Overbrook Community Association: “City’s paving plans must reflect Transportation Master Plan objectives”

The Overbrook Community Association wrote to the mayor regarding bike lanes on St. Patrick.

Here is the letter:

I am writing to you regarding the need for bicycle lanes and the opportunity to install them on the occasion of the forthcoming repaving of St. Patrick St. between the bridge over the Rideau River and King Edward Ave. On behalf of the Overbrook Community Association, I would like to request that the repaving include both car and bicycle lanes.

My understanding of the current proposal is that separate and designated lanes will be preserved for cars and that sharrows will be painted on the road for bicycles. I strongly urge you, Transportation Committee and City Council to implement a plan that will result in separate and designated lanes for bicycles and cars.

We have heard from members of other community associations that city planners have indicated there is “no space” for bicycle lanes. We note that the road is currently 7.65 m on each side. City planners insist that a bicycle lane must be 1.5 m wide.

This would be possible if the vehicular lanes were 3.0 m wide, a situation currently found on the Cummings Bridge. The city’s own Transportation Master Plan lists as an objective that 50% of all peak period trips be taken by sustainable modes by 2031. Logically speaking, that must mean that fewer trips will be taken by car and more trips will be taken on foot, by bicycle or by transit.

The city’s repaving plans must reflect this goal and allow for more equitable sharing of road space between cars and other forms of transportation. We understand as well that city planners wish to put off the placing of bike lanes on St. Patrick until the road is completely rebuilt in an unspecified number of years.

This delay seems both unnecessary and unreasonable to the Overbrook Community Association; a better solution would be to include painted bike lanes in this current repaving project and to replace them with segregated bike lanes when the road is completely rebuilt.

St. Patrick Street is an important link for residents of Overbrook (and our neighbours in Vanier, New Edinburgh, Lindenlea, Manor Park and Rockcliffe) to access the ByWard Market, Lowertown, Gatineau (via the Alexandra Bridge) and neighbourhoods in the west of Ottawa. It is located within the inner urban area of Ottawa, which in the Ottawa Cycling Plan is targeted for the greatest cycling modal share increase.

It should be noted that not all of these cyclists are adults; many children from east of the Rideau River use St. Patrick to get to swimming lessons at the Lowertown Pool, and schools in the area, for example. The Overbrook Community Association strongly urges that the city take the opportunity given by the repaving of St. Patrick St to make that route as safe and inviting as possible for cyclists of all ages.

Yours truly,

Sheila Perry,
Overbrook Community Association

cc. Councillor Peter Clark
Councillor Mathieu Fleury
Councillor Keith Egli