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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.

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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.

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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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