When Opportunity knocks …

Am I paranormal? Do I see opportunities where others (for eg, the City) see nothing? Are the skeptics about government right when they charge it cannot miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity? In the three short weeks since I … Continue reading When Opportunity knocks …

Trillium MUP Phase 3, aka OTrain path extension

The recently constructed paved Trillium Pathway currently terminates as it crosses Carling Avenue, in the top left corner of the above aerial view. Those who persevere can follow the worn out remainders of the NCC’s 1963 stonedust pathway along the … Continue reading Trillium MUP Phase 3, aka OTrain path extension

Construction Updates – Bayview Station, Trillium Line

These are exciting days for sidewalk superintendents as the big beams for the new Bayview LRT Station were put in place. The beams are precast concrete: The design of the structure is the same as Booth Street overpass / Pimisi … Continue reading Construction Updates – Bayview Station, Trillium Line

1871 Railway turntable uncovered on LeBreton Flats

In addition to a 1871 roundhouse turntable, parts of a 1883 roundhouse have also been uncovered on LeBreton Flats near Bayview Station. The archaeological dig covers some city land where the Trillium OTrain line and Trillium multi-user pathway is located, and … Continue reading 1871 Railway turntable uncovered on LeBreton Flats

Bit of new west side Trillium MUP opens

The existing Trillium multi user pathway (MUP) on the EAST side of the OTrain tracks has been a hit with the commuting and recreational public. Its popularity grows weekly. Less well known is the planning “win” when the community obliged … Continue reading Bit of new west side Trillium MUP opens

Trillium Path Extended to Carling Avenue

As promised by the City, the extension of the Trillium (OTrain) pathway from Young to Carling Avenue is essentially complete. I think it is wonderful. Multi-user pathways (MUP’s) get better with every new build. The most significant new feature for a MUP is a physical separation of people who cycle from people who walk, or animals who walk their humans. The bike path portion remains full width; the pedestrian portion is additional, bonus width. There is a very low curb between the two paths to separate them. The lowness of the curb prevents a pedal from getting caught. The separated … Continue reading Trillium Path Extended to Carling Avenue

Navigating Scott-Albert (east bound)

Alas, for those people walking or cycling east towards the downtown, there won’t be a separated multi-user path, nor as direct a path as along the north side of Scott and Albert. Starting near Tunney’s, there is a south-side east-bound painted bike lane, which I suppose it a wee tad better than cycling with sharrows in the “50KMH” lanes: The cycling lane is “buffered” from cars, trucks, and buses by a 2′ painted median, but the cycling lane is also the right turn lane and driveway access lane. And boy, are there ever a lot of those: There are many … Continue reading Navigating Scott-Albert (east bound)

City not interested in path under Qway

The City has pronounced itself regarding the replacement of the Queensway overpass at the OTrain / Trillium corridor. The existing east side pathway will get an underpass for people who walk or cycle. As for the west side, the City says:  It is deemed to be a longer-term project (post 2031) and therefore is not included in the City’s current affordable plan.  It should be noted that this west-side MUP could provide localized circulation benefits even if there were not to be a direct connection beneath the Queensway bridge.  Communities on the west side can still conveniently access the east-side … Continue reading City not interested in path under Qway

Qway Overpass Replacements, part ii, the (N)oTrain and Pathway

There is an enormous bridge structure just west of Preston, where the Queensway spans the OTrain cut. It is enormous because it spans not only the cut, but allows for a 2 – 4 lane freeway on each side of the cut, the defunct Champagne Freeway, that would have connected the airport parkway at Confederation Heights to the Fairy Lake Parkway in Gatineau. (*diagram below) A few years back the space on the east side was improved to make the OTrain multi user path. We had to dragoon the city into building it, and much to their surprise (but not … Continue reading Qway Overpass Replacements, part ii, the (N)oTrain and Pathway

Winter plowing on Otrain (Trillium?) path

It is very nice to see the OTrain multi-user pathway being plowed this winter.  The part that is paved, from Young to the Ottawa River, warms up nicely in the full south sun which yields a nice walking and cycling surface. Odds bits of grit and dog poo provide traction. On the south side of Gladstone there is a large steel billboard. The platform used by the paperhangers extends out over the pathway.  While intimidating, it seems to be above everyone’s head even when cycling. There used to be a bit of reflective material on the protruding end, but this … Continue reading Winter plowing on Otrain (Trillium?) path

Making pathways relevant to real life

Real life takes place on real streets. Bike paths, and walking paths, are secondary sorts of things, not for real living. So goes conventional thinking. And so goes Ottawa thinking. Our city skips the idea of having street signs where the path goes by intersections. Why on earth would a cyclist want to know what that adjoining street is? S/he wouldn’t be actually going somewhere purposeful, maybe looking for an address? The NCC does post some signage on their paths, expensively produced for quality graphic visuals, but alas, often lacking useful information or downright confusing, and subject to previous stories … Continue reading Making pathways relevant to real life

No leaning on shovels at this city construction project

A short while ago I mocked a City transit project on the west side that I described as “lollygagging along”.  * So it’s only fair we look at one that is moving with the (relative) speed of light. Yes, it’s back to the (in)famous Albert Street bus detour. Construction only began last week:  The city originally just wanted to remove the multi-use path on the north side of Albert, never to replace it. Community input caused it to be (temporarily **) saved, relocated. Then the same pressure got the City to replace it first with the new path, before digging … Continue reading No leaning on shovels at this city construction project

If there has to be a Somerset barrier, let it be discrete

Recap: recall that in the last two posts we see the City planning to “harden” various pedestrian walks over the OTrain corridor. We don’t know if this is to prevent objects — or people —  being dropped on the OTrain, or what the priorities, if any, are.  It would be nice to know. And the City’s proposed designs for Somerset Street are simply awful. Presumably, other walks near the Otrain and possibly other transit facilities (hello transitway, hello LRT) will similarly be hardened. So a better design is urgently needed. above: the not-yet-terror-proofed Bayview Station, soon to be populated with … Continue reading If there has to be a Somerset barrier, let it be discrete

Stop lines, not stop lines

  I notice with some puzzlement and curiosity that the white stop lines, or stop bars, so recently painted on the new OTrain pathway this spring, have now been changed to an intermittent pattern. I cannot recall if the “intersections” along the path used to have stop signs by the stop bars, but the signs certainly are “yield” signs today, accompanying the new semi-stop bars.   I wonder if this is a pathway-only feature, or if we can expect semi-stop bars where there are yield signs on motor vehicle roads. Are we overthinking and over-supplying signage that gets so complicated … Continue reading Stop lines, not stop lines

City Hall employees should not read this

This blog has a number of readers in the municipal bureaucracy. So I have to be careful with this story, because I don’t want someone rushing out to “undo” what some citizen has done. So, a Holiday Monday posting might help it slip through. And the exact location must remain a secret. We know that the bureaucrats want cycling and walking paths to “end” at a controlled intersection. Same thing when these paths are crossed by a street. So users of certain popular facilities get frustrated when a path ends at a curb that hasn’t had a curb cut, or … Continue reading City Hall employees should not read this

Signs of cycling

  The new OTrain public pathway is open for cycling, with the added challenge of dodging leftover construction vehicles. The path, even unfinished, is wonderful. And I am absolutely delighted to see the signage along the path. There are signs directing people towards the path, such as the one pictured above, on the Somerset Viaduct. There are signs giving directions, so you know which way you are going: I do have one quibble, and feel guilty for saying it, instead of just being thankful we got the path. These signs are made using street name sign blanks. But they are … Continue reading Signs of cycling

One path opens, another closes

The new OTrain multi-user path runs from the Ottawa River thru Bayview Station to Young Street at the Queensway, in the heart of Little Italy. South of Young it resumes as the circa 1964 path constructed by the NCC, which is now pretty much a cow path (pictures were in post a few days ago). As we get nearer to the Carling OTrain Station, we pass Pamilla Street which is opposite to Hickory Street, site of the new Hickory Street pedestrian overpass, which is supposed to be constructed while the OTrain is down for the summer. Perhaps it is in … Continue reading One path opens, another closes

OTrain bike path nears completion

OK, it is multi-user path, not just a bike path, but it still feels silly calling it a MUP. I was walking down the path on Saturday doing my best impression of a sidewalk  MUP superintendent  I had to walk since the path is still officially closed. The ribbon cutting is Tuesday 7 May at 2pm. It will be held on Young Street by the Queensway, since that is closest point limos can drive very important people to track. And if it rains, they can cut the ribbon under the Queensway overpass, err, graffiti art installation site. Presumably the path will be open … Continue reading OTrain bike path nears completion

Preston “extension” bike path going, going … gone

  The Preston Extension (shown above),  the leftover bit of pavement that runs north from the Preston-Albert intersection, that takes cyclists out to the Aqueduct bike path (now remediated into a pit) and eventually the  Sir John A Mcdonald (JAM?)  Path, is due to be closed this spring. It won’t reopen in a hurry. The surrounding brownfields will be remediated. For a clue as to what that will look like, examine the Damascas-like terrain out by the War Museum. Then the Confederation Line LRT track will replace the transitway. It will be bordered on both sides with six-foot chain link … Continue reading Preston “extension” bike path going, going … gone

Tire(d) of dumping

So here’s the picture. An innocent auto-body shop on Breezehill Avenue backs onto the OTrain cut. The slope behind the shop is littered with tires. Just look at the picture !   Now I am sure Japan Auto has nothing to do with the tire dumping. They aren’t a car tire shop are they? No, it must be people sneaking into their fenced yard at night and tossing them over the high chain link fence at the top of the slope. Or maybe it’s people somehow breaking onto the fenced OTrain right of way, missing the running trains while they … Continue reading Tire(d) of dumping

OTrain MUP’s muddy cousin

The City deserves congratulations and praise for its construction of the OTrain MUP running from the Ottawa River to Bayview Station to Somerset Street to Gladstone to Young. The path is wide and straight and well-landscaped. Alas, it may be months more before it is opened. At its south end, Young Street, the new OTrain multi-user path joins the 1963 stone dust path that runs to Carling and then to the Prince of Wales. Here’s the joining point, looking from Young Street southwards:   Until a few years ago the stonedust pathway was very usable, and attractive in the summer: … Continue reading OTrain MUP’s muddy cousin

Preston CDP report available for your reading pleasure

Here is the official public version of the city planning dept draft CDP for the Carling end of the Bayview-Carling CDP. You can read it at the same time as the developers ! http://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/public-consultations/transit/findings Lots of good words. It remains to be seen what good deeds remain once everyone has a kick at making changes. For a start, I’m not fan of the mews proposed along the east side of the OTRAIN cut and bike path, or the proposed nine storey height limit. All of the little side streets of preston should remain at 4 stories, with maybe a bonus … Continue reading Preston CDP report available for your reading pleasure