The City of Ottawa is undertaking the design and construction for separated cycling facilities in the Heron Road corridor between Data Centre Road to the west and Bank Street to the east. Through a combination of raised cycle tracks and multi-use pathways on both sides of the road, this design addresses the need for seamless connections with:
- Cycle tracks designed for the Baseline Road Bus Rapid Transit Corridor
(Woodroffe Avenue to Data Centre Road), and
- Cycle tracks designed for the Bank Street Renewal project (Riverside Drive to Ledbury Avenue).
As part of the Ottawa Cycling Plan (2013), new cycling facilities on Heron Road will provide a safer cycling route to:
- Key transit nodes
- Area retail and commercial destinations along Bank Street
- Employment and transit destinations near Confederation Heights
- Other cycling facilities planned along Bank Street and Baseline Road
Upcoming projects will extend the continuous separated cycling facility to over seven kilometres from Woodroffe to Bank Street, including the cycling facilities to be included as part of the future Baseline Road Rapid Transit Corridor.
This construction project consists of two sections. In 2019, the first section of the Heron Road separated cycling facilities was completed. A combination of raised uni-directional and bi-directional cycle tracks were built between Data Centre Road and Carlsen Avenue, consisting of:
North side (westbound)
- Transition from on road cycling to a raised westbound cycle track at Clover Street
- A raised bi-directional cycle track between Clover Street and the access pathway to Heron Station
South side (eastbound)
- A raised eastbound cycle track from Data Centre Road to Carlsen Avenue Protected intersection at Clover Street and Heron Road
The second section of the cycle facility, Clover Street to 40m east of Gilles Street, is expected to start in the summer of 2020 and be completed by the end of the year.
Project Funds to construct the second section of the cycle facility will be provided through City of Ottawa and Province of Ontario (Ontario Municipality Commuter Cycling Program) resources. Project funds approved to date from the City of Ottawa is approximately $1.5 million and $1.25 million from the Province of Ontario for a total of $2.75 million.
Project Schedule (Clover Street to Street to 40m east of Gilles Street)
- Design Completion: July 2019
- Construction Start: summer 2020
- Construction Completion: December 2020
The current section of the project is expected to begin in the summer 2020 and scheduled for completion by the end of 2020. Construction will start on the raised cycle tracks on the north and south sides of Heron Road, which will be extended further to the east from Clover Street to 40 metres east of the Gilles Street intersection. Other elements of the project will include:
- Construction of protected intersections, designed expressly to give cyclists more visibility and protect them from car traffic at Kaladar Avenue and Clementine Boulevard
- Remaining intersections (Falcon Avenue, Chasseur Avenue and Gilles Street) will be constructed to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians Disability Act (AODA) and will include Tactile Walking Surface Indicators (TWSI), new pavement markings to align crosswalks to maintain a direct path of travel and demarcation tiles to separate pedestrian and cycling facilities
- To improve transit service efficiency, bus bays along Heron Road will be removed.
- Pavement marking and signage will be installed requiring cyclists to yield to pedestrians at bus stops.
To accommodate construction, it is anticipated that single lane reductions during non-peak hours will be required. Police assistance will be required at the signalized intersections. Access to local businesses and private properties, will be maintained throughout the construction period.
Access for pedestrians and cyclists will maintained.
Frequently asked questions
I live on Heron Road. What do I need to know about having a cycle track in front of my house?
The raised cycle track will provide you with easy access to a network of City cycling routes, directly from your driveway. The grade-separated (i.e. raised-to-curb-height) feature of the cycle track means that riding to the nearest quiet side street or beyond can be done without mixing with the flow of motor vehicles using the corridor.
In most cases, the cycle track will occupy the bottom 2.0 to 2.5 metres of your driveway. This property is City land (part of the Heron Road right-of-way), just as is the case for the sidewalk in front of your residence. As with the sidewalk, you will not be permitted to park your vehicle if it is blocking any part of the cycle track.
When driving your vehicle out of your driveway, you will be expected to stop before the cycle track to watch for cyclists and other motorists before proceeding into the roadway.
The cycle track may receive winter maintenance by the City. In such case, you must refrain from moving snow from your driveway onto the cycle track, just as you would avoid doing so on City sidewalks.
What about putting out my waste for collection at the curb?
When placing garbage and recycle bins for curbside pick-up, be advised that you must ensure that the cycle track remains clear, at least during snow-free periods. You will be advised by the City if you are to respect four-season operation of the cycle track.
How are motorists impacted, once such facilities are built?
Motorists traveling along Heron Road may see more cyclists but they will be riding beside the road between intersections. At intersections, cyclists will maintain their own space, off to the right, in what is known as a crossride. There will be minimal changes to the width of the road’s general-use travel lanes under the proposed design. The expected higher volumes of people cycling mean that a little extra care will be needed on the part of motorists as they make turns at driveways and side streets, but they should not have difficulty passing bicycles riding on the separated bike tracks.
Why can’t cyclists just ride on the road or sidewalk?
Sidewalk cycling is not permitted. A few people do ride on Heron Road today. However, many potential cyclists are deterred from sharing a lane of a multi-lane road with traffic speeds of at 60 km/h or faster. The raised cycle track design provides a physical separation from motor vehicles, thereby encouraging more people of varying cycling skill levels to ride with confidence. Cycle tracks, which first achieved prominence in Europe, are gaining wide adoption in North America. The protection of a curb and specific pavement markings at intersections with side streets visibly convey the space to be occupied by those on bicycle.
Should you have any questions or concerns about the project, please contact the City’s project manager below.
City project manager:
Jamie MacDonald, P.Eng.
Design and Construction - Municipal
Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department
100 Constellation DriveOttawa, ON K2G 6J8
Tel: 613-580-2424, ext. 16151