Category Archives: Advocacy

Display Boards from the Bronson Ave Crossing Open House

The display boards from the Bronson Pedestrian & Cycling Crossing near Colonel By Ramps Open House are now available on David Chernushenko’s website. We’ve also uploaded the files here:

For more information and to provide comments on the proposed changes,   contact:

Shawn McGuire
Coordinator, Cycling and Pedestrian Safety
City of Ottawa
100 Constellation Crescent, Ottawa, ON, K2G 6J8
613-580-2424, ext. 32576
Shawn.Mcguire@ottawa.ca

Upcoming second open house

If you missed the open house at Carleton, a second one will be hosted in the Greenboro-South Keys neighbourhood.

  • Date: Monday, December 15
  • Time: 7 – 9 p.m
  • Location: Greenboro Community Centre (Room A-B), 363 Lorry Greenberg Dr.
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Upcoming Bronson Avenue changes, Active Transportation Audit, and Public Open House

On Wednesday, November 12th, 2014, representatives from C.U. Cycling attended a Bronson Avenue Safety Review Advisory Group meeting with the City of Ottawa, their consulting engineer and other interested parties. The focus was on the addition of a crosswalk/crossride across Bronson Avenue between the canal and Sunnyside Avenue, as was shown in the public open house in December 2012.

There was some very good ideas for improving Bronson Avenue in the area of the proposed crossing. Notably, the proposed changes were solutions and not short-term bandaid fixes. To praise the meeting itself, everyone in attendance thought critically about how the changes would impact all road users and the consulting firm took a lot of our suggestions quite well. The revised changes will be presented at a public open house. We’re very interested to see how they revise their proposals and what the new concepts will look like.

The proposals were excellent, but they were limited in scope to the area around the crossing.   C.U. Cycling looks forwards to working with Councilor Chernushenko’s office and the City of Ottawa as they work on developing plans for these areas further. It is worth noting that more changes are to come to Bronson Ave.

In particular, we look forward to improvements to better link Bronson Avenue north of the canal to better connect to Holmwood Ave, as improvements to the intersection of Sunnyside and Bronson, as well as changes further south.

Three conceptual designs were presented, with consideration to the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario’s (MTO) Ontario Traffic Manual (OTM) Book 18, which was released in March 2014, and gives updates guidelines for how to plan for cycling infrastructure in the province of Ontario. Book 18 has caught up to the planning goals of cities and lays out rules on how to use new infrastructure, such as bike-specific lights and crossrides. This is particularly useful for Ottawa, since the city is home to bike boxes, cross rides, cycle tracks, and more. Book 18 will allow Ottawa to develop better bike-specific infrastructure, in harmony with the rest of the province.

Public Open House

TWO public open houses are scheduled:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
River Building – RB 2220-2228 (bike parking is available north of University Drive)
Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6

Monday, December 15, 2014
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Room A-B, Greenboro Community Centre
363 Lorry Greenberg Drive (sheltered bike parking is available)
Ottawa, ON K1T 3P8

Proposed changes will be presented at these open houses.

Active Transportation Audit

If you want to get a better feel for what Bronson Ave is like today and start thinking of how it can be improved, the Glebe Community Association and Ecology Ottawa are hosting an Active Transportation Audit on November 22 at 10am. 

Find out more on the Ecology Ottawa website and RSVP if you can make it.

Sign the petition for segregated bike lanes in Ottawa

The Ottawa Bicycle Lanes Project is Ottawa’s newest cycling NGO and they have one very specific goal: a segregated bicycle lane network through all the major districts of Ottawa. This means Laurier Avenue won’t be the only segregated bike lane. In fact, it would be one of many in the city. Although this means that the Laurier Bike Lane parody twitter account may have a bit of competition, we think this will be a good thing.

Want to help? First, sign the petition!

bikelanespetition

You can also check out their ultra cute, ultra fun video below:

Still not sure what’s going on? Apartment 613 recently interviewed co-founder Michael Napiorkowski, writing:

Motivated to make Ottawa a better city, two local residents have launched an online site that seeks to promote mass cycling.

The Ottawa Bicycle Lanes Project was founded earlier this month by Michael Napiorkowski and Maayke Schurer.  Conceived as a non-profit community, the initiative wants to convince City Hall to install a network of segregated bike lanes throughout Ottawa’s major districts.

If the duo’s vision is implemented, segregated bicycle lanes would be implemented in such areas as Sparks, Westboro, the ByWard Market, the Glebe, Hintonburg, Beechwood and Old Ottawa South […]

One of the key aims of the site is to combat the many myths surrounding cycling, such as the mistaken belief that segregated bike lines are bad for retailers […]

“If we want to have mass cycling it needs to take people to the places that they need to be, ” says Napiorkowski.  ”It makes no sense for the lanes to be only on winding streets or parkways.”

You can read the full article on Apartment 613.

C.U. Cycling is a supporter of Bikelanes.ca, which means you can find our logo on their website and basically that we think it’s a great idea. Members of the Carleton community know that while biking around campus and near the locks is easy, Bronson poses a massive obstacle for anyone heading east, north, and south. And that’s a lot of obstacles.

Sign the petition or ask a company if they support segregated bike lanes. Companies such as Bridgehead and the Hintonburg Public House have already expressed their support because they know that cyclists are great for business. Parking spots are smaller, so they don’t have to worry about providing free parking. Bikelanes.ca has been amassing a collection of research that demonstrates how bikes help boost sales. So spread the word and try to build support because we’ll need it if we want to keep building.

Support for the Bronson changes: position statement for the Transportation Committee

The following statement, sent for the Transportation Committee meeting on April 3, 2013, outlines C.U. Cycling’s position on the proposed changes to Bronson Avenue. There are a lot of great aspects in the plan, so we’re looking forward to see how they will be implemented to make Bronson Avenue safer for all road users.

C.U. Cycling expresses it’s enthusiastic support for the proposed changes to Bronson Avenue between Brewer and Holmwood. It is encouraging to see the City pursuing such an aggressive approach to the safety concerns raised by many citizens regarding Bronson Ave in its current form. The changes proposed are unique and sensitive to the area’s specific needs.

This stretch of Bronson Ave. not only carries traffic though from areas south of the Rideau River to the west end of downtown, but it is also the entrance to Carleton University. The roadway is wide, four to six lanes through the area of study, but functions as a transition between a high speed two lane freeway: Airport Parkway, and a tighter four lane road configuration north of the Rideau Canal. Spanning two waterways a short distance apart, it is one of a limited number of routes to cross the Rideau Canal and River in the area.

The solutions presented in the report by the City of Ottawa are effective at addressing the needs of all road users. Bronson Avenue carries a large volume of through traffic in cars, but a large population of Carleton University students and staff choose to walk, cycle or bus to and from campus. Bronson avenue currently exists as a barrier to these movements. For students, including the over 3500 who live in residence and are likely living in Ottawa for the first time and without cars, having safe and easy access to and from campus is just as important as the many commuters who travel to and from work and the suburbs. We believe this report works to effectively balance the needs of drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

As Airport Parkway opens up into the six wide lanes of Bronson Avenue crossing the Rideau River, speed limits have proven ineffective at reducing the overall speed of traffic. C.U. Cycling is pleased that the report acknowledges that speeds on this stretch are far above the speed limit and measures other than an unenforceable reduction to the speed limit will be taken to reduce vehicle speeds. Instead, the proposals to reduce motor vehicle lane widths and add flexible delineators, which will provide physical separation from moving traffic and hopefully inspire motorists to slow, without negatively affecting the overall quantity of traffic moving through the corridor.

Additional short term improvements, such as signage, crosswalks, signal timing, and road striping will also have major benefits to people travelling to and from Carleton University and around the area, however the long term plans will bring the most widespread improvements. C.U. Cycling is most impressed with the plan to add a contra-flow cycle lane and crosswalk, allowing cyclists and pedestrians to avoid Bronson entirely. This is a major change and will be beneficial to all road users, making travel safer through the corridor and at intersections.

Missing links are a major issue for cyclists and pedestrians and although this plan is proactive in addressing some of them, such as improved N/S cycle route signage, many issues remain. Approaching Findlay headed north, the bicycle lane ends to permit motor vehicle traffic to cross into the left turn lane. C.U. Cycling believes this is a major flaw that will result in further high speed collisions between vehicles and cyclists. The area also lacks good connections to and from the NCC pathways, especially in the winter with Winterlude. Correcting these minor deficiencies going forward would greatly improve the cycling facilities in the area at a low cost.

C.U. Cycling is in strong support of the current changes and looks forward to upcoming plans, proposals, and detailed designs of the changes to be made. We also believe that exclusive funding is a requirement for this project. Funding should not be drawn from the existing allocation for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. The proposed changes will have benefits to all traffic moving through and across this major highway, and will not be limited cyclists and pedestrians. To fund these improvements through the existing and small cycling budget would greatly affect the ability to improve cycling across the city.

Please consider our support, and the needs of the tens of thousands of Carleton students, staff and visitors when you make your decision.

Demand Safer Roads for Cycling!

On March 20th, Erik Anonby contacted C.U. Cycling asking for some help: he had been hit by a snow plow. He was looking for some suggestions on who to contact. He had a few ideas already, so we suggested some more folks to talk to.

Unfortunately, cyclists are well-used to situations where they feel as though their lives have been threatened or their safety has been compromised, but can’t forward this information to anyone. No license plate, couldn’t see the driver, the list goes on. Without enough information, the police can’t pursue an investigation.

We hope that the City takes this incident seriously and reviews best practices with their plow operators and all city staff operating vehicles. We need to normalize safe driving behaviour to ensure that these sorts of incidents don’t happen again.

Below is the text from “Let’s push for safer city cycling,” originally posted in the Ottawa Citizen on March 30, 2013:

I have lived in Ottawa for three years. I am Canadian, but lived in the Netherlands before moving here to teach at Carleton University. One of the main reasons my family moved here is because this city is known for its quality of life.

On the morning of March 21, I was hit by a snowplow while cycling to work along Baseline Road. The driver didn’t stop, and I was unable to identify the licence plate, as it was obscured by the salt dispenser on the back of the truck. I filed a report with the police, who are unable to pursue further action because I did not have the licence plate number or any witnesses (no one stopped).

It is the second time I have been hit on Baseline this winter. The first time, the driver – coming out of a Tim Hortons drive-thru – did not stop, either.

I cycle to work as our family relies on one car, which my wife needs. I take the National Capital Commission bike paths to work the rest of the year, but in winter they’re not cleared. I use winter tires for safety, wear a helmet, a reflective vest and I have flashing lights on the front and back of my bike. Still, having been hit twice, I am shaken up. I hope that the City of Ottawa can implement steps to better this situation, including: Informing city-contracted snowplow operators of the danger that they pose to cyclists, and making sure licence plates remain visible; adding a painted bike lane to Baseline and other dangerous roads; clearing the edge of the road by snow-plows to provide more space between cars and cyclists; making sure potholes are not too big in spots where cyclists ride (thankfully, this winter they have been filled more quickly on Baseline than last winter).

Also, signs should be placed strategically to remind drivers to respect cyclists – not just “share the road,” but ones that actually state the fact that cyclists’ lives are being placed in danger by drivers. Signs should also mark where cyclists have been hit which say “automobile/bicycle collision location.”

I also encourage the NCC to keep bike paths cleared in winter. I have contacted them with this request, and they said the main reason they don’t do it is because “it is not a priority for them at this time.”

When Krista Johnson was killed while cycling on Bronson Avenue this past year, it really shook all of us up at Carleton. I hope that the City of Ottawa will take steps to reduce the likelihood of another cycling death in our community. Cycling is an important part of my life, by necessity and by choice. I am also a father of four kids. I want to be there for them.

Erik Anonby, Ottawa, Assistant Professor, French Linguistics, Department of French, Carleton University

C.U. Cycling Supports Ecology Ottawa’s Campaign for Complete Streets

C.U. Cycling supports Ecology Ottawa’s report Ottawa or Autowa? A Report on How the City of Ottawa can become a Leader in Sustainable Transportation and their campaign for complete streets.

CompleteStreetsBadge

Join us: in voice your support for Complete Streets for Ottawa!

C.U. Cycling strongly supports sustainable transportation as a viable goal for the City of Ottawa. As the population increases, public transportation, cycling, and walking must be promoted as viable transportation options. As the report states, “the construction of new bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is another prominent example of cost-effective investments that would yield a better bang for taxpayer bucks.”

It is encouraging that the 2012 budget includes “funding for 70km of new on-road bicycle lanes and paved shoulders.” This must continue for a safer, more sustainable city.

Specifically,  C.U. Cycling endorses the following three proposals:

  1. For the City of Ottawa to commit to Complete Streets in the Official Plan and Transportation Master Plan to at least as high a level as Waterloo has.
  2. That the City ensures the East-West Bikeway actually speeds cyclists across the downtown so that cyclists are prioritized at intersections along the Bikeway either through a ‘Green Wave’ or other type of system.
  3. Come budget time, the City of Ottawa needs to spend far more on improving pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and far less on building new roads or widening existing ones.

Complete streets mean everyone is included. C.U. Cycling supports the complete streets initiative to make roads safer for the entire community and for citizens of every age and ability. The Carleton University campus is home to many students, staff, faculty, alumni, and neighbours. We rely on public and active transit to get to campus and to get around the city. Therefore, we support the complete streets initiative.

C.U. Cycling looks forward to continue working with organizations such as Ecology Ottawa in an effort to make Ottawa a safer place for cyclists.