Here is a press release from the City of Ottawa heralding the advent of the O’Connor bike lanes.
These lanes have been plowed through while the city awaits a safety audit of the Laurier bike lanes which have been found to be dangerous. The O’Connor lanes, with traffic in two directions instead of the usual one direction, are arguably more risky than the Laurier lanes.
Still the city’s politicians and staff blindly ignored the danger and moved ahead with the O’Connor lanes.
Here is the release below issued as a cyclist was in colision with a car on O’Connor shortly after the lanes were opened:
The O’Connor Street Bikeway, a new cycling link that, makes bike travel through downtown Ottawa easier and safer, was officially opened today by Mayor Jim Watson, Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney and Capital Ward Councillor David Chernushenko.
The O’Connor Street Bikeway consists of a combination of protected two-way bike lanes, painted bike lanes, and shared-use lanes connecting the Laurier Avenue Bikeway with Fifth Avenue, near Lansdowne Park. It is part of the Cross-Town Bikeway Network, a system of seven bicycle routes designed to provide a safer, continuous path for cyclists across the city.
”Over the past decade, we have expanded our cycling infrastructure network to meet the growing number of cyclists in Ottawa, and to encourage that number to continue to grow,” said Mayor Watson. “The City of Ottawa is committed to being a cycling-friendly city, and with so many cyclists on the roads, everyone needs to be more dedicated than ever to safety.”
Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are encouraged to visit the City’s website, ottawa.ca, for more information about the O’Connor Street Bikeway and the proper use of Bike Boxes, which cyclists use to make safe turns. Volunteers and City staff will distribute flyers over the coming days and temporary signs are in place along the bikeway to provide more information.
“We’ve always been told to look both ways before crossing streets and to know where vehicles are around us,” said Councillor Keith Egli, Chair of the City’s Transportation Committee. “Being aware is more important than ever as motorists, cyclists and pedestrians interact with each other in new ways on city streets, especially downtown.”
Safe to say Councillor Egli that the issue is slightly more complicated than looking both ways.
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