have one... good on those that have refrained... I have a deep respect for those that can do without... thanks goes out to those that take that challenge!).

6) we need alternatives. And, this is just one of them.

7) it may actually increase business downtown, as people will now mingle about and get off when they please. Currently, people drive to their destination and get out without smelling the roses. No more exploring. Just encased in metal cages.

8) the social aspect of the city might light up. As more cyclists say "gi-day eh!" riding to/from work. in a vehicle, we are social misfits really. stuck in a box with blinders on. Its a very anti-social atmosphere as we hide away in a metal cage like a baboon in hyper mode (in a hurry).

9) less pollution

10) and, pure people power. Cheap. Raw Energy. Forcing thy muscles to work as we have evolved over thousands of years to do so. Think of what we have become really, people press a button to make their breakfast, they press a button to start their vehicle, they press a button to get them to work, then they press buttons to do their work etc... is this evolution?
what's the point ?
get your dose of goodness... get on your ride!

just some thoughts. Take'm as you may or may not... its a free country... I think... I hope...
this bike project just adds a bit more freedom for those that need it. If someone doesn't like it... just choose another root. Simple.
no point in btching up a storm (like some other sites out there)

its a pilot project... read thy lips and get out there as you may.

Matt Surch said...

Thanks Anon, well put.

Anonymous said...

we must keep in mind, that the intent of this is to get more "common" folk out there cycling. If a little wall will do that, then so be it.

And, we can't all take a bike course. It would be nice to have the time and money, but most don't
And, the poor rely on bikes to get around. Are we going to burden them further. I hope not.

are cyclists the biggest threat to society anyhow. I don't think so.

Read this book: Hot, Flat and Crowded. Its a good read.

Anonymous said...

I'll will concur,
that there are some cyclists in ottawa that are very selfish. They don't see beyond their doorstep.

We have a variety of people in ottawa, some that race, some that just bike to/from work, and some that are aged, some that have families, some that are disabled etc...

A whole bunch of people just trying to get by day-by-day.

Some don't feel comfortable biking with the masses (traffic) during rush hour.

The intent of this pilot project should be to make feel comfortable. If it achieves this simple little goal then so be.
It is unfortunate that pedestrians and cyclists aren't high on the priority list, and hence the after thought of putting in an infrastructure for them (after we polluted the roads with vehicles of course).

Will we learn from our mistakes, probably not. We'll keep making them. Pedestrians and cyclists are last on the list.

lets just give it a go!

(btw: it probably would have been easier to implement this during the "boom" times of the 90s or early 2000's. Now, its kind of difficult for society gets nasty during economic gloom times.)

Anonymous said...

that's a very ironic picture (for me at least) because that is the very spot I was hit by a van pulling a u-turn on Laurier. He didn't see me coming down Laurier and ran right into me. Luckily I wasn't hurt, but I'm glad this lane is going in because it's part of my daily commute.