Glebe neighbourhood bikeway planned

By Matthew Meagher

If you are a cyclist, a wannabe cyclist or even someone who doesn’t much care for cyclists, the City of Ottawa’s cycling plans for the Glebe will be of interest to you. Following extensive consultations conducted by the Glebe Community Association (GCA) Traffic Committee over the past year, the City has begun its planning to develop a Glebe Neighbourhood Cycling Plan. This represents an opportunity for the community to help make a reasonably good cycling environment even better, while considering the interests of other transportation users.

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A cycling plan’s main purpose is to identify cycling routes into and through the neighbourhood, and to better connect those routes with the citywide cycling network. Having identified key routes, the plan will include measures to improve them, which may range from better signage and painted markings to possible structural changes.
Based on the GCA consultations, input from a public advisory committee constituted for this purpose, and citywide planning initiatives, the City has developed preliminary plans for key cycling routes. Those plans were presented at a public meeting held on June 25 and involve a combination of minor and potentially significant changes. Display boards from the public meeting can be found online at:

http://documents.ottawa.ca/sites/documents.ottawa.ca/files/documents/glebeCyclingPlan_en.pdf

The City has identified five primary cycling corridors through the neighbourhood: O’Connor Street, Percy and Craig streets, First and Glebe avenues, Fifth Avenue, and Holmwood Avenue. Preliminary design alternatives have been developed for each corridor within parameters set out in the Ontario Traffic Manual and others established by the City, namely that the proposals fit within the existing edges of the pavement, and that near-term changes not impact parking.

In evaluating alternatives, the City considered safety, cycling comfort, traffic impact, impact on property, parking and the pedestrian environment, relative cost and the continuity of the route. After the plan is finalized, functional plans will be developed and implemented over a five-year timeframe, with the first improvements scheduled for this year.

Proposed Bike 
Corridors

1. O’Connor: This corridor will connect with segregated cycling facilities planned for O’Connor north of the highway, creating a primary connection to the downtown core. Initially the route would be designated with painted sharrows on the roadway. Traffic calming measures and the conversion of intersections at Second and Fourth to two-way stops are also being considered. In the medium term, one alternative would see the removal of parking on O’Connor south of Glebe to allow for advisory bike lanes to be painted.

2. Percy-Craig: This north-south corridor will connect with existing bike lanes on Percy north of the 417. The City is proposing that sharrows be painted on the roadway to indicate a cycling route. The conversion of intersections at Second and Fourth avenues to two-way stops with traffic calming is also being considered. A medium-term alternative incudes the possible closure of Craig at Fifth, which would create a “T” intersection with Percy and allow for safer pedestrian and cycling crossings.

3. Glebe and First: This corridor would provide an east-west connection through the neighbourhood that will ultimately connect with improved bike lanes planned for Carling Avenue. The City has proposed advisory-style bike lanes, with painted markings on the road, including a buffer to protect cyclists against dooring incidents. In addition, a westbound contra-flow bike lane would be added on Glebe between Percy and Bronson, to allow connections to Carling. As part of the plan, parking would be relocated to the south side of the street and traffic calming would be implemented in the form of mid-block narrowing between Percy and Bank.

4. Fifth: This corridor would provide an east-west route that will one day link with the long-planned Fifth-Clegg pedestrian and cycling bridge over the canal. The City has proposed painted advisory bike lanes on the roadway, and green “bike boxes” at the intersection of Bronson. Existing chicane parking would be maintained, though five spots would be removed between Muriel and Gordon streets. Sharrows would be painted on Gordon to indicate a connection to Holmwood. On the east end of Fifth, turning restrictions at O’Connor would be retained, with the potential addition of advisory markings for cyclists. Medium-term alternatives include the conversion of the sidewalk on the south side of Fifth between O’Connor and the QED to a multi-use pathway, and the development of a southbound multi-use pathway through the fire station property to connect with existing pathways through Sylvia Holden Park and into Lansdowne.

5. Holmwood: This east-west corridor would connect segregated bike lanes planned for Bronson south of Holmwood to other routes in the neighbourhood and to Lansdowne Park. It is proposed that the route be designated by sharrows on the roadway, with green bike boxes added at the Bank Street intersection. Street parking would remain as is. East of Bank, a westbound contraflow bike lane is proposed to take cyclists from O’Connor and Lansdowne to Bank. Street parking would be relocated to the south side of the street.

The City’s project manager, Heidi Cousineau, (heidi.cousineau@ottawa.ca) has noted that the alternatives being considered are preliminary in nature, and are subject to public input throughout the process. After functional designs are finalized, they will be presented to the public and technical advisory committees to refine the designs.

The GCA will continue to monitor and make recommendations based on the ample comments received from residents. If you prefer to submit input through the GCA, send comments to traffic@glebeca.ca at any time, day or night.

Matthew Meagher is a member of the Glebe Community Association Traffic Committee.

Editors note: The GCA recently adopted a position on the City’s bikeway proposals. See the GCA website at www.glebeca.ca for details.

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