Parking woes for Ottawa cyclists

Finding a parking spot downtown isn’t a hassle for just motorists.

With the uptick in cycling, “bike parking is something that we’d like to see improved even more,” said Citizens for Safe Cycling president Hans Moor.

“We noticed that a number of the racks, especially in the high season, are basically packed with bicycles, so we’d really like to see the city put more bike racks in.”

The ByWard Market has already seen “a great improvement,” Moor said.

The group wants companies to consider more bike parking inside, “Because that’s really important for theft,” he said.

Parking is one of the improvements listed in the second annual CFSC report.

Overall, “Ottawa gained bike parking in 2012,” reads the report.

“Bike racks were installed during and following the reconstruction of traditional main streets (e.g. Bank St. in the Glebe and Centretown, Somerset St. W., Wellington St. W.).”

In addition, certain transit stations have implemented covered parking.

In certain downtown areas, though, bike parking which appears to be public isn’t, leaving the onus on businesses.

Moor offers up Constitution Square on Albert St. as an example.

“It’s a large building with an estimated 4,000 people and they have sacrificed a number of parking spots for cars, built a bike cage, and in this bike cage you can often see over 100 bicycles plus a number of bicycles around the building,” he said.

Racks have also been added outside, he noted, calling it an excellent initiative.

The shift toward cycling is becoming apparent as more municipal politicians support the cause.

“Initially, it was hard to convince a number of councillors to get on board and see the benefits of cycling in a livable city. Fortunately, we see more and more councillors coming on board,” said Moor.

“Obviously, (Capital Coun.) David Chernushenko has always been a hero. (Rideau-Vanier Coun.) Mathieu Fleury is a hero for us. But we also see people like (Barrhaven Coun.) Jan Harder coming on board, and it’s really nice,” said Moor.

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche

CYCLING IN 2012

Increase in city budget allocated to cycling since 2011: 44%
Total distance of segregated bike lanes: 3.0 km
Average daily modal share on Ottawa: 1.8%
Increase in total number of bike trips in Ottawa since 2005: 40%
Highest number of trips on a single day: 5,797 on July 1 at Ottawa River Pathway

http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/05/26/parking-woes-for-ottawa-cyclists

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