Citizens of Ottawa are now “sharing the road” – literally. The new downtown bike lane is encouraging residents to ditch their cars and ride carbon free.
The City of Ottawa implemented the first downtown segregated bicycle lanes in Ontario on Laurier Avenue West. The pilot was deemed an overwhelming success in July 2013 and it is now a permanent facility.
The project involved removing 122 on-street parking spaces along this busy eight block downtown street in order to create new bike lanes that are separated from motor vehicles through the use of concrete curbs, plastic poles, parked cars and planter boxes. It also included an extensive public communications initiative to explain the purpose of the project and the various changes to the street, which included extensive new thermoplastic road paint and traffic signs that are unique to Ontario.
It worked! The number of cycling trips along the street quadrupled from 700 per day to 2800 and the cycle mode share in the downtown area increased from 4% to 7%. Over 1 million bike trips have been logged on the street since the project has been implemented.