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Mackenzie Avenue Bike Tracks

The City of Ottawa, the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the City of Gatineau have a long-term goal to complete a cycling facility around Confederation Boulevard, as depicted in the plan view below. As an initial step towards such a facility, the City, NCC and the United States Embassy are evaluating a plan to add a bi-directional bike track along the east side of Mackenzie Avenue, from Rideau Street to Murray Street.

Map showing the route of Confederation Boulevard running in a loop between Ottawa and Gatineau, using the Portage and Alexandra Bridges. The major road segments on the Ottawa side are Mackenzie Avenue and Wellington Street.

The Mackenzie Avenue element of this project is identified as a Phase 1 project in the 2013 Ottawa Cycling Plan (project P1-12). The completion of the cycling facility including Wellington Street, between Mackenzie Avenue and the Portage Bridge, a Phase 2 project in the 2013 Ottawa Cycling Plan, is targeted for implementation in the 2020-2025.

An artist rendering of what the bike track will look like near the United States Embassy, showing two cyclists on the bike track

The Mackenzie Avenue project will include the construction of a two way bike track on the east side of Mackenzie Avenue (area A), improved connectivity to the NCC's Eastern Rideau Canal Pathway, consisting largely of cycling pavement markings (area B)and connect to a recent cycling project north of Mackenzie Avenue on St. Patrick Street (area C).

A plan view showing the project limits.

The new cycling facility along Mackenzie Avenue will consist of a two-way bike track, paved primarily using asphalt, and will be buffered from road traffic by a combination of curbs and bollards in front of the United States Embassy, and curbs and road-flush segments between the United States Embassy and Rideau Street.

Mackenzie Avenue will retain its current function and cross-section as a two lane arterial roadway, expanding to three lanes at the Rideau Street Intersection. The configuration of vehicle lanes at the Rideau Street intersection will continue to function as it does today with a single Straight Through /Left Turn lane, and two Right Turn only lanes. The location of the vehicle lanes will shift to the west approximately 3m, and the total length of one of the right turn lanes will be reduced.

A cross-sectional view of Mackenzie Avenue near Rideau Street, showing a 3.0m wide raised bike track on the east side.

Mackenzie Avenue Cross Section near Rideau Street

Twelve off-peak parking spots currently located along the south-east side of Mackenzie Avenue will be removed, along with a tour bus parking location.

The functional design for the Mackenzie Avenue bikeway includes a new cross-ride, at Mackenzie Avenue and Murray Street, connecting to the existing Alexandra Bridge bike track, and a protected signal phase at Mackenzie Avenue and Rideau Street to allow for a conflict-free southbound connection from the Mackenzie Bike Track to the existing bike lane on the south-west side of the Colonel By Drive on-ramp. The Mackenzie Project will be coordinated with proposed pavement markings (sharrows) along Colonel By Drive from Rideau Street to a location where cyclists can access the NCC Eastern Rideau Canal Pathway.

The existing pedestrian mid-block crossing just south of the US embassy will remain, a cross-ride will not be provided at this location.

Project Timing

The Mackenzie Avenue project is 95% complete.  The remaining tasks including line painting, signage and bike signal work will be completed in the Spring of 2017 at which point the cycling facility will be opened for use.

Project Drawing

Plan View [ PDF 2.502 MB ]

Plan view of Mackenzie Avenue between Murray Street and Rideau Street, showing the two-way bike track on the east side of the roadway

For further information contact:

Zlatko Krstulic, Planner
Transportation Strategic Planning
City of Ottawa, 110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
613-580-2424, ext. 21827