This is a list of the top ten areas in the city that cause major problems for cyclists. None of these problems are easy to fix.
View 2010 Top Ten Hard Fixes in a larger map
|Waller and Stewart
There’s an east/west bicycle lane on Stewart that joins the Mackenzie King Bridge with a jog at Waller. It is used as a route between the east and downtown. Going west, there is no safe way to cross Waller to get to the bike lane. Cyclists have to cross three lanes, then a median, then two more lanes. There are no signs to warn cars, or directions for bicyclists. There is heavy traffic with buses and trucks.
A solution to this problem would provide a dedicated, signed and unblocked route that would cross Waller and lead cyclists directly to the Mackenzie King Bridge bike lane.
The Chaudière Bridge is an important connector for cyclists crossing the Ottawa River to reach the NCC paths that run on each side of the river. The surface of the road and the bridge are part of the problem, but the narrowness of the lanes and the fast-moving traffic add to the danger.
The cities of Gatineau and Ottawa, along with the NCC, need to provide a dedicated bicycle path that will separate cars from bicycles.
Cyclists headed east on Hog’s Back from the intersection of Meadowlands and Prince of Wales Dr. have problems accessing the NCC Rideau Canal pathway. The current route requires cyclists to share a busy lane with cars on Hog’s Back. The metal bridge provides a very poor surface for cyclists, and the connection the the NCC pathway is is poorly indicated.
The reverse direction is even more complicated. If cyclists follow the south end of the NCC path, they will be delivered on the wrong side of Hog’s Back and will need to walk some distance and have to cross Hog’s Back.
However, a reasonable alternative exists; cyclists could be funneled over the canal locks to avoid the entire intersection.
|Innes and Blackburn Hamlet Bypass
Going east, the bicycle lane on Innes is supposed to continue on Innes by taking a left turn at the traffic lights at Blackburn Hamlet Bypass. This is very difficult as it requires crossing two lanes of 80km/hr traffic that rarely stops for a red light.
The city could add a signal sensor under the bike lane to pause traffic so bicycles can cross safely. A left turn lane for cyclists could be added so bicyclists know the path they should take through the intersection.
|Train culvert on Carling
The CN Rail-owned train bridge that crosses Carling between Moodie and Herzberg provides a very narrow opening for 80 km/hr traffic. Beyond just adding signage, this underpass needs to be widened to allow enough space for bicycles and cars to travel safely side-by-side.
There is a bicycle route that connects Wellington to the bike lane southbound on Percy St. The current route is poorly signed, and requires sharing a narrow sidewalk for four blocks.
There should be a contra-flow lane installed on Bay St. to keep pedestrians and cyclists separated.
|Overpasses of the 416 and 417
Many overpasses on Highways 416 and 417 in the city are problematic for cyclists. The on- and off-ramps put cyclists in the path of fast-moving traffic. Long turn lanes make it difficult for cyclists to safely cross.
Bicycle lanes should be added to all the overpasses on these two highways so cyclists can safely cross on- and off-ramps. Motorists must yield to cyclists in the lanes, rather than cutting cyclists off at high speeds. Signage should be added so drivers know where to expect cyclists.
|Difficulties in crossing downtown
Crossing downtown east/west is difficult in Ottawa because of the heavy bus, car and truck traffic on these streets. The city should create a designated bicycle route that gives cyclists a safe way to cross this area.