Boston cycle path

The following pictures were taken on the cycling path along Vassar Ave in Cambridge (Boston) MA. Vassar goes through the MIT campus, and recent streetscaping had been done to narrow the road, add boulevard trees, and a bike path which was heavily used when I viewed it on several occasions. In the picture below, it transitions from on-road to being at the same grade as the sidewalk, set back from the street by a row of trees. Despite being in front of the most prestigous engineering school in the world, there is a puddle in the path. The path was … Continue reading Boston cycle path

BikeWest – Bayview Station

BikeWest at Bayview Station The largest single impediment to a continuous cycling route from the downtown to Westboro (and eventually beyond) is the Bayview Station area. The OTrain comes through the area from the south; expansion of OTrain or LRT service to Gatineau over the Prince of Wales Bridge must be allowed for. So the cycling route must get across the north-south rail axis. There are currently two overpasses over the OTrain route. One is Albert Street itself, a four lane road facility with sidewalks on each side. For pedestrians the environment is pretty hostile. On-road cyclists must endure uphill … Continue reading BikeWest – Bayview Station

BikeWest – Tunney’s Station

How BikeWest could By-Pass Tunney’s Transit Station The current Scott Street multipurpose path travels along the north side of Scott. At Holland, it passes the Tunney’s Pasture transit station. This passing is awkward for cyclists, pedestrians, and bus users alike. The route of the path is not apparent. As shown in the photo below, people exit the pedestrian overpass at its south end facing Scott. They step out directly onto a concrete walk, crossing the asphalt multipurpose path to get to the concrete sidewalk that forms the bus waiting area for local westbound buses on Scott. current situation – spot … Continue reading BikeWest – Tunney’s Station

First expansion of Cycling Sundays in years …

there is a fragmented path along the east side of the Otrain corridor in Little Italy The Preston Street BIA (PBIA) is working on a marketing idea for closing Preston on cycling Sundays. The Preston street closure would connect the Ottawa River bikeways to the Rideau Canal paths. The PBIA is in logistics discussions with NCC and City. The idea is to make Preston street a useful link in the bike network, opening up new routing combinations, and making the street and its café’s a destination for cyclists. They are trying for July 2010 only as a trial. The street … Continue reading First expansion of Cycling Sundays in years …

Where cyclists cross …

Multipurpose path, aka a bike path, crosses a parking lot entrance. This is a crossing, not an intersection. Notice no painted crosswalk for the pedestrian users, as the crossing is not at an intersection. If at an intersection, there would be a painted crosswalk for peds, and cyclists are supposed to dismount and walk their bike across the road… I like off-road cycling facilities like the NCC bike paths. I like painted bike lanes too. I think I would like physically segregated bike lanes along roads, too, but Ottawa has too few to experience. One of the things I like about the … Continue reading Where cyclists cross …

More Detroit can do it … can Ottawa? Shown is the Dequindre Cut, a former sunken rail line running through downtown Detroit. The St Clair River is in the background, with Windsor on the far (south!) side. Detroit is reserving some of the cut for a future LRT line, but first it has built a bi-directional bike route and accompanying pedestrian path, with landscaping. Because the path is grade-separated from the street grid it is fast, direct, intersection-free, and has freeway-style on and off ramps that take cyclists in and out of the cut. Detroit feels it is lucky to have a straight-line bike path going directly through … Continue reading More Detroit can do it … can Ottawa?

On-Road Cycling Hazardous to cyclists?

click on table to enlarge – you should see 4 columns In 2008 there were 292 collisions involving cyclists. My wife almost became one of the fatalities when she was doored two years ago on Bank Street in the Glebe. I have some interest in cycling safety. The above table is from a city report to transportation committee this Wed. Jan 6th. Please notice that it covers a three year time period and only records the most hazardous zones, ie where there are repeat cycling collisions that result in injury or damages over $1000 (it covers 84 of an estimated 876 … Continue reading On-Road Cycling Hazardous to cyclists?

Winter Cycling Path Maintenance

Alright, I admit that the multipurpose path on the north side of Albert between Bronson and Bayview is not really an official cycling path. If it were, it wouldn’t be plowed in the winter, because the City and NCC do not maintain cycle paths in the winter. But since this is officially a sidewalk  … it just happens to look like and function like and get used like a bike path … it gets plowed and winter maintained. I thought this path provided some insight into the feasibility of winter cycling in Ottawa. Continue reading Winter Cycling Path Maintenance

Boring Job

Whilst walking along Somerset Street just west of the OTrain track, at Breezehill, I came across these gents taking bore-hole samples from the street. Little painted notations every few meters along the street indicate that they will be doing this for weeks. I will nag the Somerset street planners for one bore hole result in particular. It will be the hole bored just a few meters east of the OTrain underpass. Eventually, a segregated bike route (CycloPiste de Preston?)  will be finished along the OTrain corridor, and to be useful it will likely have to pass under Somerset Street. Will it be … Continue reading Boring Job

CBC Interview on BikeWest

Last Monday, CBC afternoon show interviewed Eric Darwin about progress BikeWest apparently made at transit committee. You can hear the short interview by clicking here: The text of the BikeWest proposal (downloadable) can be found at this coordinate: However, note that I do intend to update this document in the next two weeks to reflect newer information. The report is rather fat, because it has a lot of pictures in it. Continue reading CBC Interview on BikeWest

BikeWest motion passes Transit Committee

Faithful readers of this blog will recall I promote a cycling project called BikeWest. It calls for a off-road bi-directional cycle route parallel to Scott and Albert Street between Westboro and the downtown. The city owns the land all along the streets, on the north side. I am concerned that the DOTT  LRT project could block BikeWest at two key points, Bayview Station and Tunney’s Station. Since transit committee was considering the LRT project, I spoke at the meeting, and asked friendly councillors to present a motion. But I got more than my minimal goal. Transit Committee passed a motion instructed … Continue reading BikeWest motion passes Transit Committee

The Den Hague experience

The NCC invited Inge Molenaar, chief cyclist of the Den Hague city bureaucracy, to tell the NCC what it should do to make the National Capital Region cycling friendly. As part of that visit, she gave a public presentation Monday night. A few of her points stood out to me: — ebikes will extend the comfortable cycling range from 8km now to 16km. The Hague will continue to let ebikes mix with pedal bikes on bike paths. Mopeds, on the other hand, being faster, are kept on the roads. — they have a practical policy guideline for where segregated bike paths … Continue reading The Den Hague experience

BikeWest on CKCU radio

I was interviewed by Danny Ghosen   of CKCU radio (Carleton U), on BikeWest, a week or so ago. Danny is from The Netherlands, the world’s most condusive nation for cycling. He is in a state of shock at the conditions cyclists are supposed to ride in here. “Riding a bike on Bronson Avenue … you’ve gotta be nuts” he told me in a conversation before the interview. Click the link to listen to the interview. Unfortunately, the first few seconds and intro are not on the tape: Continue reading BikeWest on CKCU radio

DOTT plans affect west side residents (xi): BikeWest

The city cycling plan includes conceptual improvements for cyclists heading west from the core towards Westboro. Councilor Leadman is fighting for improvements to the ill-designed Scott Street mixed-use path and a connection to the downtown. Cycling advocacy groups want better cycling facilities. The BikeWest plan proposes a segregated bi-directional cycling path on the north side of Albert and Scott from the downtown (Bronson Ave) to Westboro. One of the original purposes of the BikeWest plan was to tie into all the construction projects planned along the Albert-Scott corridor. It is important not to construct anything that permanently blocks cycling improvements, … Continue reading DOTT plans affect west side residents (xi): BikeWest

DOTT plans affect west side residents (vii): Bayview Rapibus Station?

The City has been evaluating the structural soundness of the historic Prince of Wales Railway Bridge over the Ottawa River to Gatineau. The City bought it a number of years ago for transit. Friends of the OTrain and  LRT transit proponents have long viewed the POW bridge as a great solution for taking transit across the River. The interprovincial transit study offered renewed hopes for extending LRT service from downtown Ottawa to Gatineau over the POW as the first phase of a loop system serving the two downtown employment centres and to alleviate bridge congestion. Alas, logic may be loosing … Continue reading DOTT plans affect west side residents (vii): Bayview Rapibus Station?

DOTT plans affect west side residents (vi): Bayview Station revised

Currently the transitway passes over the railway tracks at Bayview with a simple high level overpass. At the east side, it widens for the Bayview station, which is built on a downslope into the LeBreton Flats area. The only access to the Bayview transit station or OTrain station is from the east side of the overpasses. Passengers can transfer to the OTrain tracks which are on the east side of the railway right of way, simply by walking down the sloped asphalt paths (being careful not to fall off the broken up edges of the path). Recall that the OTrain service north … Continue reading DOTT plans affect west side residents (vi): Bayview Station revised

Roger Geller, Portland’s Bike Experience

Roger Geller, cycling coordinator for the city of Portland, OR spoke last evening at the CfSC meeting held at Tom Brown arena. Here are some of the points he raised in his PPT presentation on cycling in Portland. 1. There is a continuous interplay of facilities, ridership, politicies/politics, and funding. It is akin to a virtuous cycle, with any improvement to cycling facilities leading to increased ridership, more political support, then more funding of improved facilities, etc. The most common spot for the cycle to be broken is the policies/politics phase. He advises cycling advocacy groups to go for simple, … Continue reading Roger Geller, Portland’s Bike Experience

Words of Wisdom from Velo Quebec in Ottawa

On Monday evening over 100 people jammed into a too-small reception room at the Lord Elgin to hear Suzanne Lareau. She is head of Velo Quebec, a cycling lobby and information group. The event was organized by Cycle Vision Ottawa (why weren’t they signing up memberships??). It wasn’t just ordinary citizens that came out in unexpected numbers to hear her speak. Prominent in the front row were Roger Geller (cycling coordinator from Portland OR and speaker at tonight’s meeting at Tom Brown arena), Vivi Chi and Mona Abouhenidy and Robin Bennet from the City, and Marc Corriveau, new transit and cycling … Continue reading Words of Wisdom from Velo Quebec in Ottawa

Busy Bike Week

Next week will see two interesting guest speakers in Ottawa on the topic of improving cycling facilities. Both speakers are highly credible experienced individuals with real-world accomplishments. On Monday, CycleVision Ottawa presents Suzanne Lareau (see poster below) and on Tuesday CfSC presents the cycling coordinator from Portland OR. Portland has a much-lauded cycling network.  Tuesday’s meeting is 6pm at TomBrown Arena (right along the proposed BikeWest route!). Catch the Montreal Cycling Wave! Meet Suzanne Lareau The woman who is transforming Montreal for cycling A Public Presentation Monday October 19, at 8 p.m. St-Laurent room, off the Elgin Café in the … Continue reading Busy Bike Week

More on Bike West – part vii

The story of BikeWest began at the point where the transitway meets Albert-Slater where they split in front of the Good Companions centre just west of Bronson. It began there because the block between the split and Bronson used converted bus lanes which won’t be required once the downtown LRT is built and BRT is suspended. For all points west of the Albert-Slater split, BikeWest does not use any street lanes but is a separate route all the way west to Dominion Avenue using the City-owned right of way on the north side of Albert and Scott Streets. Alternative Route … Continue reading More on Bike West – part vii