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McArthur Avenue Cycle Lanes (between St. Laurent Boulevard and North River Road)

Project Status: 
Underway

Project update (May 2018)

Following the design studies and public consultations completed earlier in March 2017, the City of Ottawa plans to construct protected bike lanes along McArthur Avenue in June 2018. This activity is being conducted in order to improve transportation choices along the route.

Who: Contractors working for the City of Ottawa will be completing this construction.

Why: This proposed construction project will incorporate new lane configuration along with bike lanes, offering better transportation choices while improving safety for all roadway users.

What: A planned cycling facility will be added along both sides of the existing roadway. In addition, traffic calming features, pavement markings, signage, and modifications will be constructed along the route.

When: Work could begin in early June of 2018 with completion expected in September 2018, subject to there being no unforeseen circumstances.

Where: North River Road to St. Laurent Boulevard, within the McArthur Avenue roadway rights-of-way.

Accessibility

Accessibility will be an important consideration for the City of Ottawa during the construction period The City makes every effort to provide access through and around construction sites. If you require special accommodation, please contact the undersigned.

On-street parking

To allow the work to be completed, on-street parking will be prohibited during the proposed construction period. Signs will be placed 24-hours in advance indicating the temporary parking prohibition. Vehicles parked at these locations may be towed at the owner’s expense. Parking fines may also apply.

City project manager:
Jamie MacDonald, P.Eng.
Design and Construction Municipal Branch
Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department
100 Constellation Drive
Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
Tel: 613-580-2424, ext. 16151

Project update (April 2018)

The City of Ottawa is undertaking a transportation project to provide cycling lanes along McArthur Avenue. The project consists of a reconfiguration of the roadway to ensure safe passage for pedestrians, cyclists, buses and cars. Although there are no immediate plans to reconstruct McArthur Avenue, the project will use pavement markings, signage, pinned concrete curbs and small traffic islands to reconfigure the road and travel lanes. In addition, given that there are schools and other community centres along this corridor, a secondary objective is to increase safety by reducing the road width and discouraging excessive speeding.

Project Status and Next Steps

Taking into account all the feedback received to-date (see below), and working with Councillors Tobi Nussbaum and Mathieu Fleury, the detailed design of the proposed plans for McArthur Avenue Cycling Lanes have progressed. The current proposed plans can be viewed here:

McArthur Cycle Lanes plans [ PDF 1.958 MB ]

During the more detailed design process for this project, a review was undertaken of all the existing bus stop locations. The current plans include a recommended consolidation of existing bus stops where feasible in order to both improve the efficiency of transit along the corridor and to minimize conflicts with the proposed cycling lane.  The consolidation plan includes the removal of two stops in the eastbound direction, as well as two stops in the westbound location.  It also includes the relocation of four bus stops in the eastbound direction and one bus stop in the westbound direction. The proposed changes have minimal impact to service provision. 

Tell us what you think! 

We want to know what you think about the new stop locations and how they affect your trips. More info on these stop changes and feedback form 

The detailed design plans are anticipated to be completed by Spring 2018 with the construction following shortly after in Spring/Summer 2018.

Project consultation

Open House 
Wednesday, 8 March 2017
Drop in between  6:30 and 8:30 p.m.
Cafeteria, Ottawa Technical Secondary School 
485 Donald Street, Ottawa

City staff, in conjunction with Councillors Tobi Nussbaum and Mathieu Fleury organized an open house on March 8, 2017 to present a draft functional design for the McArthur Avenue Cycle Lanes.  Given that there are schools and other community centres along this corridor, the goal was to increase safety by reducing the road width and discouraging excessive speeding. The draft design plan that was presented could be implemented through the use of pavement markings, signage and planter boxes.  The input received assisted in the refinement of the plan for technical evaluation.

Existing Conditions [ PDF 305 KB ]

Proposed Cross Sections [ PDF 376 KB ]

Open House Display Boards [ PDF 830 KB ]

Traffic Volumes [ 8.170 MB ]

Bicycling Increases Profitability

Feedback overview

Feedback to-date was received from 131 residents, several local businesses, the Quartier Vanier Business Improvement Association (QVBIA) which represents local businesses, the Overbrook Planning and Development Committee, Bike Ottawa (formerly Citizens for Safe Cycling) and the Boys and Girls Club.

41 individuals attended the open house on March 8, 2017 and 106 individuals completed an online survey.  Also, 25 emails were received providing additional feedback.

From the feedback received:

  • 24 comments suggested some improvements to the cycling facility along McArthur Avenue.
  • 16 comments were grateful for the cycling improvement along McArthur Avenue.
  • 10 comments did not support removing vehicular travel lanes.
  • 19 comments suggested parking protected cycling lanes along McArthur Avenue.
  • 42 comments mentioned larger planning issues relating to the Ottawa Cycling Plan, more specifically the Donald Street shared use lane project.  Some comments requested funding to construct higher order cycling facilities along Donald Street.
  • 6 comments related to the connectivity of McArthur Avenue and Mutual Street.
  • 8 comments related to parking concerns along McArthur Avenue.
  • 8 comments support the implementation of traffic calming along McArthur Avenue.
  • The Overbrook Community Association indicated support for the project and requested that the corridor be added to the winter cycling network.  The associated requested connectivity improvements be made at the St-Laurent Boulevard and McArthur Avenue intersection and expressed their preference for the parking protected cycle lanes.
  • Bike Ottawa had design concerns, but overall they are pleased to see the City creating new safe space on McArthur Avenue for a growing number of cyclists.
  • The Quartier Vanier Business Improvement Area had concerns with the removal of parking and its impact to local business.  The QVBIA mentioned that there was general confusion about whether motorists can indeed currently park on McArthur despite the parking signage installed.  The QVBIA suggested another year to assess the effectiveness of current on street parking.
  • The Boys and Girls Club were pleased to support the approval for cycling lanes along McArthur Avenue. “Creating viable, safe options for cycling will encourage people to use their bike as an effective way to get around the Vanier/Overbrook community.  At the BGCO, we are hopeful this project will help reduce the number of speeding drivers using McArthur Avenue.” 

Survey Results – As We Heard It Report 

As We Heard It Report [ PDF 3.182 MB ]

Changes to functional plan following feedback received

  • The revised functional plan moved cycle lanes to be between the curb and the parked cars where parking is present.  The parked cars, traffic islands and precast curbs will provide a barrier space for cyclists in order to improve comfort and safety.
  • 3 parking spaces added between Morvale Street and Dieppe Street
  • 7 unsigned parking spaces added on Eglise Street between McArthur Avenue and Mutual Street. 
  • Removal of Southbound left turn lane at McArthur Avenue and Eglise Street was required in order to accommodate the parking.
  • Bus loading zone added for Robert E. Wilson Public School.
  • Loading zone added in front of 434 McArthur Avenue.
  • Cyclo Zone Delineators added along corridor.
  • Right turning vehicles yield to cyclist signs added along corridor.
  • Green thermoplastic added at channelized right turns to increase cyclist visibility.

Frequently asked questions

Can the bicycle lanes be positioned between parked cars and the sidewalk?

Where parking is proposed on McArthur Avenue, the latest design has the bike lanes positioned between the parked cars and the sidewalk.  This design is referred to as “parking protected cycle lanes”. The purpose of this type of design is to provide further physical and spatial separation between road users (pedestrians and cyclists) and moving vehicle traffic.

Why is the parking along McArthur Avenue being reduced?

Parking will be reduced along McArthur Avenue in order to accommodate left turn lanes, OC Transpo bus stops, and cycling lanes.  Many parking sections which currently exist along McArthur Avenue don’t meet the minimum set back from intersections and must be modified to meet the requirement set forth by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.   Feedback received through the survey indicated that 65% of respondents support the removal of some parking in exchange for traffic calming and cycling improvements. In contrast, 19% of respondents requested to keep on-street parking as it is currently.

What about cycling connectivity west of North River Road?

Cyclists arriving at the North River Road and McArthur Avenue intersection can turn left or right onto North River Road to destinations to the north or south.  Cyclists can also continue straight through to connect to the multi use pathway which runs along the Rideau River. 

The design varies too often through the corridor.  Can we improve the consistency of the design?

The design consistency has been improved by changing the bike lane position such that it is now beside the curb along the entire corridor.  This should improve driver and cyclist expectations.

Can we build segregated cycling facilities on McArthur Avenue?

Segregated cycling facilities, such as cycle tracks, are expensive and would not be feasible given the project’s budget.  The project budget is limited to low cost items such as line painting,  cyclo zone delineators, and some precast concrete curbs or small traffic islands.  Precast concrete curbs will be provided where parking is permitted along the corridor and where feasible along longer segments of the cycling lane.  When other road-works are scheduled for this corridor, staff will evaluate improvement opportunities to cycling and pedestrian conditions at that time.

What about cycling connectivity east of St. Laurent Boulevard?

Connections east of St.Laurent Boulevard are not part of the scope of this project.  However, staff will investigate opportunities to improve connectivity to the east as opportunities present themselves. 

Are changes being proposed to OC Transpo bus stops?

No modifications to bus stops were proposed in the functional design plans originally presented. However, during the more detailed design process, a review was undertaken of all the existing bus stop locations. The current plans include a consolidation of existing bus stops where feasible in order to improve the efficiency of transit along the corridor and to minimize conflicts with the proposed cycling lane.  The consolidation plan includes the removal of two stops in the eastbound direction, as well as two stops in the westbound location.  It also includes the relocation of four bus stops in the eastbound direction and one bus stop in the westbound direction. The proposed changes have minimal impact to service provision. 

Is dooring a problem when cycling lanes are placed next to parked cars?

Dooring is always a concern where parking is adjacent to cycling facilities.  The design incorporates a concrete precast curb and a 50 cm buffer zone between the parking stalls and the cycling lane (which is located next to a sidewalk) to reduce the risk of dooring.

Where are customers going to park for local businesses along McArthur Avenue.

Customers have the option to park in the 32 on-street parking spaces being provided by the McArthur Avenue design as well as on private off-street parking provided by business owners.  There is also 338 side street parking spaces provided along the corridor within one block of McArthur Avenue. A parking study was completed in the spring of 2016 which observed a maximum parking demand of 17 parked cars along McArthur Avenue, between North River road and St-Laurent.  On-street parking on McArthur Avenue was unused for long segments, with a maximum of 5-10% of on-street parking spaces being occupied at any given time.  It was also noted that significant side street parking is available and provides 338 parking spaces along the corridor within one block of McArthur Avenue.   Overall, a maximum of 30% of the side street parking was observed to be occupied at any given time.  As a result, the parking demand along the corridor is considered to be relatively low when compared to the supply available.  In response to comments from business owners, 7 additional unsigned parking spaces have been added on the East side of Eglise Street between McArthur Avenue and Mutual Street. In addition, 3 parking spaces were added between Moorvale Street and Dieppe Street.

What is the expected impact on vehicle travel time along McArthur Avenue with the reduction of travel lanes?

With reduced travel lanes, the travel time for vehicles and transit could increase by approximately 25% along the corridor. For example, if the current commute is 4 minutes along McArthur, the new commute time would be approximately 5 minutes.  Feedback received through the survey indicated that 66% of respondents support the removal of some vehicular travel lanes in exchange for traffic calming and cycling improvements.  In contrast, 29% of respondents requested to keep the number of vehicular travel lanes as it is currently.

What will happen to Donald Street?

Donald Street will keep its status in the Cycling Plan as a local route. Upon re-surfacing or any other road-works along this corridor, ‘local routes’ are evaluated for improvements to cycling and pedestrian conditions.  To date, bike lanes have been recently added on Donald between North River Road and the Vanier Parkway (tied to recent re-surfacing). Bike lanes are planned for another section scheduled for re-surfacing this year (between St. Laurent Blvd. and Cummings Ave.)  A pedestrian safety project at the Donald/St-Laurent intersection is now in the design phase and will also incorporate ‘protected intersection’ features to improve cycling conditions.

For more information on the planning of the McArthur Avenue cycling lanes, please contact

Heidi Cousineau, P. Eng.
Area Traffic Management
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
613-580-2424, ext. 33355
Email: Heidi.Cousineau@ottawa.ca

For more information on the implementation of the McArthur Avenue cycling lanes, please contact:

Jamie MacDonald, P.Eng.
Infrastructure Services
City of Ottawa
100 Constellation Crescent, 6th Floor
Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
613-580-2424 ext. 16151
Email: jamie.macdonald@ottawa.ca