CBC has a good report on many of the gaps, missing links, and pinch points in Ottawa’s cycling network, including some very interesting videos of what cyclists actually see in these problem areas. In addition to showing the various bike lanes that suddenly dump cyclists into heavy traffic, there’s one video about the crazy and tormented route people have to take just to get on the relatively new bike lane that runs next to the American Embassy.
In the CBC report, Heather Shearer, president of the advocacy organization Bike Ottawa, says she has heard from people who would like to commute to work by bike, but don’t trust the unpredictable nature of the cycling network. She makes the point that “The infrastructure is only as good as its weakest link.”
Kornel Mucsi, the city’s program manager, admits there are problems with the current situation, but argues that it takes time to develop a bike friendly infrastructure. He suggests it could take another “decade or two” to deal with some of these problem areas.
The CBC report deals mainly with problems in the city’s core and surrounding area. The situation becomes even more frustrating when you consider that there are just as many problems in the suburbs, such as where the bike lane on Hunt Club Road comes to an abrupt end near the airport, and the potentially deadly funnel point in the west end of Carling Avenue where the road passes under a railway bridge.