2017 Bike Ottawa Masthead line

Ottawalocks

Photo: Hundreds of residents use the Locks at Carleton U (Hartwell Locks) every Sunday. (photo: Hans Moor

It took a few years of hard work, but cycling is now an election issue in our Nation's Capital according to the CBC. (See link section at the bottom of this page). We asked the candidate mayors about cycling and here are their answers:

 

Mayoral responses received are listed in alphabetical order.

 

Anwar Syed

 

1) What is the next important bicycle infrastructure project for the city?

The most important important bycycle infrastructure project that I would think of would be to provide weather protected by temporary plastic tunnels & somewhat heated by free solar energy biking paths which might make biking in winter possible from one end of the city to the other without encroaching on road and pedestrian traffic.

2) What measures should be implemented to ensure the safety of all road users?

Traffice awareness and education for pedestrians-bikers-motorists-transit users tec.

3) Balance in transportation spending is important. Considering that getting more people out of their cars is a win-win that helps us make the most of our limited road space, would you support shifting the proportion of transportation spending on bicycle infrastructure to 2.5% to more equitably represent the current ridership?

Possible but not yet a promise, can only be looked into after looking all other aspects of the budget.

 

 

Jim Watson

 

1. What is the next important bicycle infrastructure project for the city?
Cycling has been a priority for me for the last four years and this will continue in a new mandate, should I be honoured with re- election. The City will focus on implementing the Cross-Town Bikeway network as laid out in the Cycling Plan. The next bikeway to be addressed (after the East-West Bikeway, which will be largely completed in early 2015) is Cross-Town  Bikeway Route#3, which runs to the south east of the downtown core. This route will take advantage of new The Donald/Somerset bridge (under construction), new bike lanes on Coventry(under construction) and new paved shoulders along Cyrville road planned for 2015/16. Improvements to links across the Ottawa river are also in the planning stages, including a study evaluating activation of the Prince of Wales bridge for cyclists and pedestrians, improvements to the Chaudière crossing in addition to new bike lanes along Sussex Drive (now under construction).
2. What measures should be implemented to ensure the safety of all road users?
The City will continue to roll-out new cycling facilities designs  such as bike tracks which provide increased separation between cyclists, pedestrians and vehicular traffic. Awareness and education programs for all road users will continue  in order to explain how new facilities are to be used, and to encourage cooperation between all road users. The City has also funded a Cycling Safety Improvement program which targets approximately ten problem areas (typically intersections) to mitigate or eliminate cycling hazards. The City is also very active in helping to update provincial roadway design standards to improve safety for vulnerable road users and facilitate implementation of the Complete Streets policy outlined in the City’s 2013 Transportation Master Plan.
3. Balance in transportation spending is important. Considering that getting more people out of their cars is a win-win that helps us make the most of our limited road space, would you support shifting the proportion of transportation spending on bicycle infrastructure to 2.5% to more equitably represent the current ridership?
The Transportation Master Plan foresees spending approximately $860 Million on roadways by 2031. Of that amount, roughly 13% is dedicated for cycling infrastructure of all types – multi-use pathway bridges, on road lanes, cycle tracks, etc.

 

 

Darren W. Wood

 

Thank you for taking the time to contact me with your questions.

These questions are great, but as you know they serve a single purpose. I would rather organizations like yours, city council come together with anti bike people to work out the differences and prejudices people have for and against bikes on the road and there are several both ways.

I won't answer your questions directly as I don't think they do justice your cause. Instead I will give you my thoughts and you may do with them in relation to your questions as you will.

The budget you are asking for accounts for a number much higher than those in favour of bikes on the road contribute to the coffers. This means in order to justify using the money of people who don't want you there to begin with, we need to educate everyone. The cars who don't pay close enough attention to the bike riders and the riders who don't follow the laws of the road (I see this every day in large numbers). If we can get everyone on the same page, I think achieving your target budget would be a breeze. As for now it's a hard sell for council members who represent rural areas who already feel they are not represented enough for what they already pay for to pay for bike lanes in the city.

If we could get everyone on the same page, I am in favour (and on public record) for supporting cement dividers between bike and road lanes. This is not a cheap way to go, but the most safe way to build bike lanes in my opinion.

Unfortunately there can be no balance in transportation spending as far as bikes are concerned until bike riders make an honest effort to address the problems with their own. As well as car owners willing to accept another form of transportation they must share the roads with, provided the new and old modes of transport actually start obeying the road laws.

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