A planning and functional design study is underway for a bi-directional cycling facility on the north side of Wellington Street between the Mackenzie Avenue cycling facility at Rideau Street and the forthcoming cycling facility on O’Connor Street. The City is also considering extending the facility to the limits of the Parliamentary Precinct at Bank Street. The project is intended to further improve the cycling experience along the route known as Confederation Boulevard and which is identified as Cross-town Bikeway #1 of the Ottawa Cycling Plan. The facility will connect to other key cycling links and major destinations in Downtown Ottawa. Alternatives will be developed and evaluated based on factors such as impacts to other road users, comfort and safety, cost, and enhancing the street’s character. The City will pay special attention to connections with existing and upcoming cycling facilities in the area and key corridor challenges such as the interaction of all modes at bus stopping areas and entrances at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. The City is also developing a functional design plan to identify the preferred option, which will be carried forward to detailed design and implementation.
The study is built upon several Capital sustainable-mobility initiatives:
Horizon 2067: The Plan for Canada’s Capital (NCC, 2017) – Established policy direction for federal departments and agencies to follow over the next 50 years. Key policy directions include reimagining the streetscape and pedestrian and cyclist realm on Wellington Street, collaborating in the financing of the Confederation Boulevard cycling route, contributing to high quality sustainable mobility in the region, and working with municipalities to find ways to balance the transportation modal split.
Implementation of the Mackenzie Avenue cycle track 2017 – In 2016 construction started on the Mackenzie cycle tracks between Murray and Rideau, with cross-rides provided at Mackenzie/Murray, and a protected signal phase for cyclists at Mackenzie and Rideau. In its first year of operation (Opening May 19, 2017), a total of 190,000 bike trips were made using the new facility, with 26% of those trips being northbound and 74% southbound.
Ottawa Cycling Plan (2013) – A long-term strategy aiming to strengthen and support cycling in the City by establishing a comprehensive cycling network and implementation strategy along with supporting implementation and policy strategies. Wellington Street between the Portage Bridge and Mackenzie Avenue was designated as a section of Cross-town Bikeway #1, a separated bicycle facility recommended for implementation during Phase 2 of the Cycling Plan (2020-2025).
City of Ottawa Transportation Master Plan (2013) – Outlined a blueprint for planning, developing and operating Ottawa’s transportation network to accommodate anticipated growth up to 2031, with emphasis on increasing the modal share of sustainable modes to 50% through prioritized infrastructure upgrades, identification of facilities and services, and policy development. Phased cycling facility construction projects recommended in the Ottawa Cycling Plan were included in the Transportation Master Plan.
Downtown Moves: Transforming Ottawa’s Streets (2013) – An urban design and transportation study that aimed to prioritize pedestrians and cyclists above vehicles in allocating street space and to redistribute the streetscape environment within Ottawa’s central business district. A design framework and toolkit and a compilation of best practices were used to create a phased implementation strategy that included streetscaping and a bi-directional vertically separated cycling facility on the north side of Wellington Street.
City of Ottawa Strategic Plan (2011) – The City’s Strategic Plan established priorities for City programs and services for the years 2011 to 2014, which included supporting and promoting mobility choices including cycling through infrastructure improvements and enhanced urban design. A Strategic Plan for 2015-2018has since been developed with similar objectives related to cycling, but putting more emphasis on safety objectives.
- Project initiation, background review and data collection are now underway.
- Design Elements
- Protected bi-directional cycling facility
- Adhering to Confederation Boulevard design standards
- Consideration to provide protected intersections where possible