This list shows problems that could be fixed by changing signage, resurfacing, painting lines or minor changes to signals.
View 2010 Top Ten Easy Fixes in a larger map
There is a 3.2km bicycle path that runs along the north side of Carling between the end of the NCC Ottawa River pathway all the way to Moodie. It passes by Andrew Haydon Park, and could be used by commuters heading to Kanata.
The path’s surface and the curbs at the intersections make this path practically unusable. Biking here is very slow and could dent rims. Instead, cyclists share the road with drivers on Carling Ave.
- depress all the intersecting curbs
- resurface the path to remove uneveness
Signals at NCC Ottawa River pathway and Booth St.
There are thousands of cycle trips daily along the NCC Ottawa River pathway. The intersection at Booth St. (behind the War Museum) requires that cyclists dismount, press the pedestrian signal button and wait several minutes. Given how busy this intersection is, bicycle traffic should sometimes have priority.
- paint a bike lane across the intersection so cyclists don’t have to dismount
- add sensors on the NCC path so that bicycles trigger the lights, and provide a feedback mechanism so cyclists know it has been triggered
- change the timing so that cyclists are given priority, and are frequently offered a green light as they approach the intersection
Signage to get from Ottawa River pathway to downtown
Riding from the NCC Ottawa River pathway from near the War Museum to the downtown core requires navigating a sequence of turns through various paths to get under the Portage Bridge up to Wellington. Only the experienced know the route, because there is no clear signage to explain the right way to get to the downtown core. The NCC is happy to show the way along the river at the bottom of Parliament Hill, somewhere very few commuters want to go.
- install proper signage and a localized map along the path
Colonel By and Daly
The NCC Rideau Canal eastern pathway ends under the Laurier Bridge. However, many cyclists want to continue on to the downtown core or the Byward Market. The current connection is unsigned, and leads cyclists onto what appears to be a sidewalk, and dumps them at a crosswalk over Colonel By at Daly.
- convert the existing sidewalk to a multi-purpose path
- install cyclist-friendly signaling to cross Colonel By
The Parks Canada Hartwell Locks are used by cyclists to cross the Rideau Canal, connecting Carleton University with the Experimental Farm. Crossing the locks saves a 4km detour in heavy traffic. But the locks are only designed for pedestrians; cyclists need to lug their bicycles up steps and carry them across the locks.
Adding a proper ramp for bicycles and widening the walkway across the locks would make crossing the canal a lot easier.
- install a ramp
- provide appropriate signage
The bicycle route along Percy is a north/south route to get between the Glebe and downtown. It helps cyclists avoid Bank and Bronson. Northbound, the path is an abandoned sidewalk and has never been properly converted; there are high curbs and no signage.
- remove the curbs, repave the bicycle portion of this path
- install proper signage so cyclists know where to ride to avoid pedestrians
There is a tunnel under the Transitway at the University of Ottawa that connects Colonel By Drive to campus, just south of the Corktown bridge near Somerset. The city’s online cycling guide describes this as an “existing off-road pathways route”.
Signs indicate that cyclists are supposed to dismount on this bicycle route, and cyclists complain that the tunnel is dark and dangerous at night. There is space for both cyclists and pedestrians.
- add proper lighting to make the tunnel safer
- create a segregated bicycle lane under the bridge
The Bank Street Bridge joins the Glebe with Old Ottawa South. Going north towards downtown, cyclists need to go left on Wilton Cr. to follow the bike lane along Monk St., which lets them avoid the traffic on Bank St.
However, the rise of the bridge makes it dangerous for cyclists to get into the left lane. Visibility is limited, it is unclear where cyclists should cross, and drivers are surprised to see bicycles in the left lane.
- Change the signage to warn drivers that there will be cyclists in the left turn lane, and indicate to cyclists that they should change lanes before the crest of the hill.
St. Patrick is a designated bicycle route that carries bicycle traffic from Vanier and Rockliffe into downtown. However, between the bridge and King Edward, the bicycle lane starts and stops with no warning. This forces cyclists into heavy traffic, which is made worse by the poor surface. The bicycle lane should be continuous.
There are also problems getting onto St. Patrick from Cobourg, and getting off of St. Patrick at Beausoleil. These intersections need better signage and curb cutouts.
- extend the bike lane between the river and King Edward
Rightmost parts of on-road bicycle routes have poor surfaces
The city has a number of bicycle routes indicated with signage and on the City of Ottawa bicycle map. These roads are maintained like other roads, where the priority is to reduce potholes in the middle of the road. Cyclists are supposed to ride on the right side of the road, which falls in disrepair more quickly and is less likely to be repaired. As a result, they often need to ride further out in traffic, slowing down drivers.
Although all such roads should be surveyed, some of the worst include Main St., Monk St., Gladstone Ave. and Lees Ave.