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Heron Road separated cycling facilities (Data Centre Road to Bank Street) Functional Design Study

Project Status: 

Open House - November 27, 2017

Thursday, November 23, 2017, 1:30 pm
Last updated: 
Friday, August 31, 2018, 9:31 am

Dates & Times

Monday, November 27, 2017,
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm


Jim Durrell Recreation Centre - Elwood Hall
1265 Walkley Road
Ottawa, ON

Open House
Monday November 27, 2017
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Jim Durrell Recreation Centre - Elwood Hall
1265 Walkley Road

On-line consultation: November 23 to December 4, 2017

The City of Ottawa is developing a design 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 (Phase 1 - Woodroffe Avenue to Data Centre Road), and
  • Cycle tracks designed for the Bank Street Renewal project (Riverside Drive to Ledbury Avenue).

Heron Road is identified as part of Cross-Town Bikeway #7 and Phase-1 project P1-19 in the Ottawa Cycling Plan of 2013.  This design project is partially funded through the federal government’s Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

You have the opportunity to review and comment on:

  • The proposed configuration of raised cycle tracks and protected intersections in the corridor
  • The proposed alignments of multi-use pathways at the west end that connect to nearby facilities such as major transit stops.

Open House Display Boards [ PDF 3.732 MB ]

Roll Plan [ PDF 6.225 MB ]


Heron Road is a four-lane divided urban arterial road with a posted speed of 60 km/h through the major portion of the study area except near Bank Street, where it is 50 km/h.  There are concrete sidewalks on both sides of the road.  There are currently no cycling facilities on Heron Road within the project limits. Cyclists must either ride on the road while sharing lanes with motor traffic or dismount and walk their bikes on the sidewalks.

The Heron-Baseline network spine is being developed into Cross-town Bikeway #7 in stages. This proposed section of the bikeway will provide a means for residents of the local communities such as Heron Park to more safely cycle to:

  • key transit nodes
  • area retail/commercial destinations along Bank Street
  • employment and transit destinations near Confederation Heights
  • points further away, via similar facilities planned for Bank Street and Baseline Road.

In combination with the cycling facilities on the future Baseline Road Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridor, this section will bring the continuous separated east-west facility to over 7 km in length (Woodroffe Avenue to Bank Street).  The future Bank Street cycle tracks extend that continuous route further, if heading north or south from Heron.

The improved ability to access key transit nodes such as Heron Station on two wheels will foster the “bike-ride-walk” commuting strategy—ride from home to transit and park the bike, ride to the transit stop nearest your destination, walk final portion of journey.

Funds to construct this design have not yet been approved within a City budget.  Sections of this design may be built at different times.  For instance, the link southward to the Brookfield Pathway can occur only after changes in the rail network forming part of the Trillium Line Stage 2 LRT work.

Key plan showing the project limits on Heron Road from Data Centre Drive to Bank Street, with links extending north to the bus stop on Data Centre Drive and south to the Brookfield multi-use pathway.

Key plan showing the study limits on Heron Road and vicinity.

The proposed cycling facilities are as follows:

On the north side of Heron

  • From Data Centre Road to the path for Heron Transitway station: westbound raised cycle track (implemented by the Baseline Road BRT project)
  • From the path for Heron Transitway station to Clover Avenue: multi-use pathway (MUP), shared with pedestrians
  • From Clover Street to Bank Street: westbound raised cycle track

On the south side of Heron

  • From 35 m west of Data Centre Road to Junction Avenue: multi-use pathway (MUP), shared with pedestrians
  • From Junction Avenue to limits of the Bank Street Renewal: eastbound raised cycle track

Up to five bus bays along Heron Road will be removed to improve transit service efficiency. Pavement markings and signage will be installed, requiring cyclists to yield to pedestrians wherever there are bus stops.

In addition, existing connections to the bridge that crosses Heron Road just west of Data Centre Road are proposed to be upgraded for cycling.  This bridge, which contains a vehicle ramp that connects eastbound Heron Road to northbound Bronson Avenue and eastbound Riverside Drive, has a two-way barrier-protected MUP on it.  The plan involves converting 1.8-metre concrete pathways at the bridge approaches into 3-metre asphalt MUPs so that it will be legal to cycle all the way from one side of Heron to the other.  The MUPs will have grades that meet accessibility standards, meaning that they will be less steep than the facilities being replaced. 

A MUP to link the north side of the bridge to bus stops on Data Centre Road (adjacent to Heron Station) will be developed to further support the “bike-ride-walk” mode. 

A future MUP is also proposed to link the south side of the bridge to the Brookfield multi-use pathway and, from there, the Sawmill Creek Pathway.  This alignment relies upon work associated with Stage 2 LRT changes to the Trillium Line.

Questions and Answers

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.

Next Steps

The cycle track designs will be finalized in early 2018 after a review of comments received.  A construction schedule has not yet been established and will depend on funding through future capital budgets.

Tell Us What You Think

The questionnaire is now closed. The City would like to thank everyone who participated in the questionnaire.

Paul Clarke, P.Eng.
Project Manager
Transportation Services Department
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
613-580-2424, ext. 29882