Most attention for cycling usually goes to the downtown core, with its thousands of commuters, denser communities, expensive parking, traffic congestion and all that comes with a big city. However, in the last few years, the suburbs see an increase in cycling too and not only recreational. For example, 40% of interviewed people (source: Ottawa Bicycle Plan) would like to cycle more if there was more and better bike infrastructure (which doesn't mean bike lanes alone, but also bike parking, safe routes to school etc.).
Fisher Heights, situated just south of the Experimental Farm, between Fisher and Merivale, is becoming more and more popular, as the properties are more affordable than downtown and it is still only about 8 km from the down town core. This translates to about a 25 to 30 minute bike commute, partly through the very quiet Experimental Farm, or a 20-30 minute bus commute.
Vanier Community Association is asking the city for improved safety for cycling residents to Byward Market, downtown and Gatineau. City says no to complete street, can't chip off 20 cm from car lane and offers sharrows instead.
Here is the letter:
Mayor Jim Watson
Councillor Mathieu Fleury
Ottawa City Hall
110 Laurier Ave W
May 18, 2014
Re: Opportunity for a Complete Street for St. Patrick Street
Dear Mayor Watson and Councillor Fleury,
I am writing on behalf of Vanier residents to express our desire to have a bicycle lane installed the length of St. Patrick Street as part of the resurfacing project this summer. At this time, the City has planned a bicycle lane for only on a portion of this street.
St. Patrick Street is the main link for residents of Vanier (and our neighbours in New Edinburgh, Lindenlea, Manor Park and Rockliffe) to access the ByWard Market, Centretown, Gatineau (via the Alexandria 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.
The Vanier Community Association has been advocating for a bicycle lane along this street for some time. In March, a city planner attended the Vanier Community Association’s monthly meeting and presented the plan for St. Patrick Street, which is to install a bicycle lane along a portion of St. Patrick Street, and sharrows on the rest.
Left to right: Alex DeVries, Kathleen Wilker, Risa Sargent, Councillor Egli, Hans Moor, Mayor Jim Watson, Isabel Jenish, Nico and Schuyler Playford.
On May 14, 2014 Citizens for Safe Cycling received the Mayor's Office City Builder Award for 30 years of cycling advocacy in Ottawa, Canada's capital. Citizens for Safe Cycling started promoting safer road conditions in 1984 and has played a leading role in advocating cycling for everyone. The mayor praised the role of Citizens for Safe Cycling in building a cycling culture.
1,000,000 bike ride counted on Laurier Ave Bike Lane today
Today, the bike counters that are built in the Laurier bike lanes counted the 1,000,000 bike ride. Last night the counter was 650 rides away from this mile stone number. With over 2000 rides last Monday it is reasonable to assume that the magic number was reached somewhere at the end of this morning.
The bike lane opened in July 2011. Although there was some resistance from condo owners and a Business Improvement Area on Bank St, the city recognized the need for a safer way to cross town.
The number of cyclists doubled to tripled and during the high season, the lanes see as many as 2500 to nearly 3000 bike rides a day, adding up to over 50,000 a month. The weekends are lower, indicating that the lanes are popular with commuters.
Saturday, May 10th, 2014
Our annual Tulips on Two Wheels event during the Ottawa Tulip festival returns on May 10th, 2014. We'll be present at the canal pathway at Queen Elizabeth Drive at Fifth Ave, just a wee south of the Canal Ritz restaurant. We are open from 10 am to 2 pm, with rides along the canal offered by Don Mcintosh.
Meet with the CfSC board and volunteers, have your bike tuned up for free for the summer season and take some brochures on bike safety. You will recognise us easily as there are usually lots of cyclists hanging out.
Our free bike tune ups are provided by Causeway's Cycle Salvation, a social enterprise.
The tulips are late, but see if you can spot a blooming tulip already. the best place to watch the tulips is a ride on along the canal. The weather looks promising today, warm and even sunny, after initial reports of rain.
Charles presenting on where the money for active transportation can be found in the city budget (photo: Paul Clarke)
A spring bike event during a winter storm? Only in Ottawa.
Our 3rd annual Spring.Bike.Otawa event had an interesting start. 63 people signed up in advance, but by the time the doors opened at McNabb, there was about 15 cm of snow covering Ottawa. People trickled in and to make sure it would’t look like the room was half empty, we only put 50 chairs out.
Our Spring.Bike.Ottawa event is back on March 22, 2014. Why March 22, you ask. Because that is the first Saturday in Spring, which has become our traditional get together after the winter. Now in its 3rd year, we'll have speakers Sarah Partridge from Vanier Community Association and the City of Ottawa confirmed. As usual, the city will lay out the 2014 bike infrastructure plans.
You're invited to eat cupcakes and preview "For the love of kids and bikes and snow," a story and slide show celebrating winter and inclusive self-propelled adventures created by Kathleen Wilker for Winnipeg's 2nd Annual International Winter Biking Congress and featuring friendly folk from Hintonburg, Ottawa and even as far away as Fredericton! If the presentation inspires you and your family to try winter biking, learn about DIY winter bike tune-up hours at RightBike, your community bike share.
You can find RightBike at 1 McCormick (off Wellington in Hintonburg).
Saturday, February 1, 2014 between 4 and 5 pm.
Here is the link to the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/808612355822272/