Archive for the ‘Centretown’ Category

Segregated Cycling lanes

Hello all!

With winter finally seeming to have been beaten, it’s time to take this blog out of its seasonal (albeit never planned) hibernation.

There’s been a lot of attention paid in the past few weeks to a pilot project that would see the city create a segregated cycling route through centretown on a trial basis. The Sun was the first to report on it on March 15th (though doesn’t have most of the details exactly right and is pretty slanted against), Centretown News followed up on the 26th (their details are right, but they managed to get some names wrong), and the Citizen has something published today. Note all stories talk about different events: the Sun followed the original presentation to the Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee (full disclosure: I’m chair of RCAC. I write here as an individual), the latter follow Councillor Holmes’ stepping in to propose the creation of a different consultation mechanism.

I think that there’s lots to be optimistic about in this. Given that this will be a bit of a first for Ottawa (at least in the core). My impression, at least based on what RCAC was told, was that the plan was to begin meeting with other community and business groups. What is being proposed here is to make the consultation process more formal. That might slow things down a bit, but I’m not sure that we would have seen any changes this cycling season in any case. It’s more important that we do what is needed to make sure that everyone is comfortable with the process and is able to contribute as much as is possible: it’ll produce a better result, and it will help avoid infighting amongst various road users/business groups/residents.

Now, in The Citizen Holmes’ suggests that downtown was listed as an option, but the cycling plan calls for considerations of larger east-west routes, which is true. I think that the idea of a downtown route for the pilot has more to do with it being an area where there is a good concentration of places to go, local residents, and people commuting in. There’s also already a lot of bicycles. That’s a good mix for a first project, and is probably different than if it were farther from the core.

Cycle Salvation

We were recently asked to spread the word about this interesting organization:

I am contacting you in the hope that you might help us spread the word to the Ottawa cycling community about Cycle Salvation.

Cycle Salvation is a social enterprise operating under the umbrella of Causeway Work Centre. The business strives to achieve a triple bottom line (profit, people, planet). We do this by providing training in bike mechanics to people who are economically disadvantaged, providing refurbished bikes at a reasonable price to the cycling community, and at the same time diverting bikes destined for scrap and landfill sites.

Of course, we depend on a steady stream of donated bikes to work on. As you can imagine, the stockpile of bikes is running pretty low now in February. We are hoping that we can notify the community of our need for bike donations so that the idea is fresh in their minds when they first pull their old bikes out of winter storage.

Separate but equal

Giacomo Panico laments the lack of seperated bike lanes in the Ottawa Cycling Plan, and suggets Laurier Avenue as one street that could be benefit from such a division. While most Ottawa streets don’t see the kind of car chaos that the New Yorks streets in the video do, I think the major arteries certainly have enough traffic to deter most casual cyclists from becoming commuters.