Transportation Committee Stresses Cycling In Budget

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This is a release from the City of Ottawa:

The Transportation Committee, which is responsible for the City’s transportation planning and infrastructure, today approved its 2017 draft budget. The budget calls for a continuing commitment to delivering a safe and convenient cycling and pedestrian network – expanding and improving cycling routes, multi-use pathways and sidewalks.

More than $8 million will go towards new cycling infrastructure, while another $1.5 million will be used to enhance pedestrian mobility. When combined with other levels of government, it is anticipated that $73 million will be invested in cycling in this Term of Council versus $27 million in the last Term and an additional $10 million in pedestrian infrastructure.

The cycling network expansion will include such projects as the Cyrville Road Bike Lanes, Rideau Canal Crossing – Fifth Avenue to Clegg Street, Western Rideau River Pathway, Booth Street Bike Track, Trans Orléans Pathway, Campeau Drive Multiuse Pathway, Kanata North Cycling link and rural cycling routes. Pedestrian travel will be enhanced with new sidewalk on St. Laurent Boulevard, Parkglen Drive, Gardenway Drive, Bridgestone Drive, Chimo Drive, and Connaught/Roman Avenue.

Further road safety and intersection improvements for 2017 will include:

  • $4.5 million increase to funding for winter road maintenance
  • $800,000 for the expansion of the red light camera program
  • $2.375 million for new traffic control devices
  • $105,000 for roadway cycling safety improvements at 10 locations
  • $380,000 for intersection pedestrian safety enhancements
  • $3.6 million for intersection control measures
  • $2.5 million for network modifications
  • $1.498 million for renewal of traffic control signals
  • $350,000 for traffic monitoring system
  • $500,000 for new street lighting
  • $2.68 million for street lighting major replacements
  • $1.0 million for Safety Improvement Program
  • $420,000 for Safer Roads Ottawa

Neighbourhood safety programs will continue in communities across the city, with traffic-calming measures to reduce speeding and traffic safety awareness initiatives in residential areas.

The budget continues to invest in the planning, design and construction of new transportation infrastructure while renewing the City’s existing assets. Highlights include:

  • $5 million in 2017 for the new Kanata South Link (Hope Side Road to Hwy 416), from a total of $24 million over the next two years.
  • $800,000 for Brian Coburn Boulevard Extension, Navan Road to Mer Bleue Road
  • $1.6 million for park and ride facilities
  • $2.5 million for rapid transit environmental assessments
  • $1.7 million for transit corridor protection
  • With funding from the federal government, the Kanata light rail transit environmental assessment and the Baseline Bus Rapid Transit Corridor
  • $88.9 million for integrated projects that address road, sewer and water renewal as part of coordinated project delivery
  • $43.2 million for road renewal and resurfacing, with $23 million for rural roads
  • $13.8 million for bridge renewal
  • $2.7 million in standalone sidewalk renewal
  • $1.4 million for transportation service building renewal

 

The Transportation Committee budget will be considered at City Council on Wednesday, December 14.

 


 

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14 thoughts on “Transportation Committee Stresses Cycling In Budget

  1. I see our City has it’s priorities, same old same old. $8 MILLION to cycling infrastructure and yet, there just isn’t enough money to make the needed road repairs. It is being suggested that Council reintroduce an infrastructure levy.

    I have an idea! Why don’t you not spend $8 million on cycling and put money toward repairing the roads, many of which are in desperate need of repairs.

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    1. The city spends almost 10 times that amount building one kilometre of road near The Ottawa Hospital General campus, yet you complain about the amount for cycling when it is obvious that improved cycling facilities are needed.

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        1. Research has shown that cycling lanes (and more-so segregated cycling lanes) decrease the rate of collisions and injuries. To me, it seems like common sense to design our roads to meet the needs of all road users.

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          1. Steve:

            Are their some designs that are dangerous both for cyclist and drivers?

            I’m thinking of the volume in summer of cyclist on busy Laurier Avenue and the volume and odd-configuration of the O’Connor lanes.

            cheers

            kgray

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            1. A design of shared space with parking has the highest rate of collisions, which I think we could call most dangerous for both cyclists and drivers (the danger is really to the cyclists, as the drivers aren’t likely to be injured).

              Higher traffic speeds increase the risk of injury when there is a collision.

              Higher volumes of cyclists decreases the risk of collision, likely due to increased awareness (one knows that they need to look for cyclists, as they often see cyclists).

              It bears repeating that data shows a drastic increase in the number of cycling trips on Laurier since the segregated bike lanes were built, but a decrease in collisions. Hopefully the review that was initiated recently can make them even more safe.

              As to O’Connor, it isn’t that odd of a configuration. Similar configurations are used in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Hamilton, Chicago, London England, etc. As we have seen, it was not the safest option recommended to the city. However, as someone who uses O’Connor regularly, it does feel much safer than before. It is too early for there to be much data to back that up, and further changes may be necessary.

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              1. Steve:

                I wouldn’t minimize the shock that a driver feels when they strike a cyclist.

                I haven’t done it, yet, and hope never to. But after the initial shock, I expect you would have nightmares about the friends, the relatives, the children and of course the cyclist as well.

                When I was much younger, my cousin and her fiance were killed in a little VW when a rally driver didn’t see them at an isolated rural crossroad.

                The guy had guts because he showed up at the funeral home in the visitation.

                He was accompanied by two friends who were pretty much carrying him into the funeral home because he was such a mess. Tears … his legs were like rubber. I’d never seen such a grief-stricken person … maybe haven’t since. You have to know it scarred him for life.

                When I was trying to deal with the Laurier bike lanes, one bike ran into the side of a car trying to make a right turn into city hall as I waited to get onto Laurier. I couldn’t get out of the city hall parking lot because there was both a traffic jam on the bike lanes (though at high speed) and a traffic jam of cars (at very low speed … stopped cold) so it was impossible to get into traffic for fear of blocking the bike lane if a driver wouldn’t let you into traffic. When cars did try to let you into traffic, for the longest time I couldn’t get past the cyclists to get into traffic.

                Then I had to cut back across the bike lane to turn right on Nicholas to get to the Queensway. Again traffic was stopped or extremely slow and on the downhill of the Laurier bridge. But cyclists were coming at a very fast rate (because of the bridge downhill) right into my blind spot. I made it across but it was very uncomfortable.

                I’ve driven for 46 years with one speeding ticket on my record but I had never been so uneasy driving in a long, long time as when beside the Laurier bike lane. I don’t think the Laurier and O’Connor bike lanes are safe. Not at all.

                Look Steve, I’m on your side. Maybe even more pro-cycling than you. I’d like to see a street both east-west and another north-south devoted just to bikes. I don’t think heavy traffic of bikes and cars mix very well. I had advocated that one of Slater and Albert be devoted to surface light rail plus bike lanes and big sidewalks but no cars. That way right hooks were eliminated through that throughfare downtown. But Larry O’Brien and Jim Watson went with a rail tunnel. So much for that idea. That was a long time ago.

                I don’t want to hurt anyone with my car nor does anyone else. Drivers are people, too.

                I don’t want to end up like that guy who killed my cousin and her fiance with his car.

                So when you speak of these bike lanes, recognize that everyone wants to be safe. That view is not the sole domain of cyclists. If someone hits a cyclist, believe me, the driver is hurt.

                If you are to be successful in making the city safe for bikes, you need the support of people like me and others who drive cars and want to support you.

                Don’t let your advocacy get in the way of recognizing that drivers don’t want to hurt you as much as you don’t want to hurt them.

                They want to help. They are not the villains.

                cheers

                kgray

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                1. Ken,

                  I’m a driver too. I agree that we don’t want to hurt cyclists, but my point was that the danger is greater to the cyclist (injuries, death), than it is to the motorist (shock, repair bills, minor injuries).

                  Further, the point was that building cycling infrastructure, whether it be fully segregated streets like you propose, or segregated lanes like O’Connor and Laurier helps to decrease collisions and injuries. The best evidence we have (published, peer-reviewed research) agrees with that. Either way, it costs money, but we spend much more on building infrastructure for our motor vehicles.

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                  1. Steve:

                    And I guess the point I was trying to make is that you should not minimize the injury to the driver.

                    Mental health is real.

                    And the other point is that if you over-play your hand, you’re going to lose people like me.

                    Already I see people on this website you’ve lost.

                    I know you care about this a great deal (like I care about journalism and its loss, thus The Bulldog) but I’m saying this as honestly as I can, you’re going to lose the fight because your advocacy is coming on too strong.

                    For example, you blew off my point. Didn’t discuss it and went into rhetoric about how you are right.

                    People don’t like that and that’s the fatal weakness of the over-zealous part of the biking community. They talk, they don’t listen.

                    They’re alienating people … I’m right, you’re wrong doesn’t work.

                    The idea in public policy is to get people on your side, not lose them.

                    Give them arguments with which they can identify. Honour their opinions even if you don’t agree with them. Their arguments are as valid as yours.

                    Let me give you an example. I was on the Citizen’s editorial board for five or six years.

                    On the board we had Liberals, Libertarians, Conservatives and one NDPer.

                    We had about 45 minutes to come up with two-and-a-bit editorials each day on which we could all agree.

                    The idea was to come to a consensus with which we could all live, not win the argument. We were paid to establish the newspaper’s stance on public policy.

                    So we’d try to find a common position from which we could all go forward. There was no arguing. Just we honoured each person’s opinion and tried to find a position that would not alienate them. We honoured each other. I’ve never been in such a group before and will not likely be in one again. It was a wonderful experience.

                    It was an interesting exercise each day. You might think about trying it with your bicycle advocacy.

                    You’ll get farther ahead in the long run if you go forward in increments rather than trying for a quick win.

                    Bring people to your position. Don’t alienate them.

                    cheers

                    kgray

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  2. Ah, the anti-cycling commentariat is out in force. The transportation committee has budgeted $322 million in capital projects. $8 million of that is on cycling? Yeah, that 2.5 per cent of the capital budget is just ruining everything for everyone. Puh. Leeze.

    As tempting as it must be to do so, it’s not possible to blame the city’s budget issues on the minuscule sum it allocates to cycling by serious people.

    And let’s see what’s left of that $8 million when we get through the budget process.

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  3. Ken,

    Your response to Steve was very well stated.

    Approximately 58 years ago, a friend struck a cyclist who was killed. She was driving less than 20 kmh at the time however, cars still had hood ornaments at that time and the cyclist’s head struck that. She never got behind the wheel again and still has nightmares about the incident.

    People need to realize that there are many safe cyclists and many safe motorists and all of them care. When one makes a comment here about an issue, it is not that you are “anti” anything, it is just your commentary. The new bike lanes on Laurier and O’Connor are not safe. They give the illusion of safety and that is dangerous. What is professed to work elsewhere (there are conflicting issues on that) will not necessarily work here.

    I do not feel that the city has given enough consideration regarding the safety of commuters.

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  4. Have cycling lanes gotten all the bikes off the sidewalks in Ottawa and do all cyclists now obey rules of the road such as stop signs, red lights and the safety of pedestrians? Probably not and the same can be said of vehicle operators so let’s police our own and then be able to blame others when an accident happens.

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