Thursday, February 3, 2011

Laurier Bike Lane Update

Laurier bike lanes approved by Ottawa committee

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 2, 2011
8:34 PM ET CBC News

Ottawa's transportation committee approved a pilot project that would bring segregated bike lanes to Laurier Avenue. (CBC) The City of Ottawa's transportation committee voted in favour of installing segregated bike lanes on Laurier Avenue Wednesday evening.

The lanes are part of a two-year pilot project estimated to cost $1.3 million, and will run along Laurier Avenue from Elgin to Bronson Streets.
The project is now scheduled to be voted on by the full city council next week, and if it passes there the lanes could be built by summer. The lanes are not without controversy, though.

At the Wednesday meeting, a motion was introduced to shorten the lane, stopping it at Bay Street, to appease condominium owners east of Bronson who said they would lose visitor parking spots the city promised them. The Bank Street Business Improvement Area has complained the proposed lanes will affect their parking and loading bays.

Dick Brown, executive director of the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association, said hotel owners in the area have concerns as well. "They support cycling, they want to encourage cycling, but again this is not the route," he said. "They have a 500-car garage under their hotel with visitors coming and going - they'll have to go across the cycle lane." Brown is urging city staff to reconsider the criteria it used to select Laurier for the two-year pilot project.

But Coun. David Chernushenko said the hotels should look at the bike lanes as an opportunity. "Why not begin to build around that? Our problem in Ottawa is that we're so cautious, and I say take that leap, try something," Chernushenko said. "It's a pilot. Work with it, and we as a city will work with you to make that part of our marketing to make this work."

Most cyclists back Laurier plan. Cyclists, including the Citizens for Safe Cycling group, are largely behind the project. "Vancouver is stepping up. Montreal has already stepped up. Toronto's stepped up. It's time for Ottawa to move forward," said cycling advocate Dianne Cox. A small group of cyclists made up largely of experienced riders, however, spoke out against the lanes, arguing drivers and cyclists must learn to share every street. About 50 people spoke during the public consultation.

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Anonymous said...

"two-year pilot project estimated to cost $1.3 million"

-- yesterdays snow storm must have come close to that!

1.3 million is really nothing. There are close to 200,000 federal government employees (+ contractors) making on average 80 bucks a day. What does that come up to?

Just to put things in perspective.
1.3 million is not a lot of dough in the grand scheme of things.

its rather interesting how ottawa btches about nothing really.

One doesn't have to go far to look at the real threats, just in today's paper, there was two incidents where people have been plowed down by a vehicle. And, I suspect there are at least 2-3 a day in each city.

This little pilot project will hopefully bring more people out biking. If people need this little safety feature than so be it. For those that don't, just use another road. Its simple.

I swear sometimes, people just like to btch about btching about nothing because they are bored (or want to make money off it )

people should have been btching up a storm about the tearing down of kanata lakes, but nope... not hardly a peep.

we have become this city of complacent people really. Take away the automobile, the big box stores, etc... and, a lot of people would be absolutely scrwd.

Hopefully, this bike project allows more people to enjoy the freedom of a bike...

and, the btching settles down soon.
Anyone have a lollipop?

rusty said...

Thanks for these last two posts. I know that Ottawa cycling advocacy isn't really the mandate of this particular blog, but I really appreciate the information.

Matt Surch said...

Happy to share Scott. I'm thankful that a lot of really motivated, bright people are involved in cycling advocacy in Ottawa. The tide is changing, and I see a brighter future ahead. The vast majority of folks I talk to about new cycling infrastucture are excited and motivated to incorporate cycling into their daily lives, or at least happy to see others enabled.

Anonymous said...

" The vast majority of folks I talk to about new cycling infrastucture are excited and motivated to incorporate cycling into their daily lives, or at least happy to see others enabled."

that's a good thing to hear... from one particular site in ottawa (no names mentioned... tri... whatever)... they really have a hate on for them! Gotta wonder if those folks ever get off the trainer and bike downtown.

This pilot project is intended for the typical family, the aged, those not comfortable biking with cars.
If we need something like that to get more people out riding, then so be it. Let us pass it and bring it on!
Get your home grown pedal power pumping those azz muscles!
Lets get ottawa active again!