The New Civic Hospital Plan Under a Microscope: Part 2

                This is the second post in our two part series related to the feedback we have provided about the new Ottawa Hospital plan. The following two documents are about the planned Infrastructure and Bike Parking.

                If you missed the first post on Modal Shares and the Transportation Demand Management, you n find it HERE, and you n find our original overview of the site plan HERE.

                In general, we feel that the infrastructure proposed in these designs is inadequate for non-r transportation, it prioritizes access to the mpus by r, while more sustainable modes must continually work around r traffic when accessing the site. The plan does not incentivize active transportation and sustainable transportation. For some people, driving (or being driven) to the mpus will make the most sense, but we see no real efforts to encourage those who could choose to use transit, walk/roll, or bike to the mpus- staff particularly- to do so. This is reinforced by the design plan that favours easy access to mpus via r, which, when prioritized, means sacrificing access, and even safety in some instances, of other people who choose not to arrive by r.?

                Parking is ample for those who drive, but those who walk, roll, take transit, or bike are asked to move the longest distances to the main buildings. In fact, their trajectory is interrupted and rendered much less safe by the on-mpus r infrastructure. 

                Our feedback about bike parking on the new mpus is centred around the suggestion that the new plan be re-thought to provide both secure long-term parking for employees, and short-term parking for those who have appointments or shorter visits. The former should be integrated into buildings and the latter at entrances, both must accommodate bikes of all types.?

                For a more detailed look at our concerns read on…

                (Text based versions of the letter for web accessibility are found below the pictures).

                Bike Ottawa Feedback: New Civic Hospital mpus Transportation Study
                Infrastructure


                This document concerns infrastructure at the new mpus of the Ottawa Civic Hospital
                (TOH) as they arise in the Transportation Impact Assessment and Mobility Study (TIA).


                Overall site configuration

                In our letter of June 18, 2021, Bike Ottawa outlined several ways in which the current
                plans for the new Civic Hospital (TOH) mpus prioritizes travel by automobile at the
                detriment of more efficient, sustainable modes of travel. In the portions of the present
                letter that address TOH’s modal-share projections and its Transportation Demand
                Management (TDM) plan, we observe how the TIA itself acknowledges that supporting
                these efficient, sustainable modes is vital to the hospital’s very function.
                One of the most important ways to support more sustainable modes is to situate the
                hospital as close to the LRT station as possible—ideally, with the station integrated into
                the hospital, as with the transit connection at the Ottawa Hospital’s Riverside mpus.
                In the proposed plan for the new Civic mpus, however, the LRT station is the
                maximum distance from the hospital’s main entrance that the TDM contemplates: 600
                metres (pp. 47, 66, and 68; Appendix S). This distance will function as a disincentive to
                accessing the hospital by transit.

                An alternative scenario is where the main hospital building is loted close to the
                street. The TIA’s TDM advises this very configuration: “Lote building close to the
                street, and do not lote parking areas between the street and building entrances,”
                “Lote building entrances in order to minimize walking distances to sidewalks and
                transit stops/stations”; and “reducing distances between public sidewalks and major
                building entrances” (Appendix S). The current site plan, however, ignores this advice.
                Likewise, the hospital’s main entrance is loted at a considerable distance from
                rling Ave, which is expected to be upgraded to include bus rapid transit (BRT) and
                dedited biking facilities in the coming years (Appendix C).

                Parking Garage
                There are several signifint problems with the parking garage as proposed in the TIA.
                To begin with, in its proposed lotion, it obstructs pedestrian traffic between the
                Dow’s Lake LRT Station and the hospital’s main entrance. The connection between the
                hospital and the LRT station is the most important one for employees and visitors.
                Indeed, the TIA itself acknowledges that “the integration of [Dow’s Lake] LRT Station to
                the future Civic mpus would highly improve pedestrian and cyclist safety by
                eliminating an at-grade crossing at rling Avenue, a major arterial roadway” (p. 20).
                Despite this, it also admits that “there are currently no plans to integrate the [Dow’s
                Lake] LRT Station with the future hospital.”

                Another signifint problem is that the parking garage in its proposed lotion entails a
                removal of the portion of the Trillium MUP south of rling Ave. We discuss this at
                greater length below.

                The parking garage is also far too large. As other community groups have pointed out,
                its size is equivalent to the parking garage at the Ottawa airport, which, while itself
                obscenely large, is loted in a lotion much more remote than that proposed for the
                new Civic mpus. With its proximity to Dow’s Lake, among other features, the
                proposed garage’s lotion is prime real estate. At the very least, the garage should be
                installed underground, as was originally planned for the site, so that the valuable land
                on which it is situated may be preserved for more valuable uses than temporary
                automobile storage.

                Finally, provisions should be made to make better use of r-parking spaces in this
                parking garage than temporary storage of private vehicles. For example, parking spaces
                should be convertible for more sustainable uses, such as bike parking, or even
                r-share services. While the TIA’s TDM mentions this possibility (Appendix S), it does
                so only cursorily; this should be an integral part of any plans for the parking garage.

                Surface r-parking lots
                Bike Ottawa is particularly concerned to see surface lots for private-vehicle storage in
                the TIA. The TIA shows 55 surface r-parking spaces at the main entrance (Parking
                Zone 2), as well as another lot with 238 spaces (Parking Zone 4) (pp. 63–64). r storage
                is widely acknowledged as one of the most inefficient, wasteful uses of urban space,
                and surface r parking is the most inefficient means of r storage. The only surface
                r infrastructure facilities justifiable on such prime land are roadways, drop-off zones,
                and facilities for emergency vehicles. Rather than wasting existing surface space on
                parking, the hospital should consider partnering with developers for projects coming
                onboard, such as the redevelopment of the Dow Honda site, to secure underground
                parking at these sites.

                Overall quantity of r-parking
                We are also concerned about the overall quantity of r parking in the TIA. Providing
                r infrastructure induces r dependency—the well-known phenomenon of “induced demand” (Jevon’s paradox). The TIA itself acknowledges that r dependency will need
                to be minimized for the hospital to function (p. 70). We understand that the TIA is to
                some extent constrained by the City of Ottawa’s r-parking bylaws, since its projected
                parking plan only exceeds minimums mandated by these by-laws by two spaces. To
                begin with, we urge that r parking at the new Civic mpus be adapted to minimums
                established in the new Official Plan, when it becomes available. But we also reiterate
                our recommendation above—i.e., that these spaces be adapted to more sustainable
                uses. Finally, if it is r-parking minimums that prevent TOH from promoting more
                sustainable transportation options, we recommend that TOH apply for a variance with
                the City of Ottawa, as mentioned in the TDM (Appendix S, p. 8).


                Trillium MUP south of rling
                Bike Ottawa objects to the elimination of the portion of the Trillium MUP south of
                rling. The Trillium MUP is some of Ottawa’s best bike infrastructure, providing
                segregation from r traffic in a low-stress environment that nnot be matched by
                facilities adjacent to automotive traffic. The portion south of rling connects the
                Trillium MUP to two popular destinations: Dow’s Lake and Prince of Wales Drive. As
                mentioned above, the lotion of the r-parking structure as proposed would entail
                the removal of this portion of the MUP.

                While the TIA proposes rerouting this facility around the mpus via Preston St. (pp.
                55–56), this route takes people on bikes in close proximity to r traffic, introduces
                three new points of conflict with pedestrians (rling and the Trillium MUP, Preston
                and rling, and Preston and Prince of Wales), and is a longer and slower slower route
                to Prince of Wales. To be sure, there is already considerable volume from people on
                bikes and pedestrians on Preston, in particular, and for this reason the facility
                proposed here should stand—and it should be amply wide (a minimum of 5 m to
                accommodate the variety of non-standard bikes: tricycles, recumbents, rgo bikes,
                etc.) and with signifint buffering from r traffic on the adjacent roadway to match
                the low-stress setting of the existing Trillium MUP south of rling. Nevertheless, this
                n be no replacement for the portion of the Trillium MUP proposed for removal.
                Indeed, the TIA even acknowledges the value of the portion it proposes eliminating and
                the danger posed to people on bikes by rling and Preston (pp. 17–18).


                Prince of Wales
                The TIA proposes maintaining bike facilities on Prince of Wales Dr, with an upgraded
                cycle track on part of the north side (and a bike lane the rest of the way) and a bike lane
                on the south side (pp. 56–57). While it is certainly welcome to have a portion of
                improved cycle track along this roadway, these facilities should be cycle tracks all along
                Prince of Wales from the intersection with Preston to the roundabout where it meets
                the Experimental Farm Driveway. This corridor is heavily used by people on bikes,
                particularly those commuting from the south end of the city, and so a safe, amply wide
                facility is necessary, particularly as the new Civic mpus n be expected to generate
                increased traffic along this corridor.

                Protected Intersections
                We urge the implementation of protected intersections in two lotions: the
                intersection of rling Ave and Preston St and the intersection of Prince of Wales and
                Preston. As the TIA itself acknowledges, “Preston Street at rling Avenue
                demonstrated higher risks for active transportation related collisions” (p. 17). Moreover,
                the City of Ottawa’s 2020 High-Volume Intersection Safety Review identified the
                intersection of Prince of Wales and Preston as a high-volume intersection that should
                be redesigned for improved safety (no. 24). We note that the Review specifilly
                mentions “Potential coordination with future hospital development” (Document 3, p. 4).
                Now is clearly the time to implement this plan.


                Sherwood bike facilities
                In order to accommodate higher numbers of hospital staff, visitors and patients
                accessing the new Civic mpus via sustainable modes of transportation, TOH should
                work with the City of Ottawa to prioritize the development of a bikeway along
                Sherwood Drive—a key bike route in the area, with connections to bike facilities across
                the west end and also a direct route to the hospital. Prioritizing active transportation
                along Sherwood will also help mitigate the potential for increased automobile traffic on
                this neighbourhood street.


                On-mpus facilities
                The TIA also proposes paths through the mpus in the current lotion of Queen
                Juliana Park. In the first draft of the TIA, the status of these facilities is unclear,
                however: they are marked “on-site pathway” and “secondary on-site path” (p. 56), with
                no indition of the mode for which they were intended—an additional indition of
                inadequate consideration of active transportation in the TIA. We were pleased,
                however, to see that in the revised TIA, the “on-site pathway” was changed to two
                facilities, a “bi-directional bikeway” and a sidewalk, which will segregate pedestrian
                traffic from bike traffic and continue the connection from rling to Prince of Wales
                (revised TIA, p. 57).

                We recommend that the facility currently labelled “secondary on-site pathway” be
                afforded the same segregated treatment. Many of the people on bikes coming from
                Sherwood and heading to Prince of Wales will no doubt prefer using the “secondary
                on-site pathway,” since it provides the most direct connection and is completely free
                from the dangers of automobile traffic. This is even more true for those who will access
                the main hospital entrance by bike from Sherwood, since this is a very direct
                connection. If left unsegregated, this “secondary on-site pathway” will undoubtedly see
                conflicts between pedestrians and people on bikes. (We are pleased to have received
                oral clarifition from Graham Bird that all of the pathways mentioned in this section
                will include separate facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. Nevertheless, we believe this
                should be mentioned in official documents, with cross-sections provided for clarity.) In
                addition, the intersection of Roads A and B will need a cross-ride for those continuing
                through to Prince of Wales. This cross-ride should be both raised and stop-controlled,
                as this will afford those crossing extra protection from automobile traffic. We are concerned, however, that language about the intersection of Roads A and B being
                stop-controlled (p. 57) was removed in the revised TIA (revised TIA, p. 57), and we urge
                its reinstatement.


                Bike Ottawa is also concerned about the roadways proposed in the TIA. The TIA
                proposes four r lanes for roads A1, A2, and B (Appendix N). By contrast, the TIA
                proposes mere 3 m facilities along these roadways for any other road users, whether
                people on bikes, pedestrians, or anyone else. This heavily r-oriented distribution is
                unfortunately characteristic of the TIA in general. Given the relatively small footprint of
                the new mpus and the overwhelmingly lol nature of traffic that will use the
                surrounding road system, we believe that the road network is overbuilt. Specifilly, we
                believe that the roads should be no more than three lanes wide, with narrow lane
                widths and other features that limit traffic to 30km/h. At 30km/h, collisions between
                automobiles and people walking or people on bikes will not likely result in death or
                serious injury. Narrowing the roadway will be especially important at high-volume
                pedestrian crossings, such as at the intersection of Roads A and B: crossing a four-lane
                roadway is much more dangerous for pedestrians. Moreover, in light of the importance
                of these corridors and their proximity to the main entrance, facilities for people on
                bikes, pedestrians, and other users should be widened and segregated, and eliminating
                r lanes in these roadways would free up space for this.


                Finally, we are concerned that TOH seeks to “limit direct access to the front entrance
                of the main Hospital building for cyclists” (revised TIA, p. 59). We find the provided
                rationale suggestive: “to reduce potential vehicle/cycling conflicts on Road A2.” This is
                another example of TOH prioritizing vehicle convenience over other modes. While we
                are pleased that TOH understands the threat that r traffic poses to people on bikes,
                among other road users, we believe that the solution to this is safer design, not seeking
                to remove access to non-vehicle modes. We also note that this solution fails to
                accommodate those for whom bikes are accessibility devices, and instead forces such
                people to find some alternative.


                Level-of-service assessments

                Bike Ottawa is concerned about Multi-Modal Level of Service (MMLOS) in the TIA. In
                brief, the TIA’s analysis clearly shows that in many places, the current plans do not
                meet standards for pedestrians, cyclists, or transit users:
                ● pedestrians:
                ○ “No pedestrian PLoS targets were met” (p. 68)
                ○ “No pedestrian PLoS targets were met” (p. 76)


                ● bikes:
                ○ “rling Avenue and Preston Street did not meet the BLoS desired target”
                (p. 67)

                ● transit:
                ○ “the overall increase in traffic and delays uses most of the future
                intersections with transit routes to fall short of the TLoS desired target”
                (p. 77)


                Despite falling short of targets for pedestrians and transit, the TIA in no place falls
                short of standards for personal vehicles or trucks. In fact, the TIA clearly states that one of the reasons standards of service for non-motorized vehicles are not met is the
                prioritization of vehicles.


                ● “The major factors preventing a PLoS of A include high vehicular volumes on all
                the segments and fast operating speeds” (p. 68)
                ● “The main factor using poor PLoS includes how many lanes are required to be
                crossed….Reducing the number of lanes of most of these intersections would
                result in extremely poor vehicular performance” (p. 76)
                ● “rling Avenue and Preston Street did not meet the BLoS desired target due to
                lack of cycling facilities and high quantity of travel lanes on both roadways” (p.
                67)
                ● “rling Avenue did not meet the TLoS targets mainly due to congestion” (p. 67)
                The TIA summarizes the situation as follows: “future MMLOS for road segments and
                intersections did not meet minimum targets for pedestrian and cyclist performance” (p.
                87). In light of the TIA’s prioritization of automobile traffic over other modes of
                transportation, we are not surprised at this conclusion.


                Pedestrian facilities
                Bike Ottawa is concerned about the pedestrian walkway from the Dow’s Lake LRT
                station to the main hospital building (pp. 55–56). To begin with, the walkway’s value
                seems limited. Beuse it is elevated and thus disconnected from its surroundings, it
                n only serve as a corridor between two points: the LRT station and the hospital. The
                walkway entirely bypasses parts of the mpus along the way, such as retail amenities
                along rling or the proposed park atop the r-parking structure. As always,
                pedestrian infrastructure is in fact automobile infrastructure: it takes pedestrians “out
                of the way”—in this se, of an enormous r-parking structure. As mentioned above, a
                better solution would be a mpus layout oriented toward sustainable transportation,
                where connections to transit, for example, are close and flexible. Instead, the proposed
                plan prioritizes rs and forces sustainable modes of transportation around r
                infrastructure. At the very least, a connection from the proposed walkway at the
                sidewalk along Road B should be provided for those who wish to access the walkway or
                garage-top park from Prince of Wales, or vice versa.

                We are also concerned that the TIA makes no provisions for people who will use the
                LRT with a bike. Many people will bike from their home to a LRT station, take their bike
                on the LRT, and complete the trip to the hospital by bike—and vice versa for the return
                trip. Since this pathway is the main connection between Dow’s Lake Station and the
                main hospital entrance, and since the parking structure blocks the most direct route
                between these sites, people will undoubtedly bike along the pathway as well. We
                therefore urge that provisions be made on this pathway for people on bikes. Given the
                high traffic along this walkway, we suggest that the facility be wide and segregated.

                We find other pedestrian facilities in the TIA inadequate. For example, we note that for
                most of the roadways, sidewalks are only provided on one side. The modesty of this
                provision is especially remarkable in comparison with TOH’s proposal of multiple lanes
                for r traffic on the same roadways (Appendix N). We also note that the TIA makes no
                mention of pedestrian crossings being raised. Raising these crossings is particularly
                critil along high-volume pedestrian routes, such as at the intersection of Roads A and B, or of Prince of Wales Drive and Road B. As mentioned above, we are also concerned
                that language about the intersection of Roads A and B being stop-controlled (p. 57) was
                removed in the revised TIA, and we urge its reinstatement. It is essential that
                pedestrians and people on bikes be afforded maximum protection at these
                crossings—particularly in light of the current plan for four r lanes on these roadways.

                We note that there seems to be no direct pedestrian connection from the area of
                Prince of Wales and Road B to the hospital’s east arm or main entrance. Absent any
                such connection, we predict that pedestrians will forge their own path, some of which
                may come in conflict with r traffic. We recommend that these routes instead be
                anticipated and direct connections be provided. A proper connection along the south
                side of Road A2 to the main hospital entrance will be particularly important for those
                using the main r-parking structure, as this would eliminate a substantial number of
                crossings of Road A—and therefore also the potential for vehicle–pedestrian conflicts.
                Finally, we note that despite substantial planning for the r-parking structure itself,
                the TIA provides almost no detail concerning how those using this structure will access
                the main hospital entrance; it merely states that “All proposed parking areas will be
                accessible by either sidewalk or pathway” (p. 55). We recommend that TOH give reful
                consideration to pedestrian traffic from all r-parking facilities on the mpus.


                Conclusion
                Bike Ottawa thanks TOH in advance for its consideration of our feedback concerning
                infrastructure on the new Civic hospital mpus. We invite TOH to contact us if it has
                any questions about our feedback. We would also be glad to work with TOH on these
                and any other measures and policies.

                Bike Ottawa Feedback: New Civic Hospital mpus Transportation Study
                Bike Parking

                This document concerns bike parking at the new mpus of the Ottawa Civic Hospital
                (TOH) as they arise in the Transportation Impact Assessment and Mobility Study (TIA).
                We devote a separate document to bike parking beuse bike parking is critil to
                making the mpus bike-friendly: as the TIA’s own Transportation Demand
                Management plan (TDM) acknowledges, people will not bike to the mpus if there is
                no place for them to store their bike securely (Appendix S).
                Our main concern with bike parking in the TIA is the overall lack of information
                provided on the subject. This lack of information is particularly striking in comparison
                with the many pages the TIA devotes to r parking. We are concerned that this lack of
                detail constitutes further evidence that TOH has inadequately considered active
                transportation in its plans for the new Civic Hospital mpus. In what follows, we
                outline a number of aspects that will need to be considered.


                Total number of bike-parking spots
                The TIA acknowledges that current City of Ottawa by-laws require a minimum of 630
                bike-parking spots (p. 63). These minimums will soon be updated to reflect the City’s
                new Official Plan, however. Beuse this update will take place well in advance of the
                opening of the new Civic mpus in 2028, and in order to conform to the City’s larger
                vision for transportation, Bike Ottawa believes that TOH should commit to adapting to
                the standards for bike parking set out in the new Official plan, once it becomes
                available. More than this, we believe that the TIA should include plans for increasing
                bike parking beyond those set out in its initial plans. As Ottawa’s transportation
                network gradually adapts to more sustainable forms of transportation, additional
                bike-parking pacity will be necessary.


                Connectivity and lotions
                Bike parking should be distributed liberally around the new Civic mpus to serve
                those working in or visiting every building. For bike parking that is underground or in
                other difficult-to-find lotions, wayfinding should be provided from all main bike
                facilities. Beuse bikes are accessibility devices for some people, bike parking facilities for disabled people should be made available at the entrances of every building on the
                mpus. At no point should those riding a bike be required to dismount prior to
                arriving at bike parking facilities. Sharp or narrow corners and steep grades should be
                avoided, as these limit facilities’ accessibility. Any doors that people must pass through
                with their bikes should be wide enough to accommodate non-standard bicycles, such
                as tricycles, and doors should be sensor-activated to alleviate the difficulty of opening
                doors and handling a loaded bike simultaneously. Bike parking facilities should never
                impact the Pedestrian Level of Service; these facilities should have their own dedited
                space away from walkways and sidewalks.

                We are pleased that the revised TIA provides evidence of having considered lotions of
                bike parking (revised TIA, p. 68). We are concerned, however, about this plan. Above all,
                the majority of these lotions are distant from the main hospital building. Apart from
                disincentivizing bike travel to the mpus, we believe that people will attempt to bike
                to the main building anyhow and improvise bike parking, where necessary. It would be
                better to anticipate bike travel and provide proper facilities.
                We also are concerned that the map fails to distinguish between short-term and
                longer-term bike-parking facilities. The revised TIA seems to consider this distinction
                (p. 67), and this is an important distinction (see below); it should therefore be reflected
                in the map.

                We are concerned that the revised TIA considers bike parking in the parking structure.
                We believe this is misguided. This lotion is distant from the various destinations on
                the mpus, and thus people will seek out bike parking in those lotions—and
                improvise, where necessary. Moreover, adding bike parking to the r-parking
                structure will only increase the size of an already oversized structure; nothing should
                be added to it that would contribute to this.

                We also find the goal of situating bike parking in “proximity to Dow’s Lake Station”
                (revised TIA, p. 67) misguided. We expect that bike parking will already be provided at
                LRT station as part of the station design. We also believe that people who take their
                bike on the LRT will, when they arrive at Dow’s Lake Station, continue biking to their
                destination on mpus. Priority should be placed on situating bike-parking facilities in
                proximity to destinations on the mpus.

                With regard to the specific lotions of bike parking proposed in the revised TIA, we
                have several recommendations. For clarity, we have reproduced a copy of the map in
                the TIA (see below) with two modifitions: 1) we have numbered lotions, and 2) we
                have provided the lotions proposed in the TIA in blue and our proposed lotions in
                red.

                <Map of proposed site plan >

                P1: Keep and provide wayfinding at Maple Dr and Road D.
                P2: Keep and provide wayfinding signage at Roads A and B.
                P3: Eliminate: too distant from destinations.
                P4: Eliminate: too distant from destinations.
                P5: Relote in lotion connected to Towers B and C, and underground.
                P6: Relote in lotion connected proximity to Tower A.
                P7: Provide facility at entrance to Research Building.
                P8U: Provide facility underground in Research Building.
                P9: Provide facility at back entrance of main building.
                P10U: Provide large facility underground in main building.
                P11: Provide facility on side of east arm of main building.
                P12: Provide facility on side of west arm of main building.

                Bike-parking equipment
                Ample bike parking equipment should be provided that is accessible for all users,
                regardless of size or ability: for example, at least a portion of this equipment at every
                parking facility should be at ground level and should be roll-in, roll-out. Facilities
                should accommodate all types of bikes, including the various styles of rgo bikes,
                tricycles, and recumbents. Such facilities might include a combination of hydraulic
                wall-mounted racks, stacked parking, and floor parking for non-standard or heavy
                bikes. (By way of example, one popular model of rgo bike, the Babboe rve, is 2.15 m
                long, 0.85 m wide, and 1.1 m high.) Several bike maintenance stands along with air
                pumps should be made available on the mpus, as the TDM observes (Appendix S).
                In what follows, we provide recommendations for facilities in two sections
                distinguished by duration of use: short-term bike parking and day use (or longer).
                Short-term facilities

                Bike Ottawa suggests the provision of some bike-parking facilities oriented toward
                short-term visits to the mpus, such as for people with appointments or making
                deliveries. The main priority for these facilities is speed of accessibility and proximity
                to building entrances. As such, most of these facilities should be loted at ground
                level. Where these facilities are loted outdoors, they should be sheltered from
                weather. These facilities may be a combination of ring-and-post design, which is most
                convenient but least secure, and pay-per-use lockers, which are less convenient but
                more secure.

                Short-term facilities should be clearly visible, particularly to pedestrian traffic, as this
                improves their security. These facilities should also be protected from r traffic—at
                the very least, by a curb and by being distant from r facilities, especially roadways.
                Finally, provisions should be made for bike-share stations, as the TDM mentions
                (Appendix S). Most major nadian cities have successful bike-share programs; while
                Ottawa does not currently, in March of 2021, City Council asked City staff to research
                the possibility of a future program.


                Day-use (or longer) facilities

                Bike Ottawa suggests the provision of bike parking facilities oriented toward day-use
                (or longer) visits to the new Civic mpus, such as those for employees. In order to
                make biking more attractive for those spending longer periods of time on the mpus,
                we recommend integrating secure bike parking facilities in all major buildings on the
                mpus. With such facilities, security is a key consideration, since bikes will be left
                unattended for protracted durations, and bike theft quickly erodes confidence and thus
                disincentivizes biking. As such, onsite security staff will need to monitor such facilities
                24 hours a day. Moreover, a substantial proportion of these facilities should be accessible only by fob, punch code, or some other security system. Finally, at no stage
                of using these facilities should anyone feel isolated or unsafe; facilities should be
                loted in highly trafficked parts of buildings and well-lit.

                Bike parking facilities should be connected to the remainder of the building in which
                they are loted by easy-to-find stairs with large, adequate runnels, eslators, and
                elevators. Showers, change rooms, and locker rooms should be provided for employees,
                as the TDM acknowledges (Appendix S). These should be easily accessible from bike
                parking facilities and made available to all staff.


                Winter-maintenance considerations

                As the TOH’s lotion is situated on Ottawa’s winter cycling network, bike parking
                facilities should be designed to meet the standard of this network. Above-ground
                connections and ramps to any underground bike parking facility should be designed for
                year-round use and have excellent winter maintenance. Ideally, these facilities will be
                heated so as to remove all snow and ice immediately, since bikes are more prerious
                than other modes of transportation. If facilities are not heated, they will need to be
                designed in conjunction with the selection of winter-maintenance equipment, since
                this equipment poses special challenges to facilities (e.g., facilities need to
                accommodate the width of plows and brushes). A detailed plan for snow storage,
                drainage, and ice build-up should also be developed.


                Bike Ottawa thanks TOH in advance for its consideration of our feedback concerning
                bike-parking facilities on the new Civic hospital mpus. We invite TOH to contact us if
                it has any questions about our feedback. We would also be glad to work with TOH on
                these and any other measures and policies.

                The New Civic Hospital Plan Under a Microscope: Part One

                In late June Bike Ottawa submitted a letter regarding the plans for the New Civic Hospital, providing an overview of our concerns, and what it means for sustainable and active transportation in and around the proposed hospital mpus. At the time we promised to return with a more granular look at the massive document.

                The following is the first of two blog postings showsing our more fine detail look at the propsed hospital plans.

                We have broken down our examination of the hospital plan into 4 sections: Modal Share, Transportation Demand Management (TDM), Infrastructure and Parking.

                In today’s post you n read our thoughts on modal share and the TDM. In short, the modal share, which is the foundation for the entire site plan, is based on a poorly thought out evaluation of modal share and the shifting goals of the City of Ottawa in the New Official Plan (OP). The new OP lls for the majority of trips to be made by sustainable transportation in Ottawa. The plans for the new hospital, however, do not reflect this, and while the hospital plan proposal comes just before the new OP is approved, the repercussions of the new hospital plan will last well into the future, and we believe the hospital plans should reflect the new OP goals and mandates, not the old ones.

                The TDM we’ll give that a passing grade, and say it’s a good plan with many good elements, but there is no accountability in it. How does the hospital plan on implementing it? Who are they accountable to? How n the public and the residents trust they will implement what they are suggesting?

                Below is our cover letter, followed by the Modal Share and TDM feedback (text based versions follow each picture):

                To: Sean Moore, Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department, City
                of Ottawa
                CC: Councillor Glen Gower, Co-Chair, Planning Committee
                Councillor Scott Moffatt, Co-Chair, Planning Committee
                Councillor Laura Dudas, Member, Planning Committee
                Councillor Tim Tierney, Member, Planning Committee
                Councillor Jeff Leiper, Member, Planning Committee
                Councillor Riley Brockington, Member, Planning Committee
                Councillor Allan Hubley, Member, Planning Committee
                Councillor therine Kitts, Member, Planning Committee
                Councillor Jenna Sudds, Member, Planning Committee
                Councillor Jean Cloutier, Member, Planning Committee
                Councillor Shawn Menard, Member, Planning Committee
                Mayor Jim Watson
                Councillor therine McKenney, Somerset Ward

                Via email: TOH@ottawa., glen.gower@ottawa., Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.,
                laura.dudas@ottawa., tim.tierney@ottawa., Jeff.Leiper@ottawa.,
                riley.brockington@ottawa., Allan.Hubley@ottawa., therine.Kitts@ottawa.,
                Jenna.Sudds@ottawa., Jean.Cloutier@ottawa., pitalward@ottawa.,
                Jim.Watson@ottawa., therine.Mckenney@ottawa.,

                Date: August 19, 2021
                Subject: Ottawa Hospital New Civic mpus Transportation Plan

                Dear Mr. Moore,

                Bike Ottawa is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization that advotes for safe bike
                infrastructure in Ottawa. This letter provides feedback on the transportation study for
                the proposed new Civic Hospital mpus and follows up on a letter that we sent on
                June 18, 2021 with high-level feedback on the study.

                In light of the scope of the new Civic Hospital mpus—its size, the funding it will
                require, the lives it will affect, and its lifespan—we believe this project should be
                afforded reful consideration. This scope also means there are many opportunities to
                do much good, but equally many for detrimental consequences. In this letter, we have
                identified a number of laudable parts of this plan, as well as many that fall short of the
                high aspirations that a project of this scope ought to have.
                In order to render our feedback clear and digestible, we have organized our
                recommendations into four separate documents; they address:

                ● projected modal shares
                ● infrastructure
                ● bike parking
                ● the Transportation Demand Management plan


                Please note that all page references in our feedback refer to the first draft of the
                transportation study, not the revised version issued on July 30, unless otherwise
                specified.


                We thank you in advance for your consideration of our concerns. Please feel free to
                contact us, should you have any questions. Bike Ottawa would be happy to work with
                you on any details of this project.

                Sincerely,
                Bike Ottawa
                érinn Cunningham, President
                Barbara Greenberg, Board Member
                Dave Robertson, Board Member
                William van Geest, Chair, Advocy Working Group
                Christie Cole, Chair, Equity Committee
                John Black, Member, Advocy Working Group

                Bike Ottawa Feedback: New Civic Hospital mpus Transportation Study
                Modal Shares


                This document concerns projected modal shares at the new mpus of the Ottawa
                Civic Hospital (TOH) as they arise in the Transportation Impact Assessment and
                Mobility Study (TIA). We devote an entire document to modal shares for two reasons.
                First, modal-share estimates play an important role in the infrastructure planned for
                the site; where these estimates are incorrect, planned infrastructure will end up being
                inadequate. Second, modal-share estimates reflect the priorities of planners for a given
                site; in the present se, Bike Ottawa believes that the TOH priorities for the new Civic
                hospital are inappropriate, as we will show.
                The modal-share projections in the TIA are as follows (pp. 33–34):

                For 2028: Travel Mode in the AM:

                Auto Driver: Modal Share: 50%.

                Passenger: Modal Share: 15%

                Transit: Modal Share: 30%

                Walk: Modal Share: 3%

                Bike: Modal Share: 2%

                2028 Travel Mode PM:

                Auto Driver: Modal Share: 50%.

                Passenger: Modal Share: 15%

                Transit: Modal Share: 30%

                Walk: Modal Share: 3%

                Bike: Modal Share: 2%

                For 2048: Travel Modal Share AM:

                Auto Driver: Modal Share: 35%.

                Passenger: Modal Share: 12%

                Transit: Modal Share: 45%

                Walk: Modal Share: 5%

                Bike: Modal Share: 3%

                For 2048: Travel Modal Share PM:

                Auto Driver: Modal Share: 35%.

                Passenger: Modal Share: 12%

                Transit: Modal Share: 45%

                Walk: Modal Share: 5%

                Bike: Modal Share: 3%

                The TIA also envisions a “worst-se scenario,” wherein in 2028, 65% of people
                accessing the site would access the site by driving a r there—that is, 15 percentage
                points more than hoped (pp. 32, 34):

                We note that for 2028, the modal shares are 3% for walking and 2% for biking; and for
                2048, 5% for walking and 3% for biking—or, in the “worst-se scenario” for 2028, 2%
                for walking and 1% for biking.
                We are encouraged that in many places, the TIA acknowledges the importance of
                promoting sustainable transportation—not only for the health and well-being of those
                accessing the hospital, nor yet to properly integrate with the City of Ottawa, but also
                for the basic functioning of the institution. We are concerned, however, that the TIA’s
                plans do not reflect these realities. Our main concerns are the following:
                ● the transportation study is oriented toward maintaining a status quo, not to
                promoting sustainable, efficient transportation habits
                ● the modal shares are based on unrepresentative numbers
                ● those numbers are already low beuse of poor transportation policies and
                infrastructure at the existing Civic Hospital mpus
                ● the TIA’s consideration of transportation patterns at peer institutions is good,
                but the conclusions drawn from these considerations are unhelpful
                ● as a tool for projecting traffic patterns, ITE trip generation is
                automobile-centric, and so it is no surprise that the recommendations it yields
                are themselves automobile-centric


                The TIA clearly acknowledges the importance of promoting non–private vehicle modes
                of transportation for the very functioning of the hospital. For example, the TIA
                acknowledges that “Reducing the number [of] trips by personal vehicle will be critil
                to maintain reasonable operation of the adjacent [to the site] road network” (p. 70).

                Further, “TOH should endeavor to reduce personal vehicle use by staff and visitors as
                much as possible” to avoid exceeding r-parking supply (p. 70). In fact, the TIA lls
                the need for a proactive approach to managing transportation impacts “essential” (p.
                70) and signals the possible need for “more aggressive non-auto mode share targets” (p.
                52).


                But the TIA’s concrete plans do not reflect these observations. The closest that the
                TIA’s plans come is in the Transportation Demand Management plan (TDM); but, as our
                analysis of the TDM (enclosed) shows, the TDM remains too speculative and
                non-committal at this stage.

                Modal-Share Estimates

                An important problem with the TIA’s modal-share targets for the new Civic Hospital
                mpus is how these targets relate to modal share estimates at the existing Civic
                Hospital mpus, which are effectively 0% for both biking and walking (p. 28). As a basis
                for these estimates, the plan cites “discussions with TOH staff,” providing no further
                specifitions as to either the nature of these discussions or which TOH staff were
                involved. We fear these discussions were informal and involved minimal research, if
                any. Regardless of its nature, any research on this topic should be detailed in the TIA.
                By comparison, estimates for current r travel to the existing Civic Hospital mpus
                fill many pages of the TIA. (We are also concerned by underdeveloped methodologies in
                other parts of the TIA; for example, the TIA also cites “discussions with TOH staff” for
                the opinion that r parking at the existing mpus “exceed[s] the available parking
                supply” (p. 61), as well as a vague reference “field collection by Parsons staff” (p. 15).)
                Based on these unspecified “discussions,” the TIA estimates modal shares for walking
                and biking at the existing Civic mpus to be “negligible,” and proceeds to omit walking
                and biking from further consideration of current modal shares; that is, their share is
                lculated as 0%. Yet the evidence at the mpus tells another story: an informal
                survey of bikes parked at the existing Civic mpus during a weekday in June 2021
                yields approximately 100 bikes. This suggests that at least 100 people bike to the
                mpus on a typil day. Since the TIA does not include final figures on person trips to
                the existing Civic Hospital mpus, we nnot lculate what proportion of modal
                share this represents, but we estimate this to be in the range of 2–3%. Since we do not
                have data on walking trips to the existing Civic Hospital mpus, moreover, we nnot
                provide an estimate of this modal share.
                Finally, TIA also relies for its modal-share estimates on “comprehensive surveys in 2011
                on travel behaviour in the National pital Region” (p. 29). Yet the City of Ottawa’s bike
                network has improved considerably in the last ten years, and data from 2011 will of
                course not reflect these improvements. In light of the above, Bike Ottawa is concerned
                that TOH’s estimates of modal shares for biking and walking at the existing Civic
                Hospital mpus are inaccurate—in part beuse they are also under-examined.
                Beuse these estimates are an important basis for TOH’s projections for walking and
                biking for the new Civic Hospital mpus, these projections are flawed from the start.


                Modal-Share Projections

                Bike Ottawa also believes that the modal-share projections for biking and walking at
                the new Civic Hospital mpus are too low. To begin with, these projections are low
                relative to the opportunities the proposed site affords. The TIA itself acknowledges that
                the new mpus will be much better connected than the current mpus; it lls this
                mpus “centrally loted” (p. 5). On one hand, it promises “far superior pedestrian and
                cyclist infrastructure than the existing Civic mpus” (p. 52); on the other hand, it
                acknowledges that it “will be loted in a signifintly better transit tchment area,
                directly adjacent to the Dow’s Lake LRT Station and the aforementioned rling Avenue
                Transit Priority Corridor” (p. 52). In light of this good connectivity, one would expect
                much better modal shares for non-automobile travel.

                The modal shares for biking and walking are also low relative to the study of
                comparable institutions discussed in the TIA . This study included other institutions in
                Ottawa, several Toronto hospitals, and some hospitals in the United States (pp. 29–33).
                The TIA identifies two institutions as particularly good fits for comparisons of modal
                shares with the new Civic mpus: rleton University and Toronto Western Hospital
                (see table).

                Table:

                rleton University: r Driver: 22%, Transit: 61%, Walking: 8%, Biking: 2%
                Toronto Western: r Driver: 25-30%, Transit: 29-45%, Walking: 7-11%, Biking: 1-4%
                New Civic mpus: r Driver: 50-65%, Transit: 30%, Walking: 3%, Biking: 2%


                Yet in setting its own modal-share targets, the TIA ultimately seems to ignore these
                institutions: its projections at the new Civic mpus for automobile use, for example,
                are at least double those of either institution. This disparity is particularly perplexing
                given that the shares for other institutions are for current patterns, and those for the
                new Civic mpus are for 2028—almost ten years later.


                The projected modal shares are low even relative to the City of Ottawa’s own official
                documents. City of Ottawa’s Transportation Master Plan (2013) sets targets of 10% for
                walking and 5% for biking by 2031 (p. 23). These goals will not even be met in the
                projections for 2048 for the new Civic mpus, which project a 5% share for walking
                and a 3% share for biking (p. 33). In sum, we find this plan wholly lacking in aspiration
                with respect to its modal-share projections.


                Finally, one of the tools that the TIA uses to generate its modal-share projections, ITE
                trip generation rates—is inappropriate. The TIA even acknowledges the major
                shortcomings of this approach (p. 26):

                ? The majority of ITE studies only recorded vehicle trips and do not provide
                mode share statistics for the surveyed site. Therefore, assumptions have to be
                made to estimate person-trips, which increases the margin for error.
                ? ITE surveys were mainly conducted in the United States, which has a
                signifint number of private hospitals that tend to be smaller in size compared
                to public hospitals in nada.
                ? ITE surveys were completed in the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s. Transportation
                systems have evolved signifintly in nada over the last three dedes.
                By the TIA’s own admissions, then, ITE trip generation rates are inappropriate for
                projecting modal shares for the new Civic mpus.

                Conclusion


                In sum, Bike Ottawa believes that the modal-share projections in the TIA are poorly
                founded and warrant revision. We believe the basis for these projections, estimates of
                modal shares at the current Civic Hospital mpus as well as ITE trip-generation rates,
                are problematic. We note that while the TIA itself outlines several ways in which modal
                shares for biking and walking could be much higher than they currently are, as well as
                the importance that they be so, its projections fail to reflect this. As a minimum, these
                projections should keep step with the City of Ottawa’s official documents. Better would
                be if they reflected what the TIA shows is possible at comparable institutions. Best,
                however, would be if TOH set targets that reflected some aspiration and ensured the
                best functioning of the new Civic Hospital mpus—high shares for efficient modes like
                public transit, walking, and biking—and then build infrastructure to accommodate
                these modes.


                Bike Ottawa thanks TOH in advance for its consideration of our feedback concerning
                modal shares for the new Civic hospital mpus. We invite TOH to contact us if it has
                any questions about our feedback. We would also be glad to work with TOH on these
                and any other measures and policies.

                Bike Ottawa Feedback: New Civic Hospital mpus Transportation Study
                Transportation Demand Management


                This document concerns the Transportation Demand Management plan (TDM)
                presented in the Transportation Impact Assessment and Mobility Study (TIA) for the
                new mpus of the Ottawa Civic Hospital (TOH).

                Bike Ottawa was pleased to see the inclusion of a TDM in the TIA. In fact, we believe
                that the TDM is one of the stronger parts of the TIA—at least, in its acknowledgement
                of the importance of proper support for biking, walking, and public transit at the new
                Civic mpus. As the TIA states, “it is expected that more aggressive mode share
                targets for alternate modes (e.g. transit, walking and cycling) will be required” for the
                hospital to function smoothly, and this “requires the implementation of a robust and
                comprehensive Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan to increase the
                probability of success” (p. 65). The TDM also correctly acknowledges that “Reducing the
                number trips by personal vehicle will be critil to maintain reasonable operation of
                the adjacent road network” (p. 70). We were also pleased to see the TIA’s interest to this
                end—“to increase sustainable modes and reduce dependency on the personal vehicle”
                (p. 71).

                We were also glad to see examples in the plan from other comparable North Amerin
                institutions of policies and measures that would help achieve these goals. For example,
                the Seattle Children Hospital’s policies produced a reduction of 500 r-parking spaces
                in an institution with less than one-third the number of employees at this mpus (pp.
                71–72). We believe that by properly implementing a TDM, the new Civic mpus n also
                drastilly reduce the number of trips to the mpus taken by r.

                Apart from finer-grained recommendations, we have two general concerns. First, we
                are concerned about accountability: by what mechanism will the principles outlined in
                the TDM be applied? What powers will the “coordinator” mentioned in the TDM have to
                apply the TDM’s provisions? The TIA contains no details to this effect. Second, we are
                concerned that the proposed measures and policies remain too speculative and vague.
                This is reflected in TDM’s language: for example, it refers to measures and policies
                “that should be considered” (p. 72), and many of the items in the TDM checklists
                (Appendix S), while marked “highly recommended,” also indite that they will be
                considered at an unspecified later stage. This approach toward the TDM is
                incommensurate with its importance to the hospital’s function, which the TIA itself
                acknowledges.

                Bike Ottawa supports the following policies and measures:


                ● the establishment of a full-time equivalent (FTE) staff position for a TDM
                coordinator along with a TDM specific pital budget, as well as regular
                monitoring of travel-related behaviours and attitudes to better meet sustainable
                transportation goals
                ● consideration of financial incentives for sustainable modes; particularly those
                for active transportation will pay dividends in terms of long-term health benefits
                and general quality of life
                ● the creation of regular edutional and promotional programs for employees, to
                make them aware of the benefits of active transportation and equip them with
                the knowledge to do so (to this end, we would recommend coordination with the
                EnviroCentre, who has experience with such programs)
                ● the creation of an emergency ride home program (ERH)
                ● acknowledgement of the importance of secure, well-loted bike-parking space
                in ample supply, as well as an additional “buffer” of increased pacity—although
                these numbers will need to be adjusted for better modal-share projections (we
                discuss both bike parking and modal-share projections in separate documents in
                the present letter)
                ● the provision of showers, lockers, and change rooms
                ● the provision of adequate wayfinding signage (although this should include bike
                parking, which the TDM does not mention)
                ● the provision of trip-planning tools like mobile applitions
                We do have concerns about some aspects of the TDM, however:
                ● we are unclear why “on-site cycling courses for commuters, or subsidize off-site
                courses” is listed as “not appropriate,” when the TIA also acknowledges this
                measure as “one of the most dependably effective tools to encourage the use of
                sustainable modes” (Appendix S, p. 10)
                ● we are disappointed that two key measures are listed as “Opportunity limited
                due to site constraints”: 1) “Lote building close to the street, and do not lote
                parking areas between the street and building entrances,” and 2) “Lote building
                entrances in order to minimize walking distances to sidewalks and transit
                stops/stations” (Appendix S, p. 5). The “site constraint” in question appears to be
                the positioning of the largest parking structure between the Dow’s Lake LRT
                station and the hospital’s main entrance. The TIA rightly lists these measures in
                first and second place, but the plan does not meet the standard it sets out
                ● while we support the idea of including on-site bikeshare stations and the
                provision of bike-share memberships to employees, we note that no bike-share
                program currently exists in Ottawa. We suggest that TOH work with the City of
                Ottawa to develop a bike-share program, in light of its obvious value
                ● we recommend that TOH initiate a bike loan program for employees to provide
                them a low-risk opportunity to transition to commuting by bike
                ● we recommend that TOH initiate a program whereby long-term patients may be
                taken out for bike rides. Biking has a low physil impact yet affords people the
                opportunity to exercise and/or travel efficiently; indeed, bikes are for many
                people accessibility devices. Programs like Cycling Without Age have bikes that
                may be able to take long-term patients out for rides.

                Bike Ottawa thanks TOH in advance for its consideration of our feedback concerning
                the TDM for the new Civic hospital mpus. We invite TOH to contact us if it has any
                questions about our feedback. We would also be glad to work with TOH on these and
                any other measures and policies.

                Chief William Commanda Bridge: All Seasons?

                Chief William Commanda Briddge

                On July 26th the federal government announced its commitment to fund the transformation of the Chief William Commanda Bridge to provide a new link between Gatineau and Ottawa for active transportation.

                In March 2021 Bike Ottawa submitted detailed comments (see below) about the bridge* supporting the re-opening of this connection for active transportation, while stressing the importance of ensuring this becomes an all season connection. While the announcement made this past week is welcome, unless the plans include a proper bridge redesign it will not accommodate all season use, and therefore remain a recreational connection only.

                We are left with some questions about the intent of the future use of the bridge beuse the National pital Commission’s “pital Pathway Strategic Plan 2020” includes the CWC bridge as a “cleared pathway”, extending the Trillium pathway all the way to Alexandre-Taché. It is unclear to us how the connection would be made on the north side of the bridge, or how this plays into the design of the bridge for winter maintenance.

                Picture taken from the pital Pathways Strategic Plan 2020 page 50.



                Recently the Federal Government announced it would be creating nada’s first ever federal strategy and fund dedited to active transportation trails and pathways. The news release states: “Investing in pathways and trails for cycling, walking, hybrid e-bikes and scooters, and wheelchairs gives everyone the opportunity to get out, get active, and access public transportation.”

                The language here around riding bikes on trails and pathways suggests recreational riding. In the first community meeting in Spring of 2021 Bike Ottawa, and several other community groups, stressed the need to focus on building bike infrastructure in cities and towns in order to shift the modal share and make choosing to ride a bike the easy and safe choice for everyday use. We’ll continue to send this message and the important role replacing r trips with bike trips n have on the environment and our overall health.

                It will be great to have a new connection across the Ottawa river, but if we’re gearing up to make a true modal shift with an emphasis on active transportation we need to create infrastructure for all season use.


                *Note our letter was submitted before the bridge was re-named, and as such the letter refers to it at the Prince of Wales Bridge.

                Read our comments about the Chief William Commanda Bridge below:

                March 8, 2021?

                Lei Gong, PhD, P.Eng. 

                Senior Engineer Design and Construction – Municipal 

                City of Ottawa 100 Constellation Drive 

                Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8 

                Subject: Prince of Wales Bridge Interim Multi-use Pathway (MUP) 

                Dear Dr. Gong: 

                Bike Ottawa congratulates the City of Ottawa in getting this MUP project (P1-S2 in the 2013 edition of the Ottawa Cycling Plan) back ‘on the rails’–pun intended. We write in response to the on-line public engagement that you have initiated. 

                This new active transportation link between Ottawa and Gatineau has so much potential for both commuting and recreation that we feel Alternative 2 does not go far enough. Particularly since we do not foresee any rail activity on the bridge for many years to come, the so-lled interim condition could last for a long time. 

                In planning a new MUP, it is critil to address deficiencies seen with the neighbouring pathways. Users are already well aware of them. Cyclists and pedestrians, with differing needs (e.g. speed of travel), are already crowded on the NCC’s river-edge MUPs and the Trillium Pathway. Conflicts occur under today’s condition of three-metre-wide paved surfaces, but at least there is generous extra space to the sides in most places to enable moving off the path to stop or to pass. Alternative 2 (deck within the trusses only) n supply no more than five metres of width, with a hard limit on both sides. Moreover, Alternative 2 has the limitation of not being able to simultaneously support snow sports and snow-free commuter cycling in the winter. We want to encourage additional active transportation options, and not turn people off! 

                Therefore, Bike Ottawa proposes a hybrid of Alternative 3 to satisfy the differing user demands in all seasons. We propose to separate the various modes that will be using the bridge, both in mild conditions and in the winter. This would be achieved by providing decking within the trusses as per Alternative A plus ntilevered decking on the east side of the bridge structure. This scheme is pictured in the following figure. 

                Proposed cross section for the Chief William Commanda Bridge for all season bike riding

                As noted in the figure, the main bridge portion would support three-season cycling with a lane width in each direction of about two metres, plus an offset of 0.5 metres from vertil obstructions. This will enable side-by-side riding in each direction and overtaking of a slower rider without crossing the centre line. 

                In winter, the main bridge surface could be left snow covered and groomed for both style of cross-country skiing, mirroring what the SJAM Winter Trail currently maintains. Since it is physilly separated, the ntilevered deck would be plowed of snow to support those users needing a cleared surface. (Alternatives to salting would have to be used to treat ice on the travel surface.) With their reduced volumes at this time of year, cyclists and pedestrians could share this space. 

                Two physilly distinct surfaces would be maintained along the segment on Lemieux Island, where there is extra space available for potential further separation. It may be possible to leave the rails uncovered and build an ultimate design there right away. 

                We would like to provide the following additional recommendations to maximize safety, efficiency and comfort for anyone cycling on the new MUP and the existing pathways that connect with it. 

                1. Choose a railing system to maximize the clear width 

                2. Ideally, the railing system will avoid exposed vertil support members that could snag a typil bicycle handlebar end. (As per the previous figure, we propose a horizontal guide rail that fills the height range of 800 to 1200 mm above the travel surface.) 

                3. Midway along each of the two structures (i.e. north and south of Lemieux Island), provide an observation station consisting of a platform that extends outward to widen the deck by several metres. Such stations would afford lookout points for ‘sightseers’ to view down (and perhaps up) the river, as well as functioning as a rest stop. People could stop at such lotions without impeding flow on the main thoroughfares. Seating might be offered. 

                4. The project web page states that both of Alternatives 2 and 3 include modifitions to the rail bed on Lemieux Island, but it is unclear what this means. Whatever is done on the island, the MUP could be widened beyond the dimensions that will exist on the bridge structures. This could be achieved by either splitting the route with asphalt pavement on either side of the rails or by continuation of the wood decks but with perhaps a more generous width on the east (summer pedestrian) side. 

                5. Access from the new path segment on Lemieux Island to the rest of the island should be created and designed to prevent interactions with dogs in the dog park there. The idea will be to permit a convenient loop route that uses both the MUP and Onigam Street. 

                6. A new transition path should be built between the MUP at the south end of the bridge and the Ottawa River Pathway (ORP), to the west of the bridge. It is shown in accompanying figures. The purpose is to improve the connection between the north-south paths and those users originating from and destined to the west–a natural desire line for all modes and not just cyclists. This eliminates the need for cyclists to make a sharp turn at the terminus of the Trillium Pathway. That segment of Trillium should remain to serve the ORP to the east. 

                7. Lighting of the MUP is more critil on the island than on the bridge, due to added personal security concerns posed by the vegetation along the rail line. 

                8. Extending a snow-cleared link from the Ottawa side of the bridge to Bayview LRT Station in concert with the Bike Ottawa proposal should be considered. It would greatly facilitate four-season commuting. 

                Some of the foregoing recommendations are presented pictorially in the following figures. 

                Proposed connection from the existing Trillium pathway
                Further suggestions for connections to Ottawa, Lemieux Island, and Gatineau

                In summary, please consider seriously these proposals for attracting more people to travel by human power between Ottawa, Lemieux Island, and Gatineau. The ntilevered deck has the added advantage of maintaining at least something for the public to use, if and when construction to restore rail traffic proceeds in the future. We look forward to receiving progress updates on this fast-tracked project, and will be pleased to discuss the foregoing if you wish. 

                Respectfully submitted, 

                érinn Cunningham 

                President 

                Bike Ottawa 

                president@ 

                cc: 

                City of Ottawa 

                ? therine McKenney, Somerset Ward Councillor 

                ? Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward Councillor 

                ? Stephen Willis, General Manager, Planning Infrastructure and Economic Development 

                ? John Manconi, General Manager, Transportation Services 

                ? Vivi Chi, Director, Transportation Planning 

                ? Zlatko Krstulic, Sr. Proj. Mgr., Transportation Planning 

                National pital Commission 

                ? Bruce Devine, Sr. Mgr., Facilities and Programs 

                Federal Government 

                ? therine McKenna, MP for Ottawa Centre 

                Sir John A. Macdonald Winter Trail 

                ? Dave Adams (“Groomer Dave”) 


                The se for separated cycling infrastructure on the Hazeldean, Robertson, Baseline Corridor

                Written by Joshua Franklin

                As a suburban cyclist living in Kanata I spend a lot of time commuting by bike beuse of the long distances. As such I try to take the most direct route to save time, and this route for me is the Hazeldean, Robertson, Baseline Corridor. I have used this route to go to rleton University and now I plan to bike to my new job in Merivale when the pandemic is over.

                This route takes me down Hazeldean, to Robertson and then along Baseline. The ride along Hazeldean is the only feasible route for people on bikes that do not want to add lots of extra travel time to their trip. But, I feel unsafe and sred while biking, and I would really like the city to add a separated protected bike lane on this major through road.

                Map

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                I know other people would like this too beuse I see lots of people on bikes, even some children and seniors, biking on the sidewalk beside me on the road. This even happens in places where there is a painted bike lane. It is not safe and that’s why people do not use it. The demand is there but the infrastructure is not.

                These are major roads that many people use, and I would like the opportunity to feel safe while using it too. I know many others would enjoy the streetspe a lot more if there was more space between them and the motor vehicles, and bike lanes would provide this space. These are also arterial roads, going through communities and many more people would use this convenient connector street to get to stores if it had separated bike lanes beuse of the increased safety.

                I ride a bike and use public transit instead of driving beuse I think planning a city that prioritizes personal vehicle use is inefficient. Road infrastructure costs the public a lot of money, roads make sprawling communities that are hard to access for people who do not drive, traffic uses lots of wasted time, traffic crashes are the most likely use of death of my age group, pollution from motor vehicles hurts the health of the entire community and burning fossil fuels changes the world’s climate, which makes it harder for future generations to live. Additionally, I am a financially conscious person, so I ride a bike beuse it is much less expensive than owning, maintaining, and insuring a private r. Many people n afford to travel this way, no matter their story or personal struggle – bicycles are mobility devices for many people.

                I began riding a bike about once a month in the warm months, when I started school in 2015, biking from rleton (using the rack and roll programs). In 2020-2021 I have been biking to school and back about one day a week due to the safety concerns during the pandemic. When I go back to work when the office reopens, I will be biking to and from work every day.


                The image below is a broken guard rail that highlights how unsafe this section of road is. A vehicle hit this guard rail and completely mangled it. If anyone was biking, walking or rolling, on or beside the sidewalk on this road at the time of this crash they would be seriously injured or worse.

                A picture containing outdoor, sky, grass, ground

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                This guardrail is not the only sualty, several people have been injured and killed on this road. I have sent all the pictures in this blog post and an explanation about the need for safety improvements by email to my city councillor on April 22nd, 2021. On June 11th a teenaged boy crossing the road was struck by a driver and seriously injured on Baseline Road. According to reports this was a hit and run. Police are still searching for the driver. I hope this child does not die of their injuries. On March 11th there was a fatal crash between 2 vehicles on baseline. On September 15th, 2020, a man walking was struck by a vehicle on baseline and died (another hit and run). In 2017 two men died when they drove dangerously and flipped their r on Baseline.

                This happens too much and future events n be prevented with safer road designs. The city was warned, and crashes will not stop until the road is modified to make it safe. I think these woeful events ll for road improvements on Baseline. How many more incidents need to happen before the city to see the issues? I asked about two months ago, what is being done to improve this road for vulnerable road users? I was directed to a general cycling improvement meeting, where they did not address the road. I see no plan to fix the situation. It seems like the city is constantly playing with people’s lives as if they’re just numbers on a page, when each and every person hit by a driver somewhere suffers, or every person forced to ride unsafe spaces suffers from at least the fear of being hit.

                A separated bike lane would protect people on bike and pedestrians from motor vehicles thus improving everyone’s safety. Additionally, intersection improvements like removing slip lanes would use less conflicts.

                I think it is strange that the city is very slow to act on building on safe biking infrastructure but has pledged to go net zero by 2050. Obviously riding a bike is a very easy way to reduce transportation emissions for a very low cost. As per the 2013 Transportation Master Plan (TMP), riding a bike has a very low government and social cost compared to the automobile (Exhibit 2.9 attached).

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                The City’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP) highlights that people support reducing automobile dependence. In the TMP, the city of Ottawa stated it wanted the bicycling modal share rate in Kanata/Stittville to increase from 1% to 4% by 2030, creating protected bike lanes on the Hazeldean and Baseline would help meet this target. The route I am discussing is supposed to be a spine cycling route. When will the city start planning/building it?

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                Smyth Road Improvements: Coming Summer 2021

                Google map screenshot of the satellite image of Smyth and Riverside

                The City is about to undertake improvements to biking on Smyth Road from Riverside Drive to the Ottawa Hospital Riverside mpus. Improvements will include modifitions to the Riverside Drive on/off ramps at Smyth Road, as well as improvements to streets in the area. Read about the project on the City’s website HERE.

                From the proposed plan, some cycle tracks (good!), and some “share the road” signs (bad).


                Bike Ottawa has submitted a letter (see below) regarding the proposed changes. We have some concerns, especially with Smyth Road and Riverside Driver intersection, which is a part of the Alta Planning list of high risk intersections. The project plan does not align with the suggestions from Alta Planning for a fully protected intersection here, and it should.


                Read on to see what we have suggested the City pay close attention to in order to ensure the area is safe for all ages and abilities to choose to ride a bike on these streets.

                (Full letter in text form readable below this image).

                Page 1 of our letter (text version below)
                Page 2 of our letter. Text version below


                To: Nick Giamberardino, EIT, Project Manager, Infrastructure Services, City of Ottawa

                CC: Councillor Shawn Menard, Councillor Jean Cloutier

                Via email: nick.giamberardino@ottawa., pitalward@ottawa., Jean.Cloutier@ottawa.

                Date: June 23, 2021

                Subject: Smyth Road Cycling Safety Improvements and Neighbourhood Bikeway Modifitions

                Dear Mr. Giamberardino,

                We are writing to express Bike Ottawa’s general support for the Smyth Road Cycling Safety Improvements and Neighbourhood Bikeway Modifitions project.


                While the proposed design changes to Smyth Road at the east end of the McIlraith Bridge are an improvement from existing conditions, the design of Smyth and the Riverside Hospital intersection appears to have been “value engineered” from the fully protected intersection design completed by Alta Planning+Design. We strongly suggest that this design be restored, as the proposed design will still encourage higher speeds as drivers enter or exit the ramps, and does not sufficiently mitigate potential conflicts between people on bikes, pedestrians and drivers.

                Bike Ottawa would like to offer the following suggestions for improvements:

                1. Bike Ottawa does not support the use of sharrows along Billings and Portage Avenues, or on high-volume arterial roads, as sharrows have been shown to actually decrease safety for people on bikes. Traffic lming and wayfinding signage would be preferable to sharrows for a neighbourhood bikeway. In addition, the concept design from Alta removed the eastbound and westbound auxiliary lanes to provide cycle tracks. We request that the city reinstate cycle tracks in the design, or consider alternative design treatments such as pinned curbs and flex-stakes, between the Riverside ramps and the Riverside Hospital access, in order to eliminate the shared-use lanes in this area.

                2. There is no indition in the designs for the Riverside Hospital access that right turn on red will be prohibited. We believe this movement should be prohibited to avoid vehicles blocking the bike box or other conflicts with this facility.

                3. The crossing of Alta Vista Dr for east-west cyclists on Billings appears to be potentially challenging, given that this intersection is unsignalized. We understand that a reconstruction is planned for Alta Vista Dr and would hope that options for an improved crossing treatment, such as signals, a refuge island, or a mini-roundabout, are being considered.

                4. On Pleasant Park (westbound) at Riverside, it appears that a bike box may be a more appropriate treatment than the sharrows indited. Some markings across the intersection may be appropriate to direct cyclists to the MUP.

                5. There has long been demand from the cycling community for an improved connection from the NCC Rideau River Eastern Pathway to the McIlraith Bridge. We are disappointed that these connections are not included in this project and hope that improvements will be made in the near future.

                6. We look forward to seeing the revised designs for Billings Ave at Lynda Lane. The proposed PXO appears to be an awkward crossing for cyclists. In addition, we are concerned that the Lynda Lane Park MUP may be substandard width.

                7. The project should include useful and descriptive wayfinding signage for cyclists throughout.

                We thank you for your consideration of our concerns and recommendations. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information. We look forward to riding this new infrastructure once construction is complete.

                Sincerely,

                Brad Nixon
                Advocy Working Group, Bike Ottawa

                The New Civic Hospital: Planning for the future?

                Rendering of the view of the new Civid Hospital mpus

                Written by Barbara Greenberg, érinn Cunningham, and William van Geest

                In May, the City of Ottawa released the Transportation Impact Assessment and Mobility Study for the new Civic mpus to be built at the Experimental Farm provides great detail about how hospital staff, patients and visitors will access the hospital and what infrastructure will be needed. Bike Ottawa volunteers have been poring over the study to see what has been proposed for the site, and how it will encourage sustainable transportation to reach the new mpus. The plan acknowledges the importance of active transportation, but at every turn private motor vehicles are prioritized, sting doubt on how effective public transit and active transportation will be in bringing people to the mpus. In fact, the slide deck presented by the hospital’s consultants does not mince words about the mpus being unfriendly to walking and biking.

                Planners anticipate the long walk and suggest “ample” places for people to stop and rest on their way to the main building.

                It’s no surprise, then, to find in the plans the hospital takes over city owned land, and removes an important existing active transportation route. What’s that, you ask? A portion of the existing Trillium multi-use pathway (MUP) from rling Avenue to Prince of Wales Drive will be removed and “replaced” in order to make space for a parking garage. We’d love to see biking facilities on Preston Street, but not at the expense of a safer, low stress, Trillium MUP. With the removal of the Trillium MUP, people will be given two options. The first option will reroute people along rling Ave to Preston Street, which is a higher-stress route– running adjacent to a bus route and motorized traffic, and through busy intersections, forcing people to navigate more conflict points, including rling and Trillium, rling and Preston, and the entrance to a very large and presumably much busier parking garage. Is this route designed for all ages and abilities to ride their bike? 

                Plan for rling Ave and Preston St.

                The second replacement option is the “on-site path” to access Prince of Wales, which diverts people on bikes through a portion of the mpus intended for lm pedestrian traffic and invites conflicts. At the very least this should be a segregated facility, but ideally the direct route should be preserved as it acts as more of a “bike highway”. Both replacements result in a poorer user experience.

                Proposed active transportation plan

                If we want to become a city of active transportation, we need to add safe choices for routes, not remove them. This means building for the modal split we want going forward. If you want people to ride a bike to the hospital, then give them an abundance of safe route options, rather than making people who walk, roll, or bike “just go around.” Likewise, the main building and entrances are set so far away from the LRT station and the main streets themselves, forcing those who arrive by transit, rolling, walking, and biking, to travel the longest distances.

                Modal share targets for opening day are less than the current standards for walking and biking

                While we understand not everyone will be able to walk, roll, bike, or take transit to the hospital, many people will be able to make such a choice. But for people to make that choice, we need  safe and convenient infrastructure that makes it easy to access the hospital. At present, the modal share estimates for the 2028 opening and the future growth of the hospital are egregious – just 3% for walking and 2% for biking. Even the 2013 Transportation Master Plan (soon to be replaced with the new Active Transportation Plan) lls for 10% walking and 5% biking modal share goals for 2031. The hospital will be loted near well used multi-use pathways and an LRT station. When the City writes that its Official Plan is to have the “majority” of trips be made by sustainable transportation by 2046, why is the plan for the Civic Hospital aiming so incredibly low? Even the plan itself admits it will not be meeting the existing Transportation Master Plan targets beuse there is so much existing infrastructure devoted to private vehicles. The only thing that appears to meet the modal share targets are trucks.

                Part of the blame lies at the feet of the City and parking minimums, and this is where things get tricky. The Hospital plan is designed to meet the outdated parking minimums required by the City of Ottawa, despite the proximity of rapid transit and active transportation links. But the hospital will be built and used after the New Official Plan is passed, and parking minimums near transit stations are to be reduced.

                Parking Plans

                Meanwhile, the new mpus plan has put in 2,500 spaces of parking right across the street from the rling LRT station. There’s a disconnect here in the planning process, the current guidelines, and upcoming changes in the new Official Plan. Better design is needed and the plans should be held to a higher standard than the previous guidelines currently being used for this site.

                We believe that a hospital, of all places, must do better to encourage people to travel by sustainable modes. The new mpus will be served by LRT, bus rapid transit and – as the study itself acknowledges – benefits from strong connectivity to the current active transportation network. We believe the new mpus n and must do better to make sure that its transportation plans better align with the new Official Plan.

                Below is the first letter Bike Ottawa has submitted in response to the proposed Civic Hospital plan

                Continue scrolling for text-based reading.

                To: Sean Moore, Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department, City of Ottawa

                CC: Councillor Jan Harder, Chair, Planning Committee, City of Ottawa

                Councillor Glen Gower, Vice Chair, Planning Committee, City of Ottawa

                Councillor Tim Tierney, Chair, Transportation Committee, City of Ottawa

                Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward

                Councillor Riley Brockington, River Ward

                Via email: TOH@ottawa., jan.harder@ottawa., glen.gower@ottawa., tim.tierney@ottawa., jeff.leiper@ottawa., riley.brockington@ottawa. 

                Date: June 18, 2021

                Subject: Ottawa Hospital New Civic mpus Transportation Plan 

                Dear Mr. Moore,

                Bike Ottawa is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization that advotes for safe bike infrastructure in Ottawa. We have reviewed the transportation study for the new Civic Hospital mpus and would like to provide the following input. While this letter largely contains high-level observations about the transportation study, Bike Ottawa intends to submit more fulsome comments in the coming weeks to address the details of the transportation plan.

                We are glad to see the inclusion of active transportation in the transportation plan, and that the plan acknowledges the importance of active transportation for ensuring smooth access to the hospital. Nevertheless, the plan in its current form prioritizes r travel in ways that disincentivize non-r travel and will ultimately make access to the hospital more difficult for all.

                Some obvious examples of this prioritization of r travel are as follows:

                1. The parts of the plan pertaining to r travel are well-developed and detailed; those pertaining to biking, by contrast, are—by the plan’s own admission—underdeveloped (e.g., pp. 57, 63)
                1. Anyone who takes light-rail transit (LRT) to the hospital must walk further to get to the hospital than anyone who takes a r: the most remote spot in the parking structure is closer to the hospital’s main structure than the Dow’s Lake LRT station
                1. Certain aspects of the plan clearly prioritize vehicle movement over other transportation modes; for example, “future MMLOS for road segments and intersections did not meet minimum targets for pedestrian and cyclist performance,” but “The new Civic Development access intersections were all shown to operate well [for r traffic] in both future horizons” (p. 88)
                1. The plan’s language is r-centric: any reference to “traffic” implies r traffic and any reference to “parking” implies r parking, while the same terms for other modes are qualified by mention of that mode (“bike traffic,” etc.)

                We also believe the modal share targets are inappropriate. The current modal share targets for 2028 are 3% for walking and 2% for bking. These goals fall signifintly short of the modal share goals set out in the City of Ottawa’s Transportation Master Plan (2013), which ll for targets of 10% for walking and 5% for biking by 2031 (p. 23). Moreover, the hospital is well-situated, connected to high-use transit lines and existing bike networks; there is no reason why these shares should not be similar to those of other urban areas in Ottawa, whose shares are much higher than the average just stated. 

                One of the serious flaws of these projections is that they are based on a modal share of 0% for active transportation at the existing Civic Hospital mpus (p. 28), which is demonstrably inaccurate: many current employees, for example, bike to work. Another flaw is that estimates are based on the ITE Trip Generation Manual, which, as the plan acknowledges, are vehicle-centric, are based on United States travel patterns, and were completed dedes ago (p. 26). While these figures may be “cost effective,” they produce inaccurate results that heavily privilege r travel.

                The discussion of Transportation Demand Management (TDM) highlights many potentially helpful means of reducing vehicle reliance and promoting more sustainable modes like active transportation, such as:

                1. Establishing a full-time staff position for a TDM coordinator
                2. Policy-based financial incentives to using sustainable modes
                3. Provision of adequate bike parking, showering facilities, and lockers
                4. Edutional programs for active transportation
                5. Partnership with lol organizations devoted to sustainability

                Nevertheless, these measures remain speculative. Given the importance of these measures for the new mpus’s successful operation, they should be integrated with the main plan and should involve firm commitments. 

                Active Transportation Infrastructure

                We are also concerned that the active transportation plan does not fully address the needs of people who are arriving to the mpus by bike, or who are biking through the area to destinations beyond the mpus:

                1. Bike Ottawa opposes removing the Trillium MUP between rling and Prince of Wales in favour of a bikeway along Preston. The Trillium MUP functions as a bike highway, providing key connections to the Ottawa River pathway system, the Albert-Scott Crosstown Bikeway, planned facilities along rling Avenue that will connect with The Glebe and neighbourhoods further west, the Rideau nal MUP, the Arboretum MUP that connects to rleton University, and Prince of Wales bike lanes that connect neighbourhoods to the south. As such, the Trillium MUP should be preserved with preference given to the current alignment, as it provides a low-stress, direct route to connect with the northern portion of the MUP. Realigning the MUP to follow Preston will also add considerable distance for pedestrians who use the Trillium MUP.
                1. Bike Ottawa recommends that the Queen Juliana Pathway be retained and designed in such a way that acknowledges its current role as an alternate north-south bike connection between the communities to the north and destinations to the south. Regardless of designation as a secondary path, the Queen Juliana pathway will continue to be viewed as a desirable bike route in the future.
                2. While the portion of the mpus to the east of the esrpment includes active transportation links, we are concerned that the western portion features no bike infrastructure. In general, we find the road cross sections contemplated in the transportation plan to be overdesigned for lol vehicular access. In order to provide a safer experience for people on bikes, we recommend building narrower streets with fewer lanes (maximum 3) designed for 30km/h operational speed. For streets designated for emergency services, such as Maple Lane, we recommend building segregated bike infrastructure to reduce the possibility of conflict between people on bikes and faster-moving ambulances.
                3. The proposal to upgrade the Prince of Wales bike lane on the north side to a cycle track is a welcome improvement, and we request that the sout- side bike lane receive similar treatment to improve safety in the area in light of increased traffic associated with the new mpus. Ideally, cycle tracks should extend southwards to the traffic circle at the Experimental Farm.
                4. We are also pleased to see the proposed addition of a protected bikeway on Preston Street and crossrides at major intersections. Segregated bike infrastructure improves safety for all users on our streets and will make biking to the mpus a more attractive option.

                We thank you in advance for your consideration of our recommendations. Once again, we anticipate sending more detailed recommendations in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we are glad to discuss our feedback and any other issues that may arise at your convenience.  

                Sincerely,

                érinn Cunningham

                President, Bike Ottawa

                William van Geest

                Advocy Working Group Chair, Bike Ottawa


                Note: Previous version contained a typo stating the parking garage near the LRT would contain 24000 spaces. This has been amended to 2,500. (June 25, 20201).

                Rideau nal Management Plan: Bike Ottawa Feedback

                The Bike Ottawa Advocy Working Group (AWG) has reviewed the Rideau nal Draft Management Plan and submitted comments to the Ontario Waterways and Parks nada. We find the plan is quite high level, but does not adequately consider accessibility or active transportation.

                We have proposed more specific enhancements to the plan, with a focus on cycling infrastructure, as well as making the crossings more accessible for all users.

                The crossings for the Rideau nal should be viewed as mini-bridges which should be accessible to all people, regardless of age or abilities. Building crossings in this way will enhance the connections across the nal and help build connections between communities.

                For specific details, read our letter below.

                Or access the PDF HERE.

                To: David Britton, Director, Ontario Waterways, Parks nada?

                Susan Millar, Planner, Ontario Waterways, Parks nada 

                Via email: pc.rideau.pc@nada. 

                Date: April 30, 2021 

                Subject: Rideau nal Draft Management Plan 

                Dear Mr. Britton and Ms. Millar, 

                I am writing concerning the Rideau nal Management Plan, on behalf of the Bike Ottawa Advocy Working Group. 

                Our organization finds that the Plan offers a good high-level overview. Nevertheless, we believe that more attention should be given to making the sites more accessible to cycling and other forms of active transportation. 

                Here are following are a few cycling specific considerations that we’d like to highlight: 

                ● Accessibility considerations such as ramps over locks, including the width of the ramps and crossways. Ramps and crossways should be accessible to wheeled devices, bikes, and e-bikes, including bicycles set up for cycle-touring and rgo bikes, etc. 

                ● Access to good-quality racks for all types of bikes at each lock site. Racks used at Landsdowne are a good example of this, as all types of bikes n be locked at the frame. 

                ● Provision of repair maintenance stands with bike pumps alongside racks. These would greatly support bike tourists as well as the everyday person on a bike. 

                ● Consideration of pathway widths and connections, especially for the portions of the nal in busy urban environments like Ottawa. The Transportation Association of nada suggestees widths of 2.1m and segregation between walking and cycling for urban environments. This is a lower-stress environment for pedestrians who walk at 5kph, compared with cyclists at 20kph. 

                ● Pathways should connect to National pital Commission and City of Ottawa cycleways. info@BikeOawa. P.O.Box 248, Staon B, Oawa, ON, K1P 6C4 Bike Oawa. 1

                ● Winter maintenance of pathways, especially in busy urban environments like Hartwell Locks (locks 9-10) and the Trans-nada Trail (locks 1-8) at the Ottawa River, is crucial. Particular consideration should be given that pathway design be amenable to winter maintenance so as to encourage year-round access. Also, a plan detailing this maintenance should be developed as part of the infrastructure-planning process, as accommodations may need to be made for maintenance equipment. 

                ● Pathways should be designed to minimize water and ice accumulation and to accommodate all maintenance equipment. Less environmentally harmful deicing products like potassium formate and or mechanil methods like sweeping should also be considered. Another option is packed-snow standard that does require levelling, gritting and removal of snow, if the surface becomes soft. 

                Thank you in advance for your consideration of our comments and concerns. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. 

                Kind regards, 

                Nicole Lewis 

                Member, Advocy Working Group 


                Moving Ontarians More Safely Act

                Ottawa resident sails along on her rgo bike with her son at the helm. Photo credit: GabeImages

                “The Moving Ontarians More Safely (MOMS) Act”, is touted by the Ontario government as new legislation that “will help protect people and families by targeting those who engage in stunt driving and unsafe, high-risk driving.” Digging into the Bill, we find it also includes new regulations for e-bikes and rgo bike usage across Ontario.

                Bike Ottawa has submitted the following letter in response to the proposed Bill, as we have concerns about many of the details in the Bill. You n read our letter below, further discussion on the topic of rgo bike/e-bike use and the MOMS Act is forthcoming.

                Stay tuned…

                To: Honorable roline Mulroney, Ontario Minister of Transportation; MPP Jennifer
                French, Transport Critic; MPP Joel Harden, Ottawa Centre
                CC: info@sharetheroad., info@nadabikes.org, advocy@
                Via email: minister.mto@ontario., jfrench-qp@ndp.on., jharden-co@ndp.on.


                Date: May 6, 2021

                Subject: Bill 282, Moving Ontarians More Safely Act, 2021


                Dear Hon. roline Mulroney, MPP Jennifer French, MPP Joel Harden:

                We are encouraged to see this government reviewing legislation to make our communities
                safer concerning the dangerous operation of motor vehicles.
                We are also encouraged to see a requirement to report injuries of cyclists hit by r doors
                (“dooring”). However, we suggest that this reporting not be restricted to one part of a vehicle
                only, but encompass injuries to a cyclist resulting from contact with any part of the r. We
                urge that agencies across the province be provided with the directions and information to
                properly document these “collisions” (not “accidents” per language used in this Act) from the
                perspective of someone riding a bicycle.


                We would also like to highlight other language in this Act that, if left unchanged, will have
                negative impacts on Ontarians, families and companies currently using electric-assisted
                bicycles (e-bikes) now and in the future. Namely, Bike Ottawa is concerned with:


                ● Restricting e-bikes to “conventional exposed fork-and-frame bicycle design”, makes
                certain types of bicycles already being used by Ontarians illegal (such as recumbents
                and tricycles). We are concerned this may stifle future e-bike development and
                accessible designs. Instead, we suggest differentiaing between pedal-driven cycles
                and those that resemble motor scooters or motorcycles;
                ● Not permitting quad-cycles, which are often used to move rgo safely in the EU;
                ● Language around pedals will make some types of bicycles already used in Ontario,
                such as hand-rowed bicycles and walking bicycles, illegal if electrified. We
                recommend adopting the North Amerin standard Three Class System,
                already used in many US states, to better differentiate between pedal and
                throttle driven cycles;
                ● Wheel-size restrictions making many bicycles already in Ontario illegal to electrify;
                ● Weight restrictions off 55 kilograms, which diminish the practility of these e-bikes
                already in use by families, restrict “Cycling Without Age” cycles, as well as the
                implementation of rgo bikes by businesses to move goods in Ottawa more
                sustainably and efficiently;

                We strongly encourage your government to consult with industry groups and other
                concerned organizations with respect to this Act to ensure that any e-bike legislation is
                well-researched, focusing on promoting their use while making Ontario safer for people on
                bikes.
                Relevant examples of documentation you may want to consult includes:
                1) European Union REGULATION (EU) No 168/2013: the approval and market
                surveillance of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles
                2) People for Bikes: Model Electric Bicycle Law with Classes


                We thank you for your time and consideration of our concerns and recommendations.


                Sincerely,
                Dave Robertson
                Board of Directors
                Bike Ottawa

                Strandherd Drive Widening Project

                Bike Ottawa recently learned that the plans for the Strandherd Drive Widening project were altered to include a slip lane. This modifition me as a surprise to many, as this slip lane was not in the plans shown at the last public meeting on the project. We are also concerned with the modifition itself, since it unnecessarily endangers vulnerable road users; we therefore wrote a letter to the City of Ottawa to object to this modifition.


                Please find this letter below:

                To: Josée Vallée, P.Eng, Design and Construction – Municipal, City of Ottawa
                CC: Jan.Harder@ottawa., rolanne.Meehan@ottawa., nellyleonidis@gmail.com,
                advocy@
                Via email: Josee.Vallee@ottawa.
                Date: April 15, 2021

                Subject: Strandherd Drive Widening Project

                Dear Mme Vallée:
                We write to express our concern with the Strandherd Drive widening project, and specifilly
                with the “slip lane” in the most current plans for the intersection of Strandherd Drive and
                Borrisokane Road.


                First of all, Bike Ottawa objects to the process by which the slip lane was added to the plans
                for the Strandherd Widening. This slip lane was not included in the plans presented during
                the last public consultations earlier held on this project, but found its way into the plans at
                some point afterward. We believe that the City’s planning process should be transparent and
                the plans for projects not be modified in such a drastic fashion after consultation is finished.
                Changing plans without the knowledge of residents erodes their trust.


                Secondly, Bike Ottawa is concerned with the inclusion of a slip lane at all. The basic principle
                of slip lanes is to facilitate automobile movement through an intersection at speed. However,
                the marginal increase in convenience for drivers that slip lanes afford comes directly at the
                cost of the safety of the most vulnerable road users. Specifilly, slip lanes encourage
                drivers to direct their attention to oncoming r traffic from the left, ignoring all other road
                users approaching from the right, including those walking, using mobility assistive devices,
                or riding bicycles.


                The basic principle of protected intersections, by contrast, is to protect these vulnerable road
                users. One way they do this is by encouraging vehicles turning right at an intersection to
                reduce their speed. The correlation of automobile speed with pedestrian safety is
                well-known: the U. S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety
                Administration, for example, cites data that “about 5 percent of pedestrians would die when
                struck by a vehicle traveling 20 mph, about 40 percent for vehicles traveling 30 mph, about
                80 percent for vehicles traveling 40 mph, and nearly 100 percent for speeds over 50 mph.”
                In brief, the danger to pedestrians of automobiles increases exponentially relative to
                automobile speed. Another way protected intersections protect vulnerable road users is by
                directing drivers’ attention to these road users as they cross the intersection. The slip lane
                added to these plans removes both of these safety features.


                Prioritization of vehicle speed over the safety of vulnerable road users also runs counter to
                the City of Ottawa’s own guiding documents. The Transportation Master Plan (2013), for example, describes both pedestrians and cyclists as “group[s] of vulnerable road users that
                warrants special action” (40, 50) and specifilly mentions intersections as a lotion where
                the City seeks to “reduc[e] the frequency and severity of preventable collisions involving
                pedestrians” (40). This Plan also states that “[m]aximizing the safety and security of all road
                users is a fundamental objective of the City” (77). Similarly, one of the goals listed in the
                Ottawa Pedestrian Plan (2013) is “a safe city,” which is described as an “environment in
                which people feel safe and comfortable walking” (3). This plan therefore opposes some of
                the City’s most fundamental transportation-planning principles.


                In light of the above, Bike Ottawa urges the removal of this slip lane from the plans for the
                intersection of Strandherd Drive and Borrisokane Road. Please do not hesitate to contact us
                should you have any questions.

                Sincerely,
                William van Geest
                Nelly Leonidis
                Advocy Working Group, Bike Ottawa

                Bank Street nal Bridge Rehabilitation

                Written by Christie Cole and Don Grant

                In April 2020, after the start of the pandemic, the office of Councillor Shawn Menard purchased a number of large barrel pylons to be placed on the Bank Street Bridge near Lansdowne in order to provide more space for active transportation and physil distancing. This created a safer environment for people walking and rolling, with limited impacts on motor vehicle traffic. It also gave people on bikes the opportunity to actually experience how travel over the Bridge could be much safer.
                Around the same time, the City of Ottawa retained the consulting firm WSP to complete the design of repairs to the Bank Street Bridge. Construction of these repairs began in summer 2020, but after the start of the project, the City asked WSP to develop a revised design to improve active transportation facilities. The key change to the new design is that it will include two northbound vehicle lanes and one southbound vehicle lane over the Bridge which will create space for active transportation facilities.
                In March 2021, Bike Ottawa attended a meeting organized by the City and provided comments on the new design. In a follow up letter to the City, several key points were made by Bike Ottawa.

                Grade Separation
                The proposed solution includes a difference in height between the cycle track side and pedestrian walkway side which we see as having pros and cons. It is better to have height separation to encourage the separation of users, but this also places a cyclist at increased risk if an evasive maneuver is needed, for example to avoid a small child or dog jumping into the cycle track. Nevertheless, Bike Ottawa endorses grade separation on the multiuse path (between users) beuse of the benefits it provides to other users.

                Staff recommended Bridge design


                Protection from Vehicles
                There is a risk that a cyclist could fall from the raised cycle track into traffic. This risk could be mitigated with the installation a solid barrier of some kind. During the meeting, we shared images of narrow barriers that rely on tension wires. This would allow some snow to move to the street and would keep the people on bikes from falling into traffic. After further discussion as a group, we feel extremely uncomfortable with not having a physil barrier as part of the design options.
                Bike Ottawa has indited that the City and its planners must find a way to install a barrier within the space designated as a painted buffer (30 cm in each side), in order to prevent a tragedy from occurring along this cycle track.

                An example of possible physil barrier that could be used to keep people on bikes safer and separated from motor vehicle traffic


                Signage to Help Northbound People on Bikes
                Bike Ottawa has also suggested the installation of signage at the bottom of the Bridge at the end of the northbound section to direct people on bikes and walkers to watch for each other, and encourage people on bikes to do a loop southbound on to the MUP just east of the Bridge, and then turn under if they wish to travel west.

                Approaching the Bridge
                We provided our support for extending the cycle track to Aylmer to reduce conflicts southbound when exiting the Bridge and start at Aylmer to go approach the Bridge going northbound.
                We also feel that the southbound transition for people on bikes onto the Bridge is not ideal. Placing an advanced bicycle light at Exhibition Way (for people traveling from Lansdowne) would be really important for the people on bikes that are in the area right now, since we see few headed South from Holmwood Ave. down Bank.
                We indited our preference to have the bike lane begin further back. There is a speed board on the bridge that shows that motorists regularly drive faster than the speed limit, and with the new configuration, it may encourage them to try to “get ahead” of the line where two lanes move down to one. As a result, having the bike lane begin sooner will allow people on bikes a safer ride, giving them their own space from motor vehicles traveling at speed.
                We also indited the need for a physil barrier at Wilton Street to protect people on bikes in the bike lane by ensuring that vehicles slow down and make a proper 90 degree turn, rather than using the bike lane as a right turn lane.


                Construction Start and End Dates
                The City indited that construction for the improved active transportation facilities is expected to begin in the Summer of 2021 and last until Fall 2021.

                For More Information
                For more information visit the City of Ottawa’s project page.

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