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O’Connor Street Bikeway Functional Planning Study

Notice of study commencement and planning workshop

O’Connor Bikeway Study Area

Thursday June 26, 2014
Council Chambers / Jean Pigott Place
Ottawa City Hall,
110 Laurier Avenue West
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Registration is required: Space is limited, so please register by sending an e-mail to OConnorBikeway@ottawa.ca by June 23.

The City of Ottawa has initiated a study that will develop a functional plan for a cycling facility along the O'Connor Street corridor. The goal is to develop a Cross-town Bikeway that would link Confederation Boulevard (at Wellington Street), the Central Business District, Centretown and the Glebe. The O'Connor Street Bikeway is classified by the City's Transportation Master Plan as a spine route and identified in the Ottawa Cycling Plan as a Phase 1 Cross-town Bikeway project to be completed between 2014 and 2019. The study focuses on the O'Connor Street right-of-way from Wellington Street to Glebe Avenue. Opportunities for cycling segments along Metcalfe Street will also be evaluated.

The study will review and evaluate alternative design options for the bikeway and will lead to a recommended functional design concept that has the highest likelihood of implementation based on technical feasibility, affordability and community input.

Planning Workshop

Your participation will play a large part in the success of the project. The process will be open and collaborative involving area residents, building and land owners, businesses, corridor travellers, as well as various municipal and agency interests.

At this workshop participants will:

  • Learn more details about the project
  • Gain an understanding of existing conditions and challenges
  • Review draft conceptual options prepared by the study team
  • Share thoughts and ideas on alternative means to achieve the project goal and to address potential community concerns.

Registration: Space is limited, so please register by sending an e-mail to OConnorBikeway@ottawa.ca by June 23.

Accessibility is an important consideration for the City of Ottawa. If you require special accommodation, please call or e-mail the project lead below before the event.

For more information about the project, contact the City's project manager:
Robert Grimwood, P.Eng.
City of Ottawa
Senior Project Manager, Sustainable Transportation
Planning & Growth Management Department
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Ave. West, 4th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1J1
E-mail: robert.grimwood@ottawa.ca
613-580-2424 ext. 28757
Fax: 613-580-2578

Open House - April 9, 2015

Thursday, April 9, 2015
Jean Pigott Place
Ottawa City Hall
110 Laurier Avenue West
6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Presentation at 7 p.m.)

You are invited to attend the second open house for the proposed cycling facility along the O'Connor Street corridor from Wellington Street to Glebe Avenue. Information will also be presented for the Glebe Neighbourhood Cycling Plan portion of the proposed cycling facility further south along O'Connor down to Fifth Avenue. Identified in the Ottawa Cycling Plan as a Phase 1 Cross-town Bikeway, the facility would link Confederation Boulevard (at Wellington Street), the Central Business District, Centretown and the Glebe.

At this Open House participants will learn more details about the project including:

  • Gaining an understanding of existing conditions and challenges
  • Reviewing the preferred concept for the bikeway
  • Sharing thoughts and ideas on achieving the project goal and on addressing potential community concerns.

The preferred concept:

  • Between Wellington and Pretoria where O'Connor is a one-way street: a separated bi-directional bikeway on the east side of the roadway with a buffer treatment consisting of pre-cast concrete curbs, paint and flexible bollards.
  • Between Pretoria and Strathcona where O'Connor is a one-way street: a uni-directional bike lane on the west side and a contraflow bike lane on the east side with a buffer treatment similar to above
  • Between Strathcona and Glebe Avenue where O'Connor is a two-way street: a painted bike lane on both sides.*

* The Glebe Neighbourhood Cycling Plan recommends the continuation of this treatment – a painted bike lane on both sides – along O'Connor from Glebe Avenue to Fifth Avenue.

Open House Display Boards (revised April 9, 2015)

The material for the portion of the proposed bikeway along O'Connor Street from Glebe Avenue to Fifth Avenue presented at the Information Session can be viewed here:

Glebe Neighbourhood Cycling Plan [ PDF 953 KB ]
Your comments are welcome and encouraged at any point during this study. For more information, please contact:

 Heidi Cousineau P.Eng.
Senior Project Engineer, Area Traffic Management
613-580-2424, ext. 33355
Fax: 613-580-2578
E-mail: heidi.cousineau@ottawa.ca

The images below illustrate the preferred concept at two representative locations along O'Connor Street.

Example cross-section of O’Connor Street Bikeway looking north at MacLaren Street

Example cross-section of O'Connor Street Bikeway looking north at MacLaren Street (cross-section varies by block; refer to functional plan)

Example cross-section of O’Connor Street Bikeway looking north at Patterson Avenue

Example cross-section of O'Connor Street Bikeway looking north at Patterson Avenue (cross-section varies by block; refer to functional plan)

The recommended functional design concept shows the proposed treatment for the bikeway along the full length of the O'Connor corridor from Wellington Street to Glebe Avenue.

The recommendation meets the following project objectives:

  • The highest level of cycling safety and comfort for all ages and abilities
  • A northbound and southbound link as part of the larger existing and planned cycling network
  • A short-term, cost effective solution (i.e. limited to work between the curbs and not a full rebuild of the street)
  • Supportive of the long-term goal of a Complete Street.

The study has involved a review and evaluation of alternative design options leading to a recommended functional design concept that has the highest likelihood of implementation based on technical feasibility, affordability and community input. If adopted, the City would co-ordinate the works with the planned street resurfacing of O'Connor Street (Somerset to Isabella) and work towards implementation of the bikeway in two phases:

1. Between Laurier Avenue and Glebe Avenue starting in 2016
2. Between Wellington Street and Laurier Avenue starting sometime after 2017.

The project is being planned to meet the requirements of Ontario's Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act that may apply.

Accessibility is an important consideration for the City of Ottawa. If you require special accommodation, please call 3-1-1 or e-mail the project lead below before the event.

For more information on the study contact the City's project manager.

Robert Grimwood, P.Eng.
City of Ottawa
Senior Project Manager, Sustainable Transportation
Planning & Growth Management Department
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Ave. West, 4th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1J1
E-mail: robert.grimwood@ottawa.ca
613-580-2424 ext. 28757
Fax: 613-580-2578

Project Status

The City of Ottawa has initiated a study that will develop a functional plan for a cycling facility along the O'Connor Street corridor. The goal is to develop a Cross-town Bikeway that would link Confederation Boulevard (at Wellington Street), the Central Business District, Centretown and the Glebe. The study focuses on the O'Connor Street right-of-way from Wellington Street to Glebe Avenue. Opportunities for cycling segments along Metcalfe Street will also be evaluated.

The study will review and evaluate alternative design options for the bikeway and will lead to a recommended functional design concept that has the highest likelihood of implementation based on technical feasibility, affordability and community input.

If you have any questions or comments about the study, or if you would like to be added to the study mailing list, please send an email to OConnorBikeway@ottawa.ca.

Project Status - June 10, 2015

The O'Connor Street Bikeway Study is now complete; recommendations were presented to Transportation Committee on June 3rd and approved (as amended) by City Council on June 10, 2015. The official record of the meeting and the details of the Study recommendations are available.

Staff from the Infrastructure Services Department are now tasked with detailed design of Stage 1 of the O'Connor Bikeway between Laurier Avenue and Fifth Avenue. Construction will proceed pending Council approval of the Strategic Initiatives envelope of the Capital Budget.

Project Status - April 21, 2015

Based on the input received at the April 2015 open house and feedback from the public, the project team will finalise their the plan for the bikeway and present their recommendations to Transportation Committee on June 3rd 2015.

Based on comments from stakeholders and the public as part of the April 2015 public consultation program, and in consultation with the Ward Councillor, the recommendations for the Glebe portion of the proposed O'Connor Street Bikeway are being revised:

• South of Strathcona Avenue the recommended treatment will be for shared use lanes, which means that all existing on-street parking and curbside access between Strathcona Avenue and Glebe Avenue will be unchanged
• Dedicated bike lanes will no longer be recommended in this section
• No new on-street parking will be recommended on Monkland Avenue
• The same shared use lanes treatment will be recommended for O'Connor between Glebe Avenue and Fifth Avenue as part of the Glebe Neighbourhood Cycling Plan.

The primary reason for this change is in acknowledgement of the low-speed, low-traffic-volume residential nature of this two-way street coupled with the unique need for at least some on-street parking and curbside access. The City will explore the potential for additional traffic calming measures to ensure low vehicle speeds in this area.

A complete rationale for all of the O'Connor Street Bikeway Study recommendations will be included as part of the report to Transportation Committee on June 3, 2015. You can provide your input on the study directly to the project manager below, or at the Transportation Committee meeting in June.

Planning Workshop

A public consultation planning workshop was held at Ottawa City Hall on June 26, 2014. Over 80 members of the public participated in the workshop, at which they:

  • Learned more details about the project
  • Gained an understanding of existing conditions and challenges
  • Shared their thoughts and ideas on alternative means to achieve the project goal and to address potential community concerns.

The workshop began with a formal presentation to introduce the study. This was followed by a working session in which participants collaborated in small groups to create bikeway designs for different blocks along the O'Connor Street corridor. The workshop concluded with a large group discussion about some of the challenges facing the project, creative solutions that participants had come up with, and general suggestions for the project team.

Workshop participants were also asked to complete a comment form with specific questions about the O'Connor Street Bikeway, which can also be completed online.

Thank you to all who participated in our workshop for contributing your time and energy toward the success of this study! The next public consultation event is tentatively planned for early 2015.

Notice of Study Commencement and Planning Workshop

In May 2014, a Notice was issued to announce the Study and to invite members of the public to a planning workshop. 

Contact

If you have any questions about the O'Connor Street Bikeway Study, please contact the City's project manager:
Robert Grimwood, P.Eng.
City of Ottawa
Senior Project Manager, Sustainable Transportation
Planning & Growth Management Department
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Ave. West, 4th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1J1
E-mail: robert.grimwood@ottawa.ca
613-580-2424 ext. 28757
Fax: 613-580-2578

Rationale for Recommendations for O’Connor Street between Strathcona Avenue and Fifth Avenue

On 9 April 2015, the City of Ottawa presented a draft proposal to the public at an Open House for the O'Connor Street Bikeway Study (OSBS). The Open House provided details for the O'Connor Bikeway between Wellington Avenue and Glebe Avenue, and also included information about the draft proposal for O'Connor between Glebe Avenue and Fifth Avenue as part of the Glebe Neighbourhood Cycling Plan (GNCP) study. Subsequent to the Open House, on 20 April 2015 the Study Team announced (by email and via Study website) that the OSBS and GNCP recommendations for O'Connor between Strathcona Avenue and Fifth Avenue would be revised. This memo summarizes the rationale for the revisions.

Initial Draft Proposal (April 9)

At the Open House and on the Study website, the Study team presented its draft proposal for a painted bike lane on both sides of O'Connor between Strathcona Avenue and Glebe Avenue where O'Connor is a two-way street. It was also noted that the Glebe Neighbourhood Cycling Plan proposed the continuation of this treatment – a painted bike lane on both sides – along O'Connor from Glebe Avenue to Fifth Avenue.

To make room for these bike lanes, existing on-street parking would need to be relocated elsewhere. The affected parking spaces were:

  • Three spaces on the east side between Isabella and Pretoria
  • One space on the east side between Pretoria and Strathcona
  • Six spaces on the east side between Patterson and Monkland
  • Approximately 29 parking spaces on the east side between Glebe and Fifth.

To compensate for these changes, the following was proposed:

  • Adding 8 new spaces on the west side O'Connor between Isabella and Pretoria;
  • Adding 4 new spaces on the north side of Monkland Avenue just east of O'Connor;
  • Adding a second lane of parking on the east side of Adelaide with a net gain of 18 spaces; and
  • Relocating parking on Holmwood (between Bank and O'Connor) from the north side to the south side (as part of the recommendations for a new contra-flow bike lane on this segment) which would create a net gain of 11 spaces.

These additional spaces ensured that the total number of on-street parking spaces within the Glebe East Parking Zone would not be reduced.

Although the number of parking spaces was not reduced for the broader area, the Study Team received significant feedback following the Open House regarding the need to provide nearby parking and curbside access for residents and businesses along O'Connor, particularly south of Strathcona. These competing needs for right-of-way space required a revisiting of the options, which resulted in changes to the Study's draft proposal.

Revised Recommendation (April 20)

The Glebe portion of the proposed O'Connor Street Bikeway was revised based on comments from stakeholders and the public as part of the April 2015 consultation program, and in consultation with the Ward Councillor. The revisions are as follows:

  • South of Strathcona Avenue the recommended treatment will be for shared use lanes, which means that all existing on-street parking and curbside access between Strathcona Avenue and Glebe Avenue will be unchanged.
    • Dedicated bike lanes will no longer be recommended in this section.
    • No new on-street parking will be recommended on Monkland Avenue.
  • The same shared use lanes treatment will be recommended for O'Connor between Glebe Avenue and Fifth Avenue as part of the Glebe Neighbourhood Cycling Plan.
    • No new on-street parking will be recommended on Adelaide Street as part of the Glebe Neighbourhood Cycling Plan.

The primary reason for this change is an acknowledgement of the low-speed, low-traffic-volume residential nature of the two-way street coupled with the unique need for at least some on-street parking and curbside access. The City will also explore the potential for additional traffic calming measures to ensure low vehicle speeds in this area. This option was previously presented as an alternative for consideration during the November 2014 OSBS stakeholder meetings as well as the initial preferred option (for short term implementation) during the May-June 2014 GNCP public consultation meetings.

Rationale for the Revisions

In recommending a particular cycling facility type, staff are guided by the City of Ottawa Cycling Facility Selection Decision Support Tool. This tool provides the practitioner with a nomograph which gives an initial indication of what type of cycling facility is typically most appropriate based on motor vehicle traffic volumes and speeds. The nomograph (included as an attachment to this memo) indicates "zones" based on traffic volume and speed within which different cycling facility types are most appropriate, recognizing that the transition between zones is not always distinct (i.e. there may not be a definitive line between zones).

Although traffic volumes and speeds vary by block, O'Connor between Strathcona and Fifth generally falls into the "Mixed Traffic" zone of the nomograph and close to the transition between that zone and the "Cycle Lane" zone. The Study team's conclusion based on applying the Decision Support Tool methodology was that a shared use lane (mixed traffic) condition is generally appropriate for this segment of O'Connor, but that a cycle lane treatment – while not strictly warranted – would be an appropriate alternative. The draft proposal of April 9 proposed bike lanes primarily to provide an enhanced cycling facility to reflect the significance of the corridor as a Cross-Town Bikeway.

Following the April consultations, revisions were made to the Study recommendations as noted above based on the following considerations:

  • One of the purposes of the Open House and public consultation was to seek feedback on the draft proposal and to adjust the plan if appropriate. The Study team's decision to revise the recommended plan was based on feedback received during the April consultations.
  • There is no prior City commitment to provide exclusive bike lanes on the Glebe portion of O'Connor. The 2013 Ottawa Cycling Plan identifies O'Connor as a Spine Route and Cross-Town Bikeway, but it does not specify a facility type. For historical reference, it is noted that the 2008 Ottawa Cycling Plan recommends shared use lanes for O'Connor between Isabella and Fifth.
  • The Glebe portion of O'Connor is designated by the City as a Local Street, which means its primary and secondary functions are to "provide direct access to adjacent lands" and to "serve neighbourhood travel to and from collector or arterial roads" respectively.
  • The provision of reserved cycling lanes necessitates the implementation of 'no stopping' restrictions along the curb edge. As per City By-laws, when official or authorized signs have been erected to designate a reserved bicycle lane, no person shall:
    1. drive or permit to be driven any vehicle, other than a bicycle, on any lane or part of lane established as a reserved bicycle lane; or
    2. stop or permit to remain stopped any vehicle, other than a bicycle, on any lane or part of lane established as a reserved bicycle lane.
    • An exception is noted for Accessible Parking Permit holders, who may be picked up and dropped off in "no stopping" and "loading" zones, as well as in reserved bicycle lanes as long as it doesn't create traffic.
  • On the east side of O'Connor between Patterson and Monkland, there is a pediatric medical practice with an accessible ramp to the main entrance off O'Connor Street. The initial plan proposed to relocate on-street parking to serve this property to Monkland, which would require patrons to travel further to access the accessible building entrance (except for Accessible Parking Permit holders, who under City by-laws would be permitted to be picked up or dropped off from a vehicle stopped in the bike lane).
  • On the east side of O'Connor between Glebe and First, there is an elementary school with a school bus loading zone. The school bus loading zone cannot be relocated. The bike lane proposal for this area was already a compromised solution: the bike lane is sharing the same space as the school buses. Through the consultation activities, significant safety concerns were raised with this proposal especially in light of the additional students and required buses and small vans expected to service the school with the school board changes planned for next year.
  • South of Glebe Avenue, there is a higher percentage of multi-unit properties, townhouses and apartments buildings which do not have driveways or provide on-site parking. These properties rely on the current parking provisions in this area which allow for the use of space on both sides of O'Connor Street as permitted for various access requirements such as loading / unloading of passengers, freight or merchandise (by moving vans, delivery vehicles or personal vehicles), short term parking by visitors or service vehicles in addition to longer term parking as permitted with the residential parking permit.
  • A review of the parking utilization surveys collected as part of the Lansdowne Traffic and Parking Management Plan, Transportation Monitoring Plan and on-going monitoring efforts was undertaken for the Glebe East parking area. The surveys were undertaken at various time periods and reflect parking utilization rates of approximately 55-65% with peak demand reaching approximately 80-100% on O'Connor. As of 20 February 2015, there were 118 residential parking permits issued for the area out of a possible 368 parking spaces.
  • To offset the removal of on-street parking on O'Connor south of Glebe, alternative spaces were proposed on Adelaide Street and Holmwood Avenue Although there would be no net decrease of parking spaces within the Glebe Eat parking zone, it is understood that those currently parking on O'Connor Street would likely park on nearby cross-streets thereby increasing the parking demand and utilization rates in the area north of Fifth Avenue.
  • The observed parking utilization rates as well as the personal access requirements described above suggest that at least some on-street parking is required on O'Connor Street in the Glebe.
  • The Glebe portion of the O'Connor Bikeway where shared use lanes are recommended represents approximately 675m of the total 2.5km Bikeway, the balance of which (1.8km) is proposed to have segregated cycling facilities. The revised recommendation does not preclude the addition of bike lanes to O'Connor in the future.
  • It is generally desirable to maintain consistency in the treatment for cycling along a corridor, primarily for safety reasons so that cyclist behaviour can be as uniform and predictable as possible. This is one of the reasons why – when the recommendation was revised to acknowledge competing needs for the right-of-way, which is primarily concentrated at the southern end – shared use lanes were proposed along the full length of the Glebe portion of the Bikeway.

Summary

The O'Connor Bikeway between Strathcona Avenue and Fifth Avenue has been studied extensively as part of the O'Connor Street Bikeway Study and the Glebe Neighbourhood Cycling Plan study. It is the Study Teams' conclusion that given the various considerations and specific context both the initial draft proposal (bike lanes) and the revised recommendation (shared use lanes) would satisfy the City's policy objectives, and would be consistent with relevant planning and design guidance. The revised recommendation (shared use lanes) is being recommended because it best addresses the feedback received through the public consultation in response to the initial draft proposal regarding unresolved resident concerns.

For any further clarifications on this matter, please contact the undersigned Project Managers for the O'Connor Street Bikeway Study and Glebe Neighbourhood Cycling Plan.

Regards,

Robert Grimwood
Project Manager, O'Connor Street Bikeway Study
E-mail: robert.grimwood@ottawa.ca
613-580-2424 x28757

Heidi Cousineau
Project Manager, Glebe Neighbourhood Cycling Plan
E-mail: heidi.cousineau@ottawa.ca
613-580-2424 x33355