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 intersections and driveways along these blocks. Motorists will share or use the bike lane for entering and exit manoeuvres, and will be incoming from one or two lanes out, as the first lane is a bus priority lane, so expect wild unexpected lane changes, erratic driving,  totally impaired sight lines, and incipient panic. And that’s just the motorists.

It doesn’t yet inspire much confidence in me, but we will see …


At least the adjacent residents won’t have to witness the carnage, as the city is installing a somewhat grand new privacy fence. It’s only temporary though. We’ll do some fence viewing in the next story.

The bike lane peters out in a  ill-defined  lane (for bikes? shared with cars? a turn lane?? and also a bus stop for local buses and starting in January, the #95 too) just before one gets to Bayview Avenue intersection. I’m hoping they slap some more paint down here to help guide users, at least in the snow-free months, not that the current paint scheme is getting a whole lot of respect.


At this point, people walking or cycling can cross Scott-Albert and pick up the north side bi-directional path described in the previous story. It will take one straight downtown.

The crosswalk delivers cyclists in a perfect launch position for rutting in the grass seed:


Or, people who cycle and people who are walking can continue westward on the south side of Scott, over to Albert, via the triangular refuge zone. Notice the bike directional sign, which points to the north side pathway (not visible from here, but there is a bike sign) and either to counter-flow cycling on the Bayview Avenue sidewalk or to the new pathway running along Tom Brown arena:


The path starts with one of those sharp-ish curves in the asphalt  lest an over-eager cyclist (probably one of those bearded 55 year old males in lycra with funny shoes) start along the pathway too fast. Or maybe it anticipates people cycling in the opposing direction …


Anyhow, the path continues in the gully between Tom Brown arena and Albert Street as the road rises up to go over the narrow bridge over the OTrain tracks. The new path is lit at night, and will be winter maintained.

The new path eliminates the need for pedestrians (and maybe the odd cyclist) to use the mountain goat pathway that ascended the hill behind Tom Brown, much used by Hintonburgers to get to the OTrain or Bayview Station bus platforms.


I am watching anxiously to see if the steep drop off where the goat trail jumps the barrier at the sidewalk, which is currently a 3′ deep precipice, with undermining of the concrete sidewalk and weakening of the guardrail posts, will be repaired or if the sidewalk will be allowed to collapse and sit unrepaired for months as a punishment for people daring to walk where it is logical to walk as opposed to the bureaucratic preference for sidewalks glued to the curbline.

Still, the new path, still under construction, but due to open by Christmas (but not if we are naughty …) swings under Albert Street as shown here:


Essentially, RTG is constructing a mirror image of the access pathways to Bayview Station that already exist on the east side of the tracks. Obviously, in the pic above, the fill is incomplete. The pic was taken from the [old] OTrain platform. I expect it will now come straight across to the  OTrain platform, or maybe continue a bit further north to connect to the new pathway on the north side of the station.

Whatever the route, users will have a no-crossing-the-road no-climbing-the-mountain access to both directions of the buses, either at the [old] Bayview Station bus platforms or the new temporary ones on Albert Street. And access to the [new] OTrain platform, should the train actually be in service.

The new temporary OTrain platforms are no longer under the roadways above, so passengers will be more exposed to rain and sun. However, with the six new lower-capacity trainsets providing service two minutes more frequently than the old three higher-capacity trainsets, waiting is usually endured aboard the  train (8 minute dwell time, on average, nice work if you can get it). I wonder if there is WiFi?

Ahh, the law of unintended consequences. We cannot afford heated stations, but the sixty million spent on new trains and intermittent signals and passing sidings in the wrong place did get us nice heated / air conditioned station-on-wheels at Bayview. A good place to wait for the world’s busiest unscheduled train service.

People just passing through on their way towards the downtown will have a flatter, fairly direct way to by-pass the climb up and over the OTrain bridge, with its scary traffic travelling too close too fast.

Here’s the new ramp on the south side of Albert connecting the street level from the [new] OTrain Platform, as seen from the top of the slope. Note helpful signage.


It is unclear to me how many of these new pathways are permanent ( I hope they all are) and how many are temporary, to be ripped out in summer 2018. The lighting, for example, screams out “temporary”.  But the grass seed suggests permanent, since RTG doesn’t do temporary landscaping, but on the other hand [is this my third hand? or fourth?] it might be for Engineering Purposes to prevent erosion of the slope.

It is somehow to be expected we have money to tear paths out but not money to leave them be or maintain and repair them post-construction. Sigh.

The traffic light for pedestrians at Bayview Station / Albert Street has now been removed, and crossing fenced off on the north side, and the south side, and in the middle too for good measure.


Observant fans will notice the nice grass seeded slope on each side, the bright yellow line, and the absence of a fence or railing on the left to keep people from tumbling down the slope into Trinity Gulch.

The lack of a cycling track, or even a painted bikelane, from where the path joins Albert and onwards to the downtown…


…means that cyclists should either cross Scott at Bayview Avenue and pick up the north side pathway , OR, follow the south side path past Tom Brown and jog north on the Trillium Path to ascend up to street level on the existing paved ramp. Those routes deliver people who cycle right onto the bi-directional MUP on the north side of Albert that runs up to the downtown via the new segment cutting through Ottawa Tech fields to the Laurier Ave separated cycle tracks.

Only the bravest, or perhaps those challenging evolutionary theory, will ride their bikes over the overpass like we had to before, or ride companionably with 2500 buses a day [No Way ! Indeed!]  in the curbside bus lane along Albert, sans bike lane, sans buffer zone, sans anything…

For many us, we won’t get much riding on the paths till the Spring (why did I put my bike away for the winter just as it gets warmer?)  By spring, the routes should be much more apparent and intuitive. Benefits for people who walk are being enjoyed now, and will get better by Christmas.

Note that throughout the construction period of the New Bayview Station, the walkways will stay open and protected from falling objects. It may be narrow and scary, but it will be open.


(Note to readers: in my “creator version” of WordPress, all the pic are right side up. Some are rotated within WP to get them right side up. But when WP posts those pictures, they revert to sideways. The joy of computers. Suggestions?)



2 thoughts on “Navigating Scott-Albert (east bound)

  1. Nice coverage and analysis of the work being done. I’m looking forward to a post about the new paving and raised road crossings on the trillium path.

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