Bike Path, Walkway, Bus Stop: all together now

The City of Ottawa claims it cannot possibly design the new section of Booth Street running north from Albert, serving Pimisi Station and the LeBreton Flats area, to include motorists, buses, transit, and bikes. The cyclists just don’t fit. So they are being thrown under the bus. As for their partner in crime, the NCC’s vision for their new urban downtown showpiece doesn’t seem to include complete streets or cyclists.

Dusk a few weeks ago, I noticed this lovely bike path – walkway – bus stop combo in Montreal, on the side of Park Lafontaine.

Everyone approaching the place gets ample visual clues that something special is about to happen. The pillars / gateposts signal a special place, and entry point. Textured pavement crosses the paths, giving clues underfoot. The footpath, which is a bit lower than the bike path, transitions to the same level, facilitating barrier-free movement. Over on the right, along the street, is the bus stop, with the generous passenger waiting area separated from the cyclists and thru-walkers by manicured planters:



In the photo below, it is clearer that the area is step free, The quality plantings are obvious. The bus stop has ped-scale lighting fixtures. The red bar on the right is the tail light of a passing cyclist. There is a cyclist waiting at the bus stop too (but wasn’t riding on the sidewalk).




All this is very nice, but it is merely a bus stop. Unfortunately, Ottawa cannot figure out how to achieve something similar at an important transit station. It makes me nervous about how cheap or well planned our Confederation line stations will be. That there isn’t a user advisory group for the stations is downright scary. Input is required at the planning stages, not just after all the decisions are made and its too expensive or too late to make things better.