Old news blog that used to appear on the GoBiking.ca website. It is no longer active and remains here for reference purposes only.

Posted by Michael McGoldrick, Wed Apr 29 2015 at 9:29 am

Bows to pressure - city drops part of the O'Connor Street bike lane.
This seems to happen all too often - the city plans for some infrastructure projects to support cycling,  and then gets second thoughts or backtracks the minute there is a bit of opposition. 
This time it's happening with the proposed O'Connor Street bike lane. Itís been in the works for years and was part of the cityís transportation master plan. It was suppose to run from the Glebe all the way to Wellington Street, and act as a major north-south route for cyclists getting around downtown Ottawa and the surrounding area.

However, according to a report in Metro News, the city suddenly and unexpectedly dropped a part of the O'Connor Street bike lane in the Glebe. It did so in response to complaints and the need to preserve on-street parking spaces.

The Metro News report explains that the loss of this part of the bike lane is not the end of the world because it's in a fairly quite area that doesn't have much traffic. What is of concern is how fast the city backtracked in the face of any kind of opposition.

This certainly doesn't bode well for the rest of the proposed  O'Connor Street bike lane. It is supposed to go through the commercial area of downtown Ottawa, and here we can expect businesses to go absolutely berserk over the loss of any on-street parking.

If you doubt this, consider what happened when the city installed a bike corral on Wellington Street West as part of a  pilot project last summer. (A bike corral is a structure that provides parking for 12 bicycles in a space that is normally used by ONE car.)  A local merchant was so incensed about the loss of this ONE on-street parking spot that he went to the media (and received favourable coverage).  The end result was that the city dismantled the bike corral before the pilot project was even over.

For the report in Metro News, go to:

For more about the removal of the bike corral, go to:

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