NCC Seeks Portage Bridge Cycling Feedback

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This is a release from the National Capital Commission and no doubt will make the Bike Gnomes’ hearts go aflutter:

The National Capital Commission is currently developing a plan to improve the existing bidirectional cycle track on the Portage Bridge from the intersection of Laurier Street and Maisonneuve Boulevard in Gatineau to Wellington Street / Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway in Ottawa.

Before starting construction, which is scheduled to begin in summer 2018, the NCC is asking for public feedback on the proposed options. An online survey is now available for those who would like to comment on the improvement plan and will be available until February 1st, 2018.

Following an analysis of the current cycling track, the NCC has identified three options to improve the existing cycling track:

  • Enhancements to the existing bidirectional cycle track through widening the area between the cycle track and motor vehicle lanes;
  • Enhancements to the existing bidirectional cycle track through the installation of a barrier between the cycle track and motor vehicle lanes; or
  • Construction of a new southbound cycle track on the west side of the bridge, and conversion of the existing bidirectional cycle track to a northbound-only cycle track.

Public comments will contribute to the selection of the best option which will then be presented to the NCC Board of Directors for approval in 2018.

KEY FACTS

  • The Portage Bridge currently includes a 2.5-metre-wide concrete bi-directional (two-way) cycle track on the east side of the bridge, which forms part of Confederation Boulevard, with a number of connections to existing and planned cycling facilities.
  • A bicycle sensor on the Portage Bridge (installed in 2012) has counted, on average, over 300,000 cyclists every year since 2014.
  • Between 2014 and 2017, the number of cyclists has increased by 4 percent each year. On an hourly basis, during the morning and afternoon commutes, the number of cyclists is over 400 per hour.

 

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3 thoughts on “NCC Seeks Portage Bridge Cycling Feedback

  1. ” – A bicycle sensor on the Portage Bridge (installed in 2012) has counted, on average, over 300,000 cyclists every year since 2014.
    – Between 2014 and 2017, the number of cyclists has increased by four per cent each year. On an hourly basis, during the morning and afternoon commutes, the number of cyclists is over 400 per hour.”

    As the saying goes… There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    Did the sensor count the number of cyclists? Or the number of passing bicycles, perhaps counting the same cyclists over and over…

    – 400 cyclists / hour at peak time… assuming three hours of peak / day, that’s 1,200 cyclists / day.
    – Peak number of cyclists likely happened in the three months of summer between June to August.
    – Ottawa had on average 36 days of rain from June to August between 2014 and 2017. So the peak number of cyclists likely only happened on 55 days at most each year.
    – 1,200 cyclists triggered the sensors twice a day for 55 days/year. That’s 132,000 “cyclists” passing by the sensors (1,200 cyclists, twice a day as they commute, 55 days).

    Then a subset of these same cyclists continue earlier/later in the cycling season (or even year-round), and they keep cycling through rain or sleet; adding to the 132,000 cyclists. And then adding recreational cyclists passing at non-peak hours. By the time you get to 300,000 “cyclists”, how many people does that really represent? Obviously, one-third of Ottawa is not cycling across that one bridge at rush hour.

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  2. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. so that I was able to leave my feedback.

    I live in Ottawa and for at least 15 years I’ve worked in the Portage complex in Gatineau. I cycled the Portage Bridge for all those years.

    The only change that I would encourage is a cycle pathway heading south, from Gatineau to Ottawa. Not only will cyclists be biking in the same direction as traffic but you are in the proper lane to merge with the Rideau Street bike lane when leaving the Portage Bridge. For this very, I’ve ridden that roadway heading south many times. Not fun with passing buses (the cars were OK), potholes and sunken sewage grates.

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    1. Anne:

      Is it ever nice to read a considered, helpful comment from a cyclist.

      Many of the ones we get here are ridiculously angry people — convinced motorists are out to knock them down on the roads.

      Cycling is very valuable … I think we all agree … but some of these world-peace-through-cycling zealots are a bit hard to take.

      These bike gnomes hurt their own cause. They alienated me and I back cycling.

      Thx and cheers

      kgray

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