Two million bicycle trips have been made on the Laurier Avenue segregated bike lane since it opened five years ago, according to a recent News Release issued by the City of Ottawa. The same news release also indicates that the bike lane set a one-day record of 4,128 rides on June 29 of this year.
With the overwhelming success of the Laurier Avenue bike lane, it’s easy to forget that it took a major political battle to get it built. At first, the city was going to install the segregated bike lane along Somerset Street, but it backed down in the face of fierce opposition by local business organizations.
There was a similar reaction when the city decided to put the segregated bike lane on Laurier Avenue, and the project came under a full scale attack by a local business association, various merchants, condo owners, hotel operators, and even vehicular cyclists. But this time the city stuck to its guns.
The issue was so contentious that Ottawa’s Transportation Committee met for 11 straight hours before giving its approval for the construction of the project. City council finally approved the bike lane in February of 2011, and it officially opened on July 10th of the same year.
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