Report to / Rapport au :
Ref N°: ACS2011-ICS-PGM-0031
East-West segregated bike lane pilot project
PROJET PILOTE DE VOIE CYCLABLE SÉPARÉE EST-OUEST AU CENTRE-VILLE
That, subject to funding approval in the 2011 Budget, Transportation Committee recommend that Council:
1. Approve the implementation of an East-West Segregated Bike Lane Pilot Project on Laurier Avenue West as described in this report and shown in Documents 1 and 2;
2. Direct staff to amend the Traffic and Parking Bylaw in conjunction with the implementation of the proposed changes to the stopping, parking and loading areas within the study area;
3. Direct staff to undertake performance monitoring as part of the pilot project, including a Traffic Impact Assessment Report, and to report these findings back to Transportation Committee within 24 months after the pilot has been implemented;
4. Direct staff to pursue a multi-use pathway for public use through the development application process at 422 Slater Street as indicated in the City of Ottawa Escarpment District Plan and shown in Document 1; and
5. Delegate authority to the Manager, Roads and Traffic Operations and Maintenance of the Public Works Department to allow the closure of the bike lanes if conditions are unsafe (i.e. black ice).
RECOMMANDATIONS DU RAPPORT
Que, sous réserve de l’approbation du financement dans le budget de 2011, le Comité des transports recommande au Conseil :
1. d’approuver la mise en œuvre du projet pilote de voie cyclable séparée est-ouest au centre-ville dans l’avenue Laurier Ouest, tel que décrit dans le présent rapport et illustré dans les documents 1 et 2;
2. de demander au personnel responsable de modifier le Règlement no 2003-530 régissant la circulation et le stationnement sur la voie publique dans la foulée de la mise en œuvre des changements proposés aux aires d’arrêt, de stationnement et de chargement dans la zone à l’étude;
3. de demander au personnel responsable d’assurer le suivi du rendement dans le cadre du projet pilote, y compris la rédaction d’un rapport d’évaluation de l’incidence sur la circulation et le dépôt des conclusions connexes devant le Comité des transports dans les 24 mois suivant sa mise en œuvre;
4. de demander au personnel responsable de poursuivre le processus d’examen de demande d’aménagement d’un sentier polyvalent public au 422, rue Slater, tel que précisé dans le Plan de district de la zone de l’Escarpement de la Ville d’Ottawa et illustré dans le document 1;
5. de déléguer les pouvoirs nécessaires au gestionnaire, Entretien des routes et Circulation routière, de Travaux publics, pour qu’il ferme les voies cyclables si les conditions ne sont pas sûres (p. ex. glace noire);
Assumptions and Analysis:
As directed by Council in July 2008, this report summarizes a planning and feasibility study for a downtown east-west segregated bicycle lane pilot project. The study has concluded that Laurier Avenue West between City Hall and Bronson Avenue provides the best opportunity to pilot east-west segregated bicycle lanes within the defined study area.
The study involved several phases, including a peer review from Vélo Quebec. Laurier Avenue was selected because it is straight and flat with many key destinations and it currently has the highest volume of east-west cyclists within the study area. There are traffic signals at all intersections along Laurier Avenue and there is no transit service nor curb side garbage collection to interfere with cycling activity. The route is well connected to the existing bicycle network with good potential for future extensions. It is the most likely choice to encourage motorists to cycle rather than drive as there are more car-oriented trips along Laurier Avenue within a 5 km distance than any other east-west downtown street. There are many off-street parking spaces as well as significant on-street parking potential on the immediately adjacent streets. The route is just one block south of the Transitway which provides multimodal integration opportunities. It will also improve conditions for pedestrians, who represent up to 70 per cent of the traffic on Laurier Avenue, by providing greater separation between motor vehicles and the sidewalks. Laurier Avenue is also planned to be resurfaced next year (Bronson Avenue to Kent Street) which provides an opportunity to coordinate new line painting and associated works to construct the segregated facility.
Funds are included in the 2011 draft budget to construct the facility with the intent to have it operational in the summer of 2011. Winter maintenance operations are recommended to avoid the need to alter pavement markings, signage, signal timing and the removal and storage of the physical buffers (precast curbs and planter boxes). Winter maintenance will also facilitate safe and consistent lane arrangements for motorists and will provide unique opportunities to monitor winter cycling activity.
Performance monitoring to determine if the pilot should be removed or continue permanently will include a business survey of all businesses along Laurier Avenue as well as a user survey of the cyclists that use the new lanes. A traffic impact assessment report will also be generated that will highlight the impacts to all travel modes along the corridor, including observed volumes, travel times, intersection performance, and accidents. It is the direction of Council to determine the impact of the proposed facility within two years of implementing the pilot.
Legal/Risk Management Implications:
The implementation of new yield signs at intersections to inform right-turning motorists to yield to cyclists has not yet been formally approved by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO). This new sign has been proposed by the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) and is in use in Vancouver and Montreal but has yet to be implemented in Ontario. Municipalities in Ontario have the authority to implement signs in accordance with the Ontario Highway Traffic Act; however, there is risk that MTO may deny its use. Staff will continue to pursue approval from MTO in advance of the pilot.
A preliminary estimate to implement the pilot project, including funds for detailed designs, a public communications plan, licence agreements, contingency and funds for the potential removal of the pilot if unsuccessful is approximately $1,300,000. Funds have been requested in the 2011 draft capital budget within the 2011 Cycling Initiatives fund.
The total annual net Public Works operating budget impact is $261,500. The budget impacts will be identified in the 2012 draft operating budget for consideration.
A significant amount of public consultation was undertaken throughout the course of the study, as detailed in the Consultation section of this report. Although there is evidence of broad public support there is also opposition, mainly from the business associations and residents within the study area. The Bank Street BIA firmly opposes the proposal and has concerns for the safety of cyclists and changes to on-street parking and loading zones, among other issues. Many condominium residents on Laurier Avenue west of Lyon Street also oppose the pilot mainly due to the proposed changes to on-street parking. The City’s Business Advisory Committee has also indicated concerns about the loss of on-street parking and the potential impacts this may have on adjacent businesses; however, this input was received before additional on-street parking was identified. In light of this, the majority of the consultation feedback from the public open houses and several advisory committees indicates support for this initiative. The Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee unanimously passed a motion of support to implement the pilot project as well as the Environmental Advisory Committee. A significant majority of the Public Advisory Committee and the Technical Advisory Committee also both support the project.
Hypothèses et analyse :
Tel que demandé par le Conseil en juillet 2008, le présent rapport résume l’étude de faisabilité et de planification effectuée relativement au projet pilote de voie cyclable séparée est-ouest au centre-ville. L’étude conclut que l’avenue Laurier Ouest, entre l’hôtel de ville et l’avenue Bronson, est le meilleur endroit pour tenir le projet pilote dans la zone établie.
L’étude comprenait plusieurs étapes, dont un examen par les pairs, réalisé par Vélo Québec. On a retenu l’avenue Laurier parce qu’elle est droite et plane, en plus de compter nombre de destinations clés; c’est en outre la rue où le volume de cyclistes est-ouest est le plus élevé dans la zone à l’étude. Toutes les intersections de l’avenue Laurier sont munies de feux de signalisation et aucun service de transport en commun ou de collecte des déchets en bordure de la rue ne nuit aux cyclistes. La voie s’intègre bien au réseau de voies cyclables actuel et présente un bon potentiel de prolongement. C’est l’option la plus intéressante du point de vue de la promotion du vélo auprès des automobilistes, puisqu’il y a plus de déplacements en voiture dans l’avenue Laurier sur une distance de 5 km ou moins que dans toute autre artère est-ouest du centre-ville. On y compte beaucoup d’espaces de stationnement hors rue, et les rues adjacentes présentent un potentiel important de stationnement sur la voie publique. En outre, la voie cyclable n’est qu’à un pâté de maisons au sud du Transitway, qui fournit diverses possibilités d’intégration intermodale. Elle améliorera aussi les conditions pour les piétons, qui représentent jusqu’à 70 % de la circulation dans l’avenue Laurier, puisqu’elle offrira une plus grande distance entre les véhicules automobiles et le trottoir. On compte en outre procéder à la réfection de l’avenue Laurier l’an prochain (de l’avenue Bronson à la rue Kent), ce qui donne l’occasion à la Ville de coordonner le traçage de nouvelles lignes avec les travaux de construction connexes à la voie cyclable séparée.
Les fonds nécessaires aux travaux seront alloués dans le budget de 2011, et ce, dans le but de rendre la voie cyclable accessible dès l’été 2011. On recommande des activités d’entretien hivernal afin d’éviter d’avoir à changer les indications sur la chaussée, l’affichage et le réglage des signaux, de même que le retrait et l’entreposage des séparateurs (bordures précontraintes et boîtes à fleurs). L’entretien hivernal favorisera aussi un aménagement sûr et uniforme des voies pour les automobilistes, en plus de fournir des occasions uniques de suivi du cyclisme hivernal.
Le suivi du rendement permettra d’établir si le projet pilote doit être annulé ou rendu permanent. Pour ce faire, on procédera à un sondage auprès de tous les commerces dans l’avenue Laurier, puis auprès des utilisateurs de la nouvelle voie cyclable. On produira un rapport d’évaluation de l’incidence sur la circulation qui fera ressortir l’incidence sur tous les modes de transport dans le corridor, y compris les volumes constatés, la durée des trajets, le rendement aux intersections et les accidents. Le Conseil demande qu’on établisse l’incidence des installations proposées dans les deux ans suivant la mise en œuvre du projet pilote.
Conséquences juridiques ou relatives à la gestion des risques :
L’installation des nouveaux panneaux « Cédez le passage » aux intersections pour aviser les automobilistes qui tournent à droite que les cyclistes ont la priorité n’a pas encore été officiellement approuvée par le ministère des Transports de l’Ontario. Cette nouvelle signalisation est proposée par l’Association des transports du Canada (ATC) et est en vigueur à Vancouver et à Montréal, mais n’a pas encore été appliquée en Ontario. Les municipalités ontariennes peuvent mettre en œuvre la signalisation approuvée par le Code de la route de l’Ontario. Toutefois, le ministère des Transports pourrait en interdire l’usage. Le personnel continuera donc de chercher à obtenir l’approbation du ministère des Transports avant la mise en œuvre du projet pilote.
Répercussions financières :
Une estimation préliminaire de la mise en œuvre du projet pilote, y compris les fonds pour la conception détaillée, un plan de communications publiques, les contrats de licence et les imprévus, ainsi que les fonds pour le retrait possible des installations si le projet pilote s’avère un échec, est d’environ 1 300 000 $.
Les coûts d’exploitation totaux sont évalués à environ 137 500 $.
On s’attend à ce que ce projet se traduise par une baisse annuelle des revenus des stationnements payants estimée à 74 000 $.
Consultation publique/commentaires :
On a effectué un nombre important de consultations publiques au cours de l’étude, tel qu’établi dans la section sur la consultation du présent rapport. Bien que le projet soit soutenu par la population en général, il compte aussi ses opposants, surtout au sein des associations commerciales et des résidents dans la zone à l’étude. Les représentants de la zone d’amélioration commerciale (ZAC) de la rue Bank sont farouchement opposés à la proposition et préoccupés par la sécurité des cyclistes et les changements au stationnement sur la voie publique et aux zones de chargement, entre autres. Nombre de résidents des copropriétés dans l’avenue Laurier, à l’ouest de la rue Lyon, sont aussi opposés au projet pilote, principalement à cause des changements proposés au stationnement sur la voie publique. Le Comité consultatif sur les affaires de la Ville a aussi manifesté des préoccupations quant à la perte d’espaces de stationnement sur la voie publique et aux répercussions possibles pour les commerces adjacents. Toutefois, on a depuis établi la possibilité de créer d’autres espaces de stationnement sur la voie publique. À la lumière de ces renseignements, la majorité de la rétroaction obtenue aux consultations publiques et auprès de plusieurs comités consultatifs était favorable au projet. Le Comité consultatif sur les routes et le cyclisme de même que le Comité consultatif sur l’environnement ont adopté à l’unanimité une motion soutenant la mise en œuvre du projet pilote. Et une majorité importante du Comité de consultation publique et du Comité consultatif technique soutient aussi le projet.
The Ottawa Cycling Plan (OCP) was approved by Council in July 2008 with a vision to:
Develop a visible and connected cycling network of on and off-road facilities that is used by all types of cyclists to identify Ottawa as the premiere cycling capital of Canada and as one of the most sustainable transportation cities in the world.
The goals of the OCP include:
· Tripling the number of person-trips made by bicycle;
· Making cycling safer for cyclists of all skill and age levels; and
· Linking, connecting and expanding existing cycling facilities.
The vision and goals of the OCP are supported by the City’s Strategic Plan, Official Plan (OP) and Transportation Master Plan (TMP) which all emphasize and prioritize cycling as a key component of achieving multiple social, environmental, and economic benefits.
Within this context, Council directed staff to “undertake a feasibility study to pilot a downtown east-west on-street dedicated cycling lane separated by a median from regular traffic” when the OCP was approved in July 2008.
In January 2010, the McCormick Rankin Corporation (MRC) was retained to assist with the study. The project commenced with a literature review and the development of a planning rationale based on experiences from other cities because no similar bicycle facility currently exists in Ottawa.
In March 2010, the literature review and planning rationale formed the basis for a memorandum to Transportation Committee that highlighted the transportation and financial benefits of investing in bicycle infrastructure.
The study proceeded next with a technical evaluation of all potential east-west routes through the study area. The study area was defined by the original Transportation Committee motion from July 2008 to include the area bounded by Elgin Street, Preston Street, Wellington Street and the Queensway.
The first stage of the technical evaluation identified 33 potential east-west corridor alignments. A mix of high-level screening criteria was applied to reduce the number of potential corridors for more detailed analysis. Twelve potential corridors were carried forward for further examination into the second stage of the technical evaluation.
In April 2010, Transportation Committee directed staff to undertake additional public consultation to seek input on the corridor options and technical framework.
In May 2010, four public open houses were held and were well attended, in conjunction with numerous additional stakeholder meetings. A Public Advisory Committee was also assembled that included a diverse mix of stakeholders.
In August 2010, staff provided an update memorandum to Transportation Committee that highlighted the consultation feedback and the next steps for the project. Based on the technical evaluations and public input, three potential corridors were carried forward for additional analysis (Somerset Street, Gladstone Avenue and Laurier Avenue). Staff also retained the services of Vélo Quebec (VQ) to provide a peer review of the technical analysis and to assist with the functional design of the facility. A peer review was pursued because this would be the City’s first segregated bike lane and there were different opinions among the public, stakeholders and businesses with respect to the preferred route and the impacts of the project. Vélo Quebec was selected because they are internationally recognized for planning and designing bicycle facilities and they have unique experiences with the extensive segregated bike lane network in Montreal.
In September 2010, Council approved a motion called Taking Steps Toward a Cycle Friendly City as a follow-up to the Velo-City Global 2010 Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark and in anticipation of the East-West Segregated Bike Lane Pilot Project.
Table 1 provides more information regarding the key background milestones for this project.
Table 1: Key Background Milestones
Council approves Ottawa Cycling Plan (OCP) and directs staff to evaluate the feasibility of an on-street dedicated cycling lane separated from traffic as a pilot project in the downtown on an east-west route.
Transportation Committee directs staff to determine
whether segregated bike lanes would be appropriate in Ottawa where potential
pedestrian/cyclist/vehicle conflicts have been identified.
Staff responds to Transportation Committee request
regarding transportation and financial advantages to investing in cycling infrastructure
Council directs staff to undertake comprehensive consultations for the East-West segregated bike lane pilot project and to undertake an additional project to evaluate city-wide corridors for on-street segregated facilities.
Staff provides Transportation Committee with an update memorandum
on the East-West Segregated Bike Lane Pilot Project .
Transportation Committee and Council motion for Taking Steps Toward a Cycle Friendly City, as amended.
The project is organized into four main components: planning rationale; corridor selection; functional design; and performance monitoring.
The planning rationale for investing in segregated bicycle lanes and associated cycling infrastructure was based on an extensive literature review, as summarize below in Table 2 and detailed in Document 2.
Table 2: Planning Rationale
Increased Safety for All Road Users
Increasing the number of cyclists improves safety for both cyclists and car drivers alike. Countries like Holland have a high number of cyclists but the fewest deaths per km traveled. Between 1996 and 2006 the percentage of commuter cyclists in Copenhagen increased from 30% to 37% while serious accidents were reduced by 65%. Between 1991 and 2008 the numbers of cyclists in Portland have increased six times but the number of reported crashes has stayed the same.
Health Benefits and Reduced Medical Costs
Cycling moderate distances on a regular basis provides exercise, and can help reduce obesity rates and associated medical costs. The City of Odense in Denmark has found that for every dollar invested in cycling, they get a 200% return in reduced health care costs. The City of Copenhagen found that children who cycle to school are almost 10 per cent more physically fit than their classmates who are driven and adults who cycle to work or use a bicycle on an everyday basis have a 30% lower mortality rate than others with a similar profile.
Reduced Congestion and Greater Capacity
Motor vehicle congestion is alleviated as more people choose to cycle rather than drive. Less congestion means that car drivers and other road users are able to get to their destinations more efficiently. Roadways can accommodate higher capacities if travelers are on bicycles rather than in cars.
When more people choose to cycle rather than drive fewer large infrastructure investments are required such as additional travel lanes or bridges. Between 1991 and 2008 Portland’s Hawthorne Bridge experienced a 20 per cent increase in traffic with 19 per cent of the increase attributed to bicycle traffic, eliminating the need for widening the bridge or building another crossing.
Attracting Private Investment
Public investment in cycling encourages private investment. In Portland significant public investment has encouraged voluntary private sector investment. Bike parking spaces are becoming a marketing tool in new developments and businesses are installing specialized bicycle parking spaces outside their mainstreet and large format retail properties at their own cost.
Spending Money Locally
Reduced transportation costs mean that individuals can spend more money at local businesses. The citizens of the Portland region spend less than the national average on automobiles (operating, purchasing, and maintenance). Out of the $1.2 billion saved annually, an estimated $800 million circulates through the local economy that would have otherwise left the region.
Inexpensive Option for Transportation Users
City of Ottawa Cost of Travel Study (2005) indicates the cost of a bicycle is $0.07 (CAD) per cycled kilometre, covering purchase price and maintenance. The equivalent cost for a car is $0.44 (CAD) per driven kilometre, which is more than six times as expensive.
Cycling offers freedom and flexibility. It is a more affordable option for the traveler and may also be used by groups that are not able to drive (e.g. children, or the elderly).
Economic Generation with Cycling-Related Businesses
Investing in cycling infrastructure promotes local business development. In Portland, cycling-related businesses make up a $90 million industry that employs between 850-1150 people through rentals, professional services, manufacturing, races, rides, events and tours.
Adding Value to Urban Developments
Cycling infrastructure and people-oriented cities draw people and customers. Mixed-use areas, which are designed to be walking and cycling friendly, are typically some of most desirable neighbourhoods to live in. These areas also draw premium real estate prices.
Making Local Businesses More Accessible
Cycling infrastructure enables more customers to access local businesses more efficiently and more often. Customers can also more-easily park close to shops, restaurants, and services. A European Commission report concluded that the vitality of commercial enterprises is connected to the quality of the environment and that cycling infrastructure enhances this relationship. The study also found that cyclists are better customers than motorists because they shop more regularly and have more disposable incomes.
Complement to Public Transit
Cycling complements public transit and helps manage increased demand for transit services. Cycling in combination with public transit has been a very successful model in countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark, encouraging travelers to use a bicycle/transit combination instead of personal automobiles. Diverting some transportation demand from transit to cycling also means that expensive transit investments can be used more effectively.
Cost Benefit Analysis of Cycling Projects
The City of Copenhagen has found that society gains $0.24 (CAD) per kilometre when a person chooses to cycle; whereas by car, society suffers a net loss of $0.14 (CAD) per kilometre.
Mitigating CO2 Emissions Costs
Municipalities are facing increasingly harmful effects associated with CO2 emissions. Reducing emissions through encouraging more people to cycle rather than drive is part of the solution.
Tourism and Culture
Improving cycling infrastructure helps create cities that draw tourists and tourist dollars. In Portland, investments in cycling have created a cultural boom with winter bike-a-thons, bike fashion, and almost 100 bike-related special events annually. Cycling infrastructure can also enable better access to tourism destinations and local retailers.
The corridor selection process included three stages: a high-level screening; an evaluation of short-listed corridors; and a final corridor evaluation of three corridors (Somerset Street, Gladstone Avenue and Laurier Avenue).
Stage 1 Corridor Selection Process
The first stage of the corridor selection process was a high-level screening of all potential east-west routes through the study area. Thirty-three routes were identified and a scoring mechanism was applied based on the four criteria described in Table 3.
Table 3: Stage 1 Corridor Selection Criteria
Ottawa Cycling Plan
Consideration was given to whether candidate routes were identified in the Ottawa Cycling Plan (OCP) as substantial discussions and public consultations were carried out as part of that effort. The OCP process of selecting designated cycling routes took into account a large variety of factors relating to safety, public opinions, engineering design criteria, and cycling network connectivity.
Traffic Signals at Main Crossings
When travelling east-west across downtown Ottawa there are numerous arterial and collector roads to cross. The design standard for a segregated cycling lane includes works that allow an unaccompanied twelve-year old to safely travel along the corridor. Under these guidelines it was decided that having to cross certain streets without traffic signals could cause unnecessary conflict between cyclists and vehicles.
Continuity of the Route
An important factor to cyclists when selecting an appropriate route is the continuity and directness of a route. If the selected route requires cyclists to make multiple turns it will be less convenient and less likely to attract users.
Connections to East-West Destinations
While there are numerous destinations within downtown, the ability to continue east and/or west is an important factor when considering the location of a potential corridor within the city road network.
Table 4 lists the Stage 1 evaluation results for the 12 corridors carried forward. A full description of the Stage 1 evaluation process, including the scoring for all 33 corridors is detailed in Document 2.
Table 4: Stage 1 Corridor Selection Results
Stage 2 Corridor Selection Process
The second stage of the corridor selection process evaluated the short-listed 12 corridors against 13 criteria that were grouped into seven categories. The criteria described below in Table 5 were developed with input from the Public Advisory Committee (PAC) and the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and were subject to consultations through a series of Public Open Houses and stakeholder meetings. Vélo Quebec also peer reviewed both the Stage 1 and Stage 2 criteria and processes.
Table 5: Stage 2 Corridor Selection Criteria
Preferred Locations for Cyclists
Continuity of Route
A continuous route with minimal turns or out-of-the-way travel is more appealing to cyclists and will attract a greater number of cyclists to the corridor.
Consideration was given to destinations on or near each route. Some examples include schools, religious centres, restaurants, shops, businesses, workplaces, sports and community centres and transportation hubs.
Safety Considerations for Cyclists
Cyclists Conflict with Vehicles
The frequency and volume of turning vehicles is an important safety factor for cyclists. Each corridor was evaluated by the total volume of turning vehicles along the entire route on an average day.
Adjacent Land Uses
Each driveway or entrance to a business or parking lot creates a potential conflict between cyclists and vehicles. The number of entrances along each corridor was counted and evaluated.
Consideration was given to the average daily traffic volumes for each corridor. Corridors with low volumes were assumed to be safer.
Truck/Heavy Vehicle Traffic
High volumes of trucks or heavy vehicles will frequently cause safety concerns for cyclists. Corridors with lots of heavy vehicle traffic increase the need for segregated bicycle lanes.
Impact on Transit
Consideration was given to the required changes to the current lane configurations and the expected impacts on the transit routes along each potential corridor.
Impact on Vehicles
Impact on Vehicle Travel Lanes
The required travel lane widths for each corridor were compared with and without segregated bicycle lanes to determine the impact to motor vehicle travel.
Reductions in the available road width for motor vehicles will increase the likelihood of vehicles having to stop behind buses at transit stops which will increase the vehicle delay along the corridor. These potential impacts were considered based on the number of bus routes and volume of buses using each corridor.
Impact on Businesses
Impact to On-Street Parking
The evaluation criteria were developed to take into account the importance of on-street parking, including if is within the Central Business District or on a Traditional Main Streets.
Impact on Loading Zones/Taxi Stands/Hotel Zones
To impact as few businesses as possible it would be preferable to select a corridor which has fewer designated loading zones, taxi stands or hotel zones.
Impact on Pedestrians
Streetscape/Urban Design Impacts
Consideration was given to the impacts on pedestrian space; the reduction in buffer space between vehicle travel lanes and the pedestrian zone; the change in pedestrian crossing distances at intersections; and the impact to street trees and/or landscape features.
Relative Implementation Costs
The relative implementation costs were estimated for each corridor and were rated from least expensive to the most expensive.
Site visits were conducted to document the existing road geometry, on-street parking, adjacent land uses, entrances and exits to businesses and residences as well as to locate other positive or negative influences. Table 6 lists the technical evaluation results for the 12 corridors. Document 2 provides a full description of the evaluation process and results.
Table 6: Corridor Selection – Stage 2 Evaluation Results
Stage 3 Corridor Selection Process
Somerset Street, Gladstone Avenue and Laurier Avenue were carried forward for the third stage of the selection process based on the technical analysis and consultation input from four Public Open Houses and stakeholder meetings.
The concept of using two separate streets to provide bicycle travel in opposing directions was not pursued for several reasons:
· Using two streets creates out-of-the-way travel for destinations that are on one side of the facility;
· Cyclists have the legal right to use traffic lanes in the opposite direction and may prefer to do so rather than transferring to a neighbouring street for their return trip;
· Using two streets increases the potential for some cyclists to use a one-way facility in the opposite direction;
· The cost to implement and maintain the facility on two streets is more than the cost of using one street;
· The consultation processes indicated that most people prefer two unidirectional bicycle lanes on one street.
For the above reasons, a two-way facility on one street was pursued which limited the remaining options to the corridors that are wide enough to accommodate two-way travel.
Vélo Quebec also assisted with the third and final stage of corridor selection process. Table 7 lists the three categories and 10 criteria that were used for this evaluation:
Table 7: Stage 3 Corridor Selection Criteria
Cycling related criteria
Current bicycle traffic
Corridors in which a large number of bicycle trips originate and terminate should be preferred; data can readily be obtained from the Origin‐Destination Study.
Potential bicycle traffic
Corridors in which a large number of non‐bicycle trips under 5 km originate and terminate should be preferred; data can readily be obtained from the Origin‐Destination Study.
Linkages to surrounding areas
Corridors providing better linkages across the Rideau Canal and the O‐Train line and better proximity to Ottawa River crossings should be preferred.
Linkages with other bicycle facilities
Corridors that offer a strong potential for interconnection with existing and planned City bicycle facilities and interconnection with the existing National Capital Commission facilities along the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River should be preferred.
Merit of segregation
Corridors with higher overall traffic volumes, higher truck traffic volumes, higher traffic speeds, and which have a higher potential for illegal stopping/double parking should be strongly preferred as segregation on such corridors will provide the greatest benefit to cyclists.
Criteria relating to other modes of transportation
Transit stop conflicts
Corridors with fewer bus stops and lower frequency of bus service should be preferred as there will be fewer conflicts between bicycle and passengers entering or exiting buses;
Automobile traffic impacts
Corridors with the least impacts on automobile travel time should be preferred, although the weight assigned to this criterion should be limited;
Curb-side garbage collection
Streets without curb-side garbage collection should be preferred.
Business Impact criteria
Corridors in which implementation of the bicycle facility will have the lowest relative impact on the total parking supply should be preferred (i.e., all on‐street and off‐street parking in the corridor, including underground garages and surface parking lots next to or behind buildings within an acceptable walking distance).
Shopping environment impacts
Implementation of the bicycle facility will provide sidewalks with additional buffering from automobiles and improve the pedestrian environment, with likely benefits for street‐level commerce; corridors with a significant amount of street‐level commerce should therefore be preferred.
Table 8 lists the Stage 3 technical evaluation results. Based on an in-depth technical evaluation, and complemented by input from the public during the consultation sessions, staff have identified that Laurier Avenue West provides the best opportunity to pilot an east-west segregated bike lane through downtown. Full descriptions of the Stage 3 corridor selection process is detailed in Documents 2 and 3.
Table 8: Corridor Selection – Stage 3 Evaluation Results
Other Corridor Selection Considerations
Other considerations that influenced the selection of the corridor for the pilot project included planned road construction projects and bicycle connections to the National Capital Commission pathways along the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River Parkway.
Planned Road Construction Projects
Road reconstruction projects planned for 2011 include Somerset Street between Preston Street and Booth Street and Bronson Avenue through the study area. Because of these significant road reconstruction projects it is recommended to end the pilot corridor east of Bronson Avenue. This still provides a very good corridor for a pilot project as Lyon, Bay and Percy Streets all include bicycle lane connections into the western limits of Laurier Avenue.
Laurier Avenue (Bronson Avenue to Kent Street) is also planned to be resurfaced in 2011, which provides an excellent opportunity to implement the segregated facility, especially considering the amount of new road paint markings necessary.
National Capital Commission Pathway Connections
There is a logical connection for the segregated bike lanes to connect with the existing on-street bicycle lanes on the Laurier Avenue Bridge and with the NCC pathways along the Rideau Canal. However, the roadway width east of Elgin Street for this connection does not provide sufficient space to implement two on-street cycling lanes without causing high impacts to the intersection operations at Elgin Street and Laurier Avenue. Therefore, the proposed solution for the pilot project includes on-road bicycle sharrow paint markings east of Elgin Street as shown in Document 1. A segregated facility east of Elgin Street will be examined further as part of the permanent facility should the pilot project prove to be successful.
Future consideration should be given to extending the corridor further to the east through the University of Ottawa, along Laurier Avenue East, to connect with the future planned footbridge over the Rideau River and the adjoining NCC pathways.
Future considerations should also include improved connections to the west through the future Mid-Block Mews corridor shown in the City of Ottawa Escarpment District Plan with additional bicycle links coordinated with the reconstruction of the north-end of Bronson Avenue to enable an improved bicycle connection with the NCC pathways along the Ottawa River Parkway.
Following the selection of Laurier Avenue West as the preferred corridor for the pilot project, several design details were refined in collaboration with the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), the project team, Vélo Quebec and public input. The design details are shown in Document 1 and summarized below and described in more detailed in Document 2.
The recommended buffer treatment for the pilot project on Laurier Avenue is a combination of precast curbs with candlestick delineators coupled with parked cars and planter boxes in select locations, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Proposed Segregated Bike Lane Pilot on Laurier Avenue
The precast curbs will act as a barrier to prevent vehicles from illegally entering into the bicycle lane and maintenance vehicles from unintentionally removing the delineators when clearing snow. The delineators will make the precast curbs visible to drivers, particularly during the winter months. It is recommended that the pre-cast curbs be removed along loading and Para Transpo zones to allow door ramps to align with the pavement and deliveries to more easily cross the buffer area. The pre-cast curbs will also be spaced appropriately to allow storm water drainage using existing curb-side catch basins.
Unidirectional Bicycle Lanes
Two unidirectional bicycle lanes in opposite directions on both sides of Laurier Avenue were pursued rather than a bidirectional facility on one side of the street because:
· Unidirectional bicycle lanes are safer, especially at intersections;
· Unidirectional bicycle lanes can be combined with “bike boxes”;
· Unidirectional bicycle lanes can be more easily integrated with the road and bicycle network;
· The impacts to on-street parking would be the same for either type of facility (Document 2);
· The majority of public and technical stakeholder input preferred unidirectional bicycle lanes.
Motor Vehicle Right Turns
The buffer treatments to segregate the bicycle lanes from motor vehicles will be located up to the stop bar of intersections to provide the greatest level of protection and comfort for cyclists. The consultation process indentified a strong consensus for this type of design treatment. This will require a new type of traffic sign to instruct automobiles turning right to yield to cyclists going straight through an intersection. Figure 2 shows the new proposed sign by the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) that will be required at all intersections in the east-west directions along Laurier Avenue between Elgin Street and Bronson Avenue. Similar yield signs are currently used in Vancouver and Montreal. On-going correspondence with MTO indicates that municipalities have the authority to implement signs in accordance with the Ontario Highway Traffic Act; however, there is risk that MTO may deny its use. Staff will continue to pursue approval from MTO in advance of the pilot.
Figure 2: Transportation Association of Canada Proposed Sign
The installation of bicycle traffic signals was considered for all intersections on Laurier Avenue in the east and west directions between Bronson Avenue and Elgin Street, however, the use straight-arrow traffic signals will have greater overall benefits for the pilot project. The use of straight-arrow traffic signals for the first few seconds of each signal phase followed by the standard green ball signal will restrict turning movements at the beginning of each phase and will allow cyclists to advance before motor vehicle turning movements. This will also prevent cyclists in the segregated bike lane from trying to make single stage left turns which may occur if bicycle traffic signals are installed with advanced green time for cyclists. The straight-arrows will also slightly improve travel times and will help to reduce motor vehicle congestion compared to the use of bicycle signals. The addition of straight arrows will also allow pedestrians to begin their crossing in advance of conflicting turning traffic and will provide a safety feature for pedestrians that will improve all modes of travel. They will also be easier and more cost-effective to install because new poles and foundations will not be required which would be needed for separate bicycle traffic lights.
Left-Turn Bike Boxes
Bike boxes will be provided at all intersections in the north-south directions to help facilitate two-stage left turns for cyclists, as shown in Figure 3. Cyclists turning left will be expected to first proceed straight through an intersection and then wait in the designated left-turn bike box for the green signal on the cross street to complete their left turn movement. This approach is used successfully in Vancouver, Portland and many European cities as a way to enhance safety for cyclists.
Figure 3: Intersection with Bike Box for a Two-Stage Left Turn
All right-turn-on-red movements are recommended to be banned throughout the corridor to improve safety. This will apply to both the north-south and east-west vehicles. The restriction of east-west right-turn-on-red movements along Laurier Avenue will stop right-turning vehicles from moving forward and blocking the bicycle lane during a red signal. The restriction on all north-south cross-streets will allow cyclists to safely use the left-turning bike boxes that will be implemented on all cross-streets as shown in Figure 3.
Motor Vehicle Travel Time Impacts
The overall impact to motor vehicle travel times along Laurier Avenue West between Bronson and Elgin will result in peak period increases the eastbound direction by approximately 22 to 42 seconds. This is due to the reduced motor vehicle capacity of removing one motor vehicle travel lane in each direction in the peak periods. Off-peak travel times will be similar to existing off-peak conditions as on-street parking is currently permitted in the off-peak hours, which already effectively eliminates one motor vehicle travel lane in each direction in the off-peak hours. A summary of the expected changes in vehicle travel time along the corridor during the AM and PM peak hours is shown in Table 9. Additional changes to the signal timing through performance monitoring may improve these modelled conditions.
Table 9: Laurier Avenue Travel Times
Table 10 shows the intersection level of service indicators for Laurier Avenue with and without bicycle lanes. It indicates that a number of motor vehicle movements will now operate above a volume/capacity ratio of 0.95 which means that these movements are approaching a failing condition and a minor increase in traffic volume in the peak hours will cause significant congestion; however, it should be noted that the City’s Traffic Impact Assessment Guidelines define a volume to capacity ratio of 1.0 (or LOS ‘E’) as acceptable for the urban core. Document 2 provides a full description of the traffic analysis and also indicates that there is little capacity in the network to handle diverted traffic volumes.
Table 10: Laurier Avenue Intersection Level of Service
Traffic Diversion (Metcalfe Street and Laurier Avenue)
For traffic flow operational reasons, the eastbound left turn on Laurier Avenue at Metcalfe Street will need to be banned during the AM and PM peak periods. Metcalfe Street is currently the only location where eastbound vehicles can make a left turn between Kent Street and the Rideau Canal and there are approximately 120 to 140 vehicles making this turn in the AM and PM peak hours. It is expected that this may force many vehicles to turn right at Elgin Street, Gloucester Street and Metcalfe Street to head northbound on Metcalfe Street. There is adequate capacity for these additional movements at the intersections impacted by this diversion; however, it is expected that many vehicles will take alternate corridors throughout the downtown network to reach their destinations. The traffic impact assessment indicates additional road capacity is available in the area to accommodate the expected volume of detoured vehicles.
Traffic Diversion (Elgin Street and Laurier Avenue)
It is expected that the reduction from two westbound motor vehicle lanes to one at the Elgin Street intersection will create operational challenges. The high traffic volumes expected during the PM peak periods will cause the intersection to reach its operational capacity and will increase westbound vehicle delay. To alleviate the additional delay, it is recommended that the westbound left turn be permitted all day instead of banned during the PM peak period as it currently is today. It is also expected that some of the westbound vehicles will alter their route to either a westbound left or right turn at Elgin Street or they will take alternate corridors or travel by alternate modes. There is expected to be adequate capacity at this intersection if approximately 200 westbound through vehicles per hour (30 per cent) divert to either a left or right turn if current volumes persist. The traffic sensitivity analysis indicates a 20 per cent overall diversion from Laurier Avenue will result in similar existing operating conditions.
Several new on-street loading zones for the delivery of commercial goods are proposed, as shown in Document 1. The loading zones will be identified using signage and on-road paint markings without a pre-cast curb buffer to allow door ramps to align with the pavement and deliveries to more easily cross the bicycle lane. There are also many existing off-street loading areas on private property along Laurier Avenue that will continue to function.
The two taxi zones that are currently on Laurier Avenue will continue to operate in the same location just east of Lyon Street across from the Minto Place and Minto Business Centre. The current zones will continue to permit all-day operations for taxi license holders.
These taxi zones will create conflict zones for cyclists as customers will cross the segregated bicycle facility between the sidewalk and taxis. Appropriate pavement markings will be used to alert cyclists and pedestrians to the potential conflict zone, as shown in Document 1.
The City currently permits a chip truck to operate in a parking spot on Laurier Avenue 20 m east of Bank Street. This presents an additional conflict zone, as the truck’s customers may step out unexpectedly in front of cyclists travelling in the segregated bike lane or may block the bike lane when standing in front of the vendor’s ordering window. City staff have met with the licensed business owner and will continue to review the situation to determine if there are other desirable locations for future operations or if changes are possible to minimize the potential conflicts between customers and cyclists.
There are frequent driveways, loading docks and entrances throughout the corridor where Para Transpo is expected to be able to stop temporarily to pick-up or drop-off passengers. The City’s Traffic and Parking By-Law (No. 2003-530) allows stopping of a motor vehicle to receive or discharge a physically disabled person (provided valid permits) regardless of the posted traffic signs, meaning that Para Transpo vehicles are permitted to stop in parking, loading, stopping, and no stopping zones along Laurier Avenue. A review of the frequency and locations of Para Transpo services indicates that the majority of locations include buildings at corner cross-street locations. In the event that no space is available along Laurier Avenue, Para Transpo vehicles will be encouraged to stop on the closest cross-street.
There is currently a designated Para Transpo zone on the north side of Laurier Avenue, just east of Bay Street (in front of 475 Laurier Avenue). Due to the narrow roadway width in this location, it is proposed to relocate this stopping area to Bay Street immediately north of Laurier Avenue. Staff will continue to explore how best to service this location through the detailed design phase of the project.
Transit Services (OC Transpo and STO)
There are currently no regular OC Transpo services along Laurier Avenue between Nicholas Street and Bronson Avenue. However, on rare occasions (up to approximately four times per year), unpredictable incidents occur along the downtown Transitway corridor that require OC Transpo buses to be diverted to adjacent streets, including eastbound buses along sections of Laurier Avenue. Operational concerns when buses are detoured to Laurier Avenue, including how transit boardings and alightings will be accommodated, will continue to be explored through the detailed design phase of the project, including ensuring compliance with AODA standards. OC Transpo will also consider alternate routes other than Laurier Avenue given the limited capacity on Laurier Avenue once it is reduced to a 2-lane road during peak periods.
STO Route 21 (Casino) currently travels on Laurier Avenue between Elgin Street and Metcalfe Street at one hour intervals with increased service every 30 minutes between 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. The route currently includes a stop on Laurier Avenue at Metcalfe Street; however, STO has agreed to move this stop to Metcalfe Street if segregated bicycle lanes are implemented.
Emergency vehicle access along Laurier Avenue will remain similar as existing conditions with the installation of segregated bike lanes. The current on-street parking along both sides of Laurier Avenue already reduces the travel portion of the road to two lanes for most of the day. This arrangement requires emergency vehicles to block Laurier Avenue when there is a call from an adjacent building. With the implementation of segregated facilities, the emergency vehicles will continue to block the motor vehicle lanes on Laurier Avenue as needed. The candlestick posts will be spaced at intervals of up to 15 metres and will be designed on a flexible base to allow emergency vehicles to drive over the precast curbs and knock the posts, if necessary, without damage to the vehicles.
Winter maintenance of the bicycle lanes will be a high priority and to the same or better standards than the motor vehicle travel lanes which will ensure that access to buildings will remain clear of snow. This will provide a clear path for emergency workers to quickly and safely cross the bicycle lanes.
Laurier Avenue is also frequently used as a cross-town route by emergency vehicles and this should not change with the introduction of segregated bicycle lanes. The overall intersection levels of service remain acceptable and the corridor will continue to operate as a two-lane roadway, similar to existing conditions outside of the peak periods.
Garbage collection along Laurier Avenue is managed by the owners of the businesses and condominium buildings along the corridor. There are frequent off-street loading docks and entrances along Laurier Avenue where garbage collection takes place on private property. It is expected that garbage collection operations along Laurier Avenue will remain unchanged.
Approximately 122 of the 166 on-street paid parking spaces along Laurier Avenue will need to be removed to accommodate segregated bike lanes; however, there are opportunities for up to an additional 122 on-street parking spaces along Gloucester Street and Nepean Street, of which 96 would be available all-day and 26 would be available between 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Approximately 57 of the new 122 spaces would be paid parking (Elgin Street to Lyon Street). The new parking towards the west ends of Gloucester and Nepean Streets would be unpaid parking, as is currently the case on those sections of streets. While the total number of parking spaces remains the same within the study area, there will be a net loss of 65 on-street paid parking spaces.
The remaining 44 on-street paid parking spaces along Laurier Avenue will be permitted all-day, including during peak periods, to help form the buffer between cyclists and the motor vehicle travel lanes. This will provide four extra weekday hours of permitted on-street parking between 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The opportunity for 122 additional on-street parking spaces along Gloucester Street and Nepean Street would require permitting parking on both sides of several blocks of those streets. Currently, on-street parking is only permitted on one side of Gloucester Street and Nepean Street. This proposal would also include removing the bike lane on Gloucester Street between Bay Street and Percy Street (one block length) and extending the existing bike lane on Percy Street to Laurier Avenue to provide a new connection between Percy Street and Bay Street and to accommodate additional on‑street parking.
Table 11 lists the block-by-block impacts to the number of on-street parking spaces before and after implementing the pilot project.
Table 11: On-Street Parking Impacts
The new pay and display machines along Laurier Avenue will require drivers to cross the segregated bicycle lane three times; once to pay for their parking, once to put their parking receipt in their car, and a third time to reach the sidewalk and continue to their destination. To reduce the risk of collisions when pedestrians are crossing between parked cars and the sidewalk the pavement in the bicycle lanes near parked cars will be painted with frequent bicycle symbols to alert pedestrians to watch for cyclists.
The removal of 122 of 166 on-street paid parking spaces on Laurier Avenue will have an impact on parking revenues. This reduction will be offset in part by the fact that parking in the remaining 44 on-street spaces will be all-day (8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.). The current on-street parking on Laurier Avenue is prohibited during the peak periods (parking on weekdays is currently permitted from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.). The estimated net reduction in revenues is estimated at about $176,000 per year. The proposed new parking on Gloucester and Nepean Streets will be a combination of paid and unpaid parking (depending on what is currently in place in the affected blocks). The estimated 57 new paid parking spaces will generate new net revenues of about $102,000, depending on the extent of paid parking. This is based on current parking revenues collected in those blocks. The resulting net impact on paid on-street parking revenues is an estimated net reduction of about $74,000 per year.
Over 12,000 off-street parking spaces currently exist within one block south and two blocks north of Laurier Avenue between Elgin Street and Bronson Avenue. These spaces represent 6,250 for public use and 5,750 that are privately owned. The 6,250 public spaces are a combination of both short-term and long-term spaces, of which approximately 1500 are short-term spaces that would be available as alternatives to on-street parking. The recently-updated Central Area Parking Study indicates sufficient parking capacity to accommodate the on-street parking spaces that will be removed from Laurier Avenue for the pilot even without the additional 122 on-street parking spaces proposed along Gloucester and Nepean Streets.
It is expected that 125 on-street bicycle parking spaces will be required on Laurier Avenue between Elgin Street and Bronson Avenue, as determined through Vélo Québec’s Planning and Design Standards for Pedestrians and Cyclists (Vélo Québec Association, 2010). In general, this will result in about 10 ring-and-post facilities per block, with five on each side of the street.
There are 28 ring-and-post bike racks already in place along the corridor (from Elgin Street to Lyon Street). Priority should be given to blocks that currently do not have any bike parking in the public right-of-way. The locations which receive the highest priority are between O’Connor Street and Bank Street on the north side and between Kent Street and Lyon Street on both sides of Laurier Avenue. Based on an average block length of about 170 m, the ring-and-post bike racks should be spaced at about 30 m intervals, subject to location constraints.
To the west of Lyon Street, the existing urban fabric primarily consists of mid-to-high rise multi-unit residential buildings. Seven ring-and-post bike racks are currently installed along Laurier Avenue west of Lyon Street. To accommodate visitors to the residential buildings and nearby commercial district as well as provide consistency throughout the corridor, it is recommended to install ring-and-post facilities at 30 m intervals along the entire corridor, from Elgin Street to Bronson Avenue. This translates into a total of 25 ring-and-post bike racks between of Lyon Street and Bronson Avenue, of which 18 will be new.
It is recommended that the segregated bicycle lanes be maintained through the winter months to avoid the need to alter road markings and signage and to facilitate consistent lane arrangements for drivers. It will also provide the opportunity to monitor winter cycling activity, including through the shoulder seasons (November, March) to examine annual trends.
The winter maintenance quality standards for the proposed bike lane would be a bare pavement standard similar to the motor vehicle portion of the road. This will require additional ploughing and salting and manual snow removal from around the encroachments. It will also require additional snow removal along Gloucester and Nepean Streets to accommodate parking on both sides of those streets.
The proposed bike lanes have been designed for winter operations with sufficient widths to accommodate snow removal and maintenance equipment (1.8 m). The candlestick delineators will be mounted to precast curbs to prevent damage to them, particularly from snow clearing activities. The precast curb buffers will be slightly elevated to allow drainage to flow underneath them. They will also be low enough in height to allow smaller accumulations of snow to be pushed from the street into the bicycle lanes, and then as soon as practical, to be immediately removed from the bicycle lane and stored on the sidewalk with a sidewalk plough. This will be done rapidly to avoid drainage obstructions. Larger snow falls will be stored adjacent to the curb while snow from the sidewalk and bike lane will be pushed onto the vehicle portion of the road such that it can be removed with conventional roadway snow removal equipment.
The use of anti-icing/de-icing liquids will be investigated in an attempt to reduce the need for salting to combat black-ice formed along the bike lanes. Black-ice is primarily caused by the movement of daytime shadows from surrounding buildings, runoff from local encroaching snow causing freeze-thaws in combination with the thermal inertia of the asphalt and the salt content of the snow bank. Treatment will require a dedicated sidewalk plough to be outfitted with a tank and spray bar to apply anti-icing/de-icing liquids.
While staff is fully supportive of this pilot project and is exploring innovative anti-icing/de-icing technologies to reduce the need for salting to address black ice there may be times due to severe weather conditions that the segregated bike lane may be unsafe for use. In order to manage this risk appropriately, it is recommended that the Manager, Roads and Traffic Operations and Maintenance of the Public Works Department be delegated the authority to close the bike lane should unsafe conditions exist.
Performance monitoring will be critical to understanding the success of the segregated cycling facility and will help improve the design of future segregated bicycle facilities in Ottawa. Towards this effort, the monitoring plan will include a business survey, a user survey, and a traffic impact assessment report. A staff report to Transportation Committee will be provided to summarize the results of the performance monitoring within 24 months after implementation.
A business survey will be conducted in late spring or early fall 2012 to review the perceived impacts of the segregated bicycle facility on local businesses along the Laurier Avenue corridor. The survey will include the street-level retail businesses, office towers, hotels, taxi companies, school bus companies, street vendors, courier services and Para Transpo to determine whether the loading facilities provided are perceived to be adequate to address their needs.
Segregated Bike Lane User Survey
A survey will also be conducted in late spring or early fall 2012 to solicit feedback from cyclists using the segregated bicycle facility. The survey will be conducted as an on-the-spot interview or by providing passing cyclists with a paper form or internet address to provide feedback at their convenience.
Traffic Impact Assessment
Traffic conditions will continue to be monitored daily using the existing intersection traffic cameras along Laurier Avenue. A traffic impact assessment report will be prepared and will summarize the before and after impacts associated with all modes along the piloted corridor, including the impacts to parking, traffic safety and accident reports. Automated bicycle counters will be also be installed along the piloted corridor to record the 24-hour cycling volumes for the entire duration of the pilot project. This cycling count data will be added to the regular Quarterly Performance Monitoring Report to Council to provide quarterly indicators to the public and council.
The consultation included:
Public Open Houses
Two sets of public open houses were held and were well attended, as shown in Table 12.
Table 12: Public Open House Locations and Attendance
Open House Session
Number of Attendees
June 7th, 2010
Dalhousie Community Centre
June 8th, 2010
McNabb Community Centre
June 10th, 2010
Dominion Chalmers Church
June 14th, 2010
Ottawa City Hall
November 25th, 2010
Ottawa City Hall
The first set of public open houses were held at the beginning of June 2010 and focused on the planning rationale as well as the Stage 1 and Stage 2 corridor selection process. The format included display boards, a slide presentation with a questions and answers session, and facilitated table group discussions. Comment sheets were provided and the project webpage included all of the presentation material.
Key findings from the first set of public open houses included significant support of the undertaking with a preference to have the bicycle lanes on one street rather than on two streets in separate directions. Gladstone Avenue, Somerset Street and Laurier Avenue were identified as top choices for the corridor with most cyclists indicating a preference for Somerset Street. However, most small businesses were opposed to the project due to the potential loss of on-street parking, particularly along Somerset Street.
A second Public Open House was held in November 2010 to identify the preferred corridor for the pilot and to present the function designs for public input. Approximately 71 people attended the second public open house which was held at City Hall and advertised in the local newspapers and through flyers that were delivered to all mailing addresses along Laurier Avenue between Elgin Street and Bronson Avenue. The format included display boards and a slide presentation with a questions and answers session. Comment sheets were provided and the project webpage included all of the presentation material.
Key findings from the second public open house included significant support for the project, particularly for the proposed intersection designs. Changes to on-street parking and western bicycle connections to the facility were the main concerns with a few people also concerned about potential motor vehicle congestion. Document 2 provides additional information about the public open house sessions.
Reponses to Key Issues
· On-street parking
Several people indicated concerns about the removal of on-street parking on Laurier Avenue west of Lyon Street. The right-of-way width on Laurier Avenue west of Lyon Street is too narrow to accommodate both on-street parking and segregated bike lanes. After receiving this feedback from the second public open house, the project team refined the on-street parking impacts to include up to 122 additional spaces along Gloucester and Nepean Streets, which represents all of the on-street parking that will be removed from Laurier Avenue. The 66 on-street parking spaces removed along Laurier Avenue between Lyon Street and Bronson Avenue will be supplemented with an additional 65 on-street parking spaces on Gloucester and Nepean Streets between Kent Street and Bronson Avenue. These 65 new spaces would be free (unmetered) while the existing spaces on Laurier Avenue are subject to pay and display.
· Western Bicycle Connections
Several people cited the need for improved bicycle connections to the western end of the proposed facility. The western connections shown in Figure 4 include several options. The existing primary connections via Gladstone, Somerset and Wellington will include bicycle signage and paint markings. Secondary routes include Queen Street to Albert Street and the existing bicycle ramp on the Empress stairs. These secondary routes could be improved with the extension of the existing multiuse pathway along the north side of Albert Street to Bronson Avenue and the installation of an additional bicycle ramp on the Primrose stairs and will be explored in more detail as part of the City’s on-going cycling network improvement process. These connections are in addition to the ultimate scenario that includes a new pathway connection through the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board lands and along the reconstructed northern end of Bronson Avenue.
Figure 4: Western Bicycle Connections to Laurier Avenue
· Motor Vehicle Congestion
Following the second public open house, the project team reviewed the traffic impact analysis and determined that using straight-arrow traffic signals to restrict motor vehicle turning movements at the beginning of each signal phase rather than providing advance green time for cyclists through the use of separate bicycle traffic signals will slightly improve travel times and will help to reduce motor vehicle congestion. This will improve the motor vehicle travel flows and intersection delays along Laurier Avenue and improves the anticipated congestion levels. Document 2 includes an updated traffic analysis which shows all intersections are expected to operate at acceptable levels (Level of Service E or better).
Technical Advisory Committee
The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) included representatives from various internal groups within the City, including: Traffic Operations, Para Transpo, Construction Services, Parking Operations, Transit Services, Police Services, etc. Several group and individual meetings were held through the course of study to ensure all technical impacts and potential solutions have been identified. The minutes of the TAC meetings are included in Document 2.
Public Advisory Committee
The Public Advisory Committee (PAC) included representatives within the study area from all of the Business Improvement Areas (Preston BIA, Chinatown BIA, Bank Street BIA, Somerset Street BIA), community associations (Dalhousie Community Association, Centretown Community Association, Action Sandy Hill), condominium associations (Mayfair Apts.), religious organizations (St. Luke’s), cycling groups (Citizens for Safe Cycling, Cycling Vision Ottawa) and City Advisory Committees (Road and Cycling Advisory Committee).
Although the majority of the PAC supports the Laurier Avenue initiative, the Bank Street BIA opposes the proposal and has several concerns, including: on-street parking impacts, increased motor vehicle congestion; traffic diversion impacts; safety concerns and changes to on-street loading zones. The project team has continued to meet regularly with the business groups to identify potential solutions that minimize these impacts. The minutes of the PAC meetings are included in Document 2.
Road and Cycling Advisory Committee (RCAC)
The project was presented to the City’s Road and Cycling Advisory Committee (RCAC) in November, 2010. At that meeting, RCAC unanimously passed a motion of support for the proposed segregated bike lanes on Laurier Avenue. RCAC also carried a second motion that indicated support for the proposed intersection functional design plans with 22 of the 23 members in voting in favour of the proposed plans.
Business Advisory Committee (BAC)
The City’s Business Advisory Committee (BAC) was presented with a project update in August 2010 which identified Gladstone Avenue, Somerset Street and Laurier Avenue as the preferred corridors for additional study. At that time, BAC was very concerned about the loss of on-street parking and the potential impacts that may have on adjacent businesses. This meeting occurred before Laurier Avenue was selected as the preferred corridor and before Gloucester and Nepean Streets were identified as potential sources for additional on-street parking. At that time, BAC passed a motion requesting additional studies to evaluate the potential impacts on adjacent businesses.
Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)
The City’s Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) carried a motion at their July 2010 meeting indicating strong support for the segregated bike lane pilot project.
Parking Stakeholder Consultation Group (PSCG)
The City’s Parking Stakeholder Consultation Group (PSCG) consists of representatives from various BIAs, community associations, places of worship, Ottawa Tourism, and development industry representatives, including building owners and property management representatives. The mandate of the PCSG is to promote parking policies that support the needs of local business, residents, institutions and tourism. The project was presented to the PSCG and no major concerns were raised.
Utility Coordination Committee (UCC)
The City’s Utility Coordination Committee (UCC) includes representatives from various utility companies and City employees responsible for managing right-of-way issues. The project was presented to the UCC in early December 2010 which highlighted the functional designs for Laurier Avenue. No objections or major concerns were identified although the committee acknowledged a procedural requirement to be drafted for works within the Laurier Avenue right‑of-way similar to existing procedures for the Transitway on Slater and Albert Streets. These guidelines will document how utility maintenance work should be undertaken along the Laurier Avenue corridor.
Additional Stakeholder Meetings
Several additional stakeholder meetings occurred throughout the course of study. These meetings included individual presentations to all of the BIAs and community associations within the study area as well as meetings with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Boards, The Ontario Provincial Courts, venders, residents and other interested parties.
COMMENTS BY THE WARD COUNCILLOR
I am supportive of the segregated bike lane pilot in Ottawa. We need to provide for a variety of routes for cyclists to encourage more residents to travel by bike.
The current staff proposal proposes the westerly terminus of the bike lane at Bronson which is not a cycling-friendly street. This plan will also remove all on-street parking on Laurier Avenue between Lyon Street and Bronson Avenue. Many condominium residents and owners at the westerly terminus of the route have written in opposition to the plan, in part due to the loss of parking on Laurier Avenue.
Bay Street must be the western end of the on-road facility. This would provide for northbound cycling access on Bay Street, and southbound access on Lyon Street via the existing bike lanes, while preserving much of the on-street parking on Laurier Avenue within the residential portion of Laurier Avenue West.
The links at Bay and Lyon Streets provide for opportunities to further develop other cycling connections which will be comfortable for a variety of cyclists to use.
The bike box at Bay and Wellington, as well as the NCC proposed bike lane on Wellington and the NCC proposed modifications to the Portage Bridge intersection need to be constructed in 2011.
If the segregated bike lane facility is maintained past the pilot period, the final design needs to include the multi-use pathway across the school board lands as described in the Escarpment study. This should be pursued when the land is made available. In the interim, Queen Street from Bay to Bronson could be the connection to access Bronson and the Ottawa River bicycle lanes.
Since we are in the planning stages for the redevelopment of Bronson Avenue, we must take advantage of this opportunity to develop the westerly connections to ensure safe routes for cyclists. As such, the City will need to undertake an EA in conjunction with the Bronson Street reconstruction for the Bronson/Albert and Bronson/Slater intersections to modify the geometry, making them more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly. This can tie-in with the plans to review the roadway uses on Albert and Slater following the completion of the Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel which can be developed to be cycling and pedestrian friendly, while providing for vehicular access across the downtown.
PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT COMMENTS:
The Public Works Department has been consulted in the development of this report specific to parking, traffic, operating and maintenance impacts and is supportive of the East-West Segregated Bike Lane Pilot Project.
The Parking Management Strategy, as approved by Council in April 2009, includes five objectives. Objectives 1 and 2 of the Strategy speak to ensuring the availability of adequate short term parking in support of local businesses while Objective 3 refers to the importance of providing alternative modes of travel such as cycling.
The Strategy recognizes that in certain cases there may be some competing priorities between objectives/community values that need to be weighed against each other in order to find the appropriate balance. This pilot project will help staff and Council to quantify the various benefits, disadvantages and specific impacts to bolster future planning and decision-making. While the implementation of the East-West Segregated Bike Lane Pilot Project results in the relocation of paid parking spaces away from Laurier Avenue, this is off-set in part by an increase in the number of short-term, on-street paid parking hours available.
Ontario Ministry of Transportation
The implementation of the new yield sign at intersections to inform right-turning motor vehicles to yield to cyclists has not yet been formally approved by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO). This new sign has been proposed by the Transportation Association of Canada and is in use in Vancouver and Montreal but has yet to be implemented in Ontario. On-going correspondence with MTO indicates that municipalities have the authority to implement signs in accordance with the Ontario Highway Traffic Act; however, there is risk that MTO may deny its use. Staff will continue to pursue approval from MTO in advance of the pilot.
CITY STRATEGIC PLAN
The recommendations contained herein directly supports the following objectives of the City Strategic Plan adopted by Council on 7 May, 2010:
Objective 1: Improve the City’s transportation network to afford ease of mobility, keep pace with growth, reduce congestion and work towards modal split targets
Solid Waste and Environment
Objective 1: Enhance environmental sustainability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent (corporate) and 20 per cent (community) from 1990 levels by 2012
Sustainable, Healthy and Active City
Objective 6: Require walking, transit and cycling oriented communities and employment centres
Objective 11: By 2017, close the gap in sidewalks, traffic lights, street lights and bicycle lanes in infrastructure that has been warranted and unfunded
Planning and Growth Management
Objective 1: Manage growth and create sustainable communities
Objective 2: Invest in programs and initiatives that improve Ottawa’s business climate, support job creation and enhance the city’s social and economic prosperity
Objective 3: Ensure that the City infrastructure required for new growth is built or improved as needed to serve growth.
A preliminary estimate to implement the pilot project, including funds for detailed design, a public communications plan, licence agreements, contingency and funds for the potential removal of the pilot if unsuccessful is approximately $1,300,000 (in current, 2010 dollars), as shown below:
· Detailed Design ($100,000)
· Construction with 30 per cent contingency ($1,130,000)
· Communications Plan ($70,000)
Document 2 provides additional capital cost details with respect to individual cost components.
Funds have been requested through the 2011 draft capital budget, within the 2011 Cycling Initiatives project.
The total annual net Public Works operating impact is $261,500, broken down as follows. The budget impacts will be identified in the 2012 draft operating budget for consideration.
· Anti-icing/de-icing/salting/ploughing/sweeping for bike lanes ($80,500)
· Additional snow removal for Laurier Avenue ($27,000)
· Additional snow removal for Gloucester and Nepean Streets ($30,000)
2) The total annual maintenance costs for pavement markings and delineator posts are estimated to be approximately $50,000, as summarized below:
· Annual maintenance of bicycle related pavement markings (paint) ($10,000)
· Annual maintenance of coloured “Bike Boxes” (thermoplastic product) ($25,000)
· Annual maintenance of delineator posts ($15,000)
3) The removal of 122 on-street paid parking spaces on Laurier Avenue will result in a reduction in annual revenues of approximately $176,000 per year. New revenues from new paid parking spaces on Gloucester and Nepean Streets are estimated at $102,000 per year. The resulting net impact on paid parking revenues is an estimated reduction of $74,000 per year.
Document 1 Functional Designs – City Hall to Bronson Avenue
Document 2 East-West Downtown Segregated Bike Lane Pilot Project (McCormick Rankin Corporation) (on file with the City Clerk and available for viewing at http://www.ottawa.ca/residents/public_consult/bikelane/oh_2/bacground_reports_en.html
Document 3 Segregated Bicycle Lane Pilot Project - Cycling Expert Peer Review (Vélo Québec Association) (on file with the City Clerk and available for viewing at: http://www.ottawa.ca/residents/public_consult/bikelane/oh_1/velo_quebec_review_en.pdf
Document 4 Communications Plan
Following Council’s approval, the Planning and Growth Management and Infrastructure Services Departments will prepare detail designs and construction plans for implementing the East-West Segregated Bike Lane Pilot Project.
FUNCTIONAL DESIGNS – CITY HALLTO BRONSON AVENUE DOCUMENT 1
Figure 1: Functional Design – City Hall to Elgin
Figure 2: Functional Design –Elgin to Metcalfe
Figure 3: Functional Design –Metcalfe to O’Connor
Figure 4: Functional Design –O’Connor to Bank
Figure 5: Functional Design –Bank to Kent
Figure 6: Functional Design –Kent to Lyon
Figure 7: Functional Design –Lyon to Bay
Figure 8: Functional Design –Bay to Bronson
· Public safety for all road users
· Reduce traffic congestion
· Economic generation in cycling-related businesses
· Health benefits for cyclists
· Increased accessibility for cyclists
· Reducing emissions in downtown core with increased cycling
o Residents of the area
o Employees working in the downtown area
o Residents of the area
o Commuters/Workers in the downtown area
· Transit riders
o Commuters/Workers in the downtown area
o Residents of the area
o Commuters/Workers in the downtown area
o Taxi Drivers
o Tour Buses
o Located on Laurier Avenue
o Street Vendors
o Located on linking streets
o Federal Government and NCC
o PWGSC and Real Property
o Provincial Government
· By-law Services
· Traffic and Parking
· Emergency Services – Police, Paramedics, Fire
· Surface Operations
· OC Transpo
· City Councillors
· City Staff
· Public safety
· Education of cyclists, drivers, pedestrians on how to negotiate bike lane and surrounding area
· Awareness of new procedures during construction and once operational
· How to provide feedback on the project
· Build partnership with downtown employers including federal and provincial governments, NCC, hotels
· Promote advantages of increased cycling and reduced motor vehicles
The overall strategy of the campaign is to promote the bike lane through the lens of public safety. Each component of the campaign, for the various audiences, is to educate to ensure the safety of all travelling on Laurier Avenue.
A large component of the campaign will rely on the networks of organizations such as the federal and provincial governments. Getting the message to employees working in the downtown area will be through the distribution of information through their own employee network. This cost-effective approach will ensure the message is delivered to the desks of those who will be in daily contact with the new facility.
In addition to government networks, the Downtown Business Association and Chamber of Commerce will also be approached to request their assistance in reaching employees in other businesses in the area.
All communication materials will encourage readers to visit the City website to view the instructional video and for further information.
Businesses and organizations that provide transportation-related services in this area will receive individual communications to address their unique role and responsibilities – these would include taxi cabs, courier companies and tour buses.
City departments should be fully engaged in plan – Traffic and Parking, Surface Operations, Police, Real Property, Fire Department, Paramedics, Event Central, By-law Services.
The campaign needs to begin as soon as the project has been approved and a schedule for implementation has been established – ramping up from March/April through to the opening and beyond in July.
· The new segregated bike lane will provide a safe and efficient path through the downtown area for cyclists.
· Cycling promotes a cleaner Ottawa and is a healthy transportation choice.
· Laurier Avenue is accessible to all residents.
· The Laurier Avenue bike lane furthers the City’s sustainability goals of tripling the number of cycling trips and making cycling safe for all.
Flyers/Notices – electronic
· Taxi Drivers/Unions/Advisory Committees
· Targeted electronic communication – multilingual
· Taxi and Courier companies – dispatch notices
· City of Gatineau employee newsletter
· City of Ottawa/Ottawa Police Service newsletters
· Federal and provincial government employee newsletter
· Chamber of Commerce - newsletter
· Ottawa – Gatineau Hoteliers Association
· Tour Bus Operators
· Cycling Associations – information piece
· Blogs/Discussion groups
Flyers – print
· Information pieces sent directly to Bank Street businesses
· Rush hour, Noon hour ambassadors on street handing out information and answering questions
· NCC – tourist info kiosks, Capital info centres
· Coffee shop flyers
· Hotel information centres, attractions, etc.
· Parking garages
· Bike Repair Shops
· Canadian Tire (existing partnerships)
· Cycle parking areas
· Festival bike park blitzes – Event Central
· OC Transpo Sites
· Sales Centres
· Rack n Roll locations
· OC Transpo Stations
· Take-one flyers on buses
· Info booth at Sunday bike days
· Produce instructional/promotion video similar to other cities
· Video terminals with continuous loop playing at major locations such as l’Esplanade Laurier, Minto Place, 240 Sparks, World Exchange Centre, City Hall, OC Transpo stations with video terminals, major blogs
· Hotel TV channels
· Webinar for cyclists and others
· Rush hour, Noon hour ambassadors on street handing out information and answering questions
· Info booth at Sunday bike days
· Festival bike park blitzes – Event Central
· Ambassadors along Canal providing information
· Ride Program-type stops
· On-street directional signage – initial and at each intersection
· Ottawa Business Journal ads
· Bike Rack Take-ones
· Bike-Rack ads
· Radio ads specifically for drivers
· Print ads in downtown daily papers
· Targeted, proactive
· Early technical briefing
Existing Program integration
· Integrated Road Safety
· Pathway Patrol
· Bicycle Officers
· Share the Road
Targeted Key Stakeholders
· Taxi Drivers/Unions/Advisory Committees
· Targeted electronic communication – multilingual
· Public Works Real Property
· Ottawa – Gatineau Hoteliers Association
· Tour Bus Operators
· Corporate Sponsorships
· Citizens for Safe Cycling
· Cycle Laurier–Laurier Vélo
Campaign runs April through July, 2011 for construction period and implementation
Ongoing signage, website and video support
Total budget for communications - $70,000.
· Video production
o Bike Rack
· On-street Ambassadors
· (volunteers and staff)
· Print Materials