Second segregated bike lane on hold until 2013

Adding a second dedicated bike lane downtown won’t be considered until fall 2013, says the head of the city’s transportation committee.

That’s when a final report from the Laurier Ave. project is expected.

“We want the pilot to be finished before we do another segregated bike lane,” said chairwoman and Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson, noting in the meantime, regular bike lanes could be added.

So could sharrows or painted shared lane markings, seen near City Hall, which help cyclists position themselves.

“Painted lines can come pretty quickly once the decisions are made,” she said.

The Laurier Ave. bike lanes opened July 10, 2010, running between Bronson Ave. and Elgin St.

The two-year pilot project has a $1.3 million price tag.

An interim report on Laurier should be submitted this fall.

Adding a segregated lane to O’Connor St., from Wellington St. to Isabella St. — connecting the north-south road with Laurier — has been thrown into the mix by Somerset Coun. Diane Holmes.

“O’Connor definitely needs a make-over and it would be great if we can add bike lanes, but for us, it is not a top priority at the moment,” Citizens for Safe Cycling president Hans Moor told the Sun via e-mail from Holland.

In the short term, he’d like to see the Percy St./Bay St. corridor improved first.

“There are bike lanes already, people are used to bikes there, so minor improvements can make Percy and Bay a better route for now,” wrote Moor.

Overall, Moor wants to see bike projects taken step by step, calling the Laurier figures “very promising.”

Last week alone, “we counted nearly 10,000 bike trips already and also last week, the counter counted 250,000 trips since it opened nine months ago,” wrote Moor.

“These are high numbers that you will find hardly anywhere else in Canada.”

According to Wilkinson, “more and more people are using bicycles to get around.”

With light rail on its way, the city is looking at how people get around specifically in the downtown core.

The Downtown Moves mobility overlay study is examining the needs of pedestrians, transit riders, and cyclists.

“The primary issues when they get downtown is how they move around,” said Wilkinson, noting as the LRT is built, it will help people navigate the city.

Public consultation continues and an open house is slated next month, Wilkinson said.

kelly.roche@sunmedia.ca

@ottawasunkroche

http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/05/17/second-segregated-bike-lane-on-hold-until-2013

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