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 should be attractive to cyclists and roller bladders as it will be freshly repaved and very smooth.
If the whole street is closed, volunteers or paid staff would be needed for each cross street/intersection. For that reason, they are also examining a model whereby only one half of the street would be closed to cars, for example, the southbound land would become a bike zone and cars would use the street northbound to access restaurants and residential street.
They are planning to use the Preston “extension” which leads out to a legal crosswalk over the transitway and then connects to the existing NCC cycling paths. This route is also of keen interest to Bluesfest for crowds to access the park in front of the War Museum.
Cycling Sundays on Preston is a welcome initiative on the part of the PBIA. It may lead to further development/completion of the cycle path fragments along the Otrain corridor. The city cycling plan identifies this corridor as a cycling arterial. Maybe the PBIA will promote the improved path and see it branded as the CycloPiste d’Preston.