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 to all users at that point, although there is still work to be done…

It would be an interesting challenge to see how many councillors and dept heads can actually ride a bike, since doing so would give me more confidence they understand what a facility should include.

Back to Saturday. Hot and sunny. And lo, in the distance, a worker. Working on a Saturday:
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As I got closer, I realized it was Zlakko Krstulich, of our hardworking cycling facilities dept at City Hall.

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He was getting the bike counter in place, so we will know how many users there are from day 1 when the new brownfield MUP opens. It doesn’t count pedestrians, unless you are wearing steel shoes.

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16 thoughts on “OTrain bike path nears completion

    1. Aaron: I suspect not yet. IF the city puts in a curb cut, then the path has to be “controlled” where it meets Beech so that riders dont just ride out in front of cars. If there is a curb, it is “controlled” in that you dismount, look both ways, carry your bike across, etc, etc (yeah, but not in practice… instead people cycle the sidewalk to the first curb cut for which there isn’t a matching one on the other side of the street, a way more dangerous situation). Maybe when the path south of Young, to Carling, is paved we would get a proper crossing …

        1. Lana: there is a new curb cut at Gladstone because they dug up the road to install traffic signals. Originally proposed to be complete multi-head signals like a four way road intersection (to be installed 100% at the cost to cycling budget, since EXISTING traffic demand didn’t warrant a signalized intersection…) they have installed just two anchor posts, the underground ductwork, an electronics panel on the SE side (tastefully painted green to blend in, rather than the normal gray) and I fully expect to see signal heads there very soon. Curb cut requires signal seems to be the rule — which is not to say I am a fan of that position.

  1. I am not impressed how the cranky fence builders have put the metal barriers back at the top of the ramp to Wellington/Sommerset in a way that forces people walking their kids to Devonshire to walk on the road. All so they can finish their paternalistic fence along the ramp. Cheers to safety. Am I also the only one who thinks the set of stairs next to the ramp is a death trap?

    1. I took my newborn out for his first stroll yesterday and also came across this dangerous situation on the Somerset Street bridge over the O-Train. There were no signs indicating that the sidewalk was closed and I had to dismount the curb and push along the bicycle lane against traffic. There were no temporary ramps to assist with negotiating the 6″ difference from sidewalk to asphalt. Glad I wasn’t on a wheelchair!

      1. i walked over the somerset viaducty yesterday (tuesday) about 4.30 or 5pm, and there were sidewalk closed signs at Bayview and at Preston. I see heavy equipment out at the site today — I suspect they are removing the concrete barricades that kept cars from falling down the stairs. And a curb cut will be appearing at the top of the ramp so cyclists can ride from road to ramp.

  2. Interestingly, the seem to be putting a garden between the path and the closest access point to Art-Is-In (under the City Centre ramp). I expect a cowpath will emerge in short order.

  3. Eric,
    Long-time reader, first time commentator. I just wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your posts over the years – but (and you knew there was going to be a “but” didn’t you?) I have to take issue with your continued mocking of the term “multi-use path” in favour of “bike path”. By labelling the MUPs as bike paths, you imply that they are for the sole use of cyclists. This alienates other path users and feeds the impression that many cyclists have that they “own” the path.

    I’m sure cyclists would object to a blogger who continually referred to roads as “car routes”.

    My commute to work used to involve a walk to Gatineau from Tunney’s Pasture along the Ottawa River MUP. However, after being knocked over by a cyclist once, clipped several times, and scared half to death once a day by road racers intent on zipping between myself and oncoming cyclists (without at least a courtesy ring of their bell!), I found it had become too dangerous. After all, MUPs involves a number of rules, which can be freely ignored if one views them as simply “bike paths”

    I gave up walking and now bike to work using the same path. I don’t speed. I ring my bell. I pass only when it’s safe to do so. I treat them like MUPs, recognizing that there are multiple types of users and they all have a right to be there.

    Except the geese. If they could only do something about the geese…

    P.S. – speaking of the bike counter, there is one now on the Portage Bridge. Along a dedicated bike path, btw.

    1. My complaint with “MUP” isn’t with the notion that the path is shared by pedestrians, dogwalkers, parents with strollers, dog walkers, bird watchers, etc, indeed when sitting on the PAC for the OTrain path we had to continually remind the city that there were more than cycling commuters zooming thru at 60kmh. But MUP?? Only a bureaucrat could love that term. But what are the alternatives to MUP that convey the same notion, in simple discriptive words. Public path? BTW I try to avoid saying sidewalk now, because it implies peds are pushed to the side, and have identical desire lines as motorists.

      1. Ironically, I only saw the term “MUP” catch on after your frequent use of it. Prior to that, I’d only seen it in conversations involving Tom Trottier.

        Personally, I prefer the term “pathway”, and apparently so do the NCC and City.

        I’ve heard from a few pedestrians who were shouted off the “bike paths” by aggressive cyclists (not just idiots passing too quickly, but actually making it clear that they think the pedestrians don’t belong).

    2. While the City’s paths have long been multi-user (if anything, they’re generally more pedestrian-oriented than anything else), the NCC’s most definitely were originally “bike paths”.

      The Parkway path should long ago have been fully twinned to separate cyclists from walkers.

  4. I don’t disagree, but my objection is that the term “bike path”, by its very wording, specifically excludes the other users you mention.

    As for alternatives, I dunno – “recreational path” maybe?

    1. But then that excludes commuters, so same problem.

      How about “common path” (“sentier en commune”)?

  5. Well “recreational path” doesn’t exclude other modes of transportation, so I don’t think it’s the same as referring to the MUPs as “bike paths”. At the same time, while folks can use these paths for commuting (me included), it’s not really their main function (hence the suggested speed limits and less-than-direct routes). Really, these paths allow for a recreational commute.

    I get your point though.

    I like “common path” – reminds me of the term used for the common-use pathways running throughout the UK.

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