Bushwacking for cyclists

Last week a group of concerned citizens participated with the City and its consultants on the routing exercise for the O-Train corridor cycling path (cyclopiste de Preston). Participants represented the NCC, Dalhousie and Hintonburg Community Associations, CfSC and Cycle Vision Ottawa members, a landscape architect, engineer, planner, and others.
The cycling arterial will connect the Ottawa River cycling paths to the Otrain at Bayview, run along the tracks behind the City Centre complex, under Somerset via a new underpass, behind the PWGSC complex at 1010 Somerset, and come out at ground level again at Gladstone. Then a short overground stretch would take it beside the city signals yard annex, under the existing Qway overpasses, to Young Street, where it would join a rebuilt existing path along the east side of the Otrain cut all the way to Carling. The NCC person was present on the bushwacking expedition to consider, amongst other things, where it goes at Carling and how it connects to the Farm paths.
The areas behind the City Centre and 1010 Somerset proved to be very dense bush, with constant surprises hidden in the tall grass, weeds, and shrubbery: the odd half truckload of asphalt or cement, bits of rail, sleeping bags, laptop computers, etc. It is difficult to imagine a safe-feeling path there given the area’s current appearance, but with tree thinning, opening up vistas, improved fencing, path lighting, and some suggested alignment and elevation mods, it will work well with current and future developments proposed along the corridor.
The cycling underpass under Somerset is also planned to handle the possibility of a LRT station at that location. If all goes to plan, the underpass would be constructed in 2011 with the path completed in 2012.
If you click on the word cloud to the right of this blog posting, select Cyclopiste de Preston to read earlier posts on each segment or use the search button.

5 thoughts on “Bushwacking for cyclists

  1. Eric, which side of the tracks will the path be on, East or West, and has there been any consideration or discussion on how people who live on the other side of the tracks would access the path? I guess thinking about the route, it makes sense to have he path on the East side of the tracks.

  2. Current alignment: on the east side from Otrain to new Somerset underpass, along the plateau of land between the Otrain cut and 1010 Somerset PWGSC warehouse, emerging to cross Gladstone at grade right by the billboard on the east side of the cut, continue at street grade through the bushes and St Anthony parking lot (city owned)(potential Little Italy LRT station) under the existing Qway overpasses to join the existing path at Young, which would be upgraded and rebuilt, including lighting. While parts of the current alignment are pretty grotty, clearing out the underbrush, trimming low branches to 10' up will really open up the space. Some fencing will also be required to enhance safety. As the LRT system is built out, changes to path would likely evolve as it goes by the Bayview Station, and it is proposed to build a parallel multipurpose path on the west side of the Otrain cut from Beech to Carling. New ped overpasses are in the long term plan for Hickory and the block south of Oak.The path is being built for immediate use, but its real potential comes from redevelopment along the corridor that will occur over the next years.thanks for reading

  3. Me again:I know the cycling paths along the canal and in the area very well. One thing that is a MUST is to improve lighting along the paths. currently in the Arboretum for instance there is no lighting at all and even along the canal the existing lighting gives little useful illumination as it seems to have been designed for ambiance rather than allowing cyclists and pedestrians to safely co-exist at night. I always wore flashing lights when walking on those paths.

  4. OK I think its time for a license fee for bikes equal to cars. The cost of supporting these 99.9% summer time, good weather vehicles used by 10% of the population for serious riding is being to annoy me. Does anyone know what a bicycle path beside the road costs per foot? Check it out and enjoy your taxes.

  5. Cycling infrastructure is generally considered a "cheap date", in that each dollar spent moves more people more efficiently at lower cost than a road can move a person in a car. Don't forget too that each cyclist removes one car from the road so YOU can zoom along faster on an emptier road.

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