Skip to main content

New cycling initiatives – Confederation Boulevard area

Project Status: 
Underway

New cycling initiatives – Confederation Boulevard area, Ottawa

The City of Ottawa is undertaking planning and functional design studies for new cycling facilities which will provide improved connectivity to the Mackenzie Avenue cycle track (opened in 2017). The proposed new cycling links include the following three elements (shown in the figure below):

  1. Bi-directional connection between the existing Mackenzie Avenue cycle track and the Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway
  2. Bi-directional cycle track on Wellington Street connecting the Mackenzie Avenue cycling facility and proposed extension to the O’Connor Street cycling facility;
  3. Bi-directional cycle track on the east side of O’Connor Street extending the existing O’Connor Street cycling facility from Laurier Avenue to Wellington Street.

Map of the three study areas. Web content for descriptions.

While implementation may be in phases, the functional design process for these new cycling linkages is being co-ordinated to ensure that each individual element will smoothly tie into the overall connectivity plan. Where applicable, federal agencies such as the National Capital Commission (NCC) and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) have been included as stakeholders in the planning process.

Benefits to the community from these bikeways include:

  • Higher levels of cycling safety and comfort for all ages and abilities
  • Integrated traffic calming measures to provide a safer pedestrian and cycling environment
  • Increased separation between pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicle traffic
  • Creating an important  link to existing cycling network and future extensions

A formal consultation phase for each of these projects will be initiated later in the year.  Please see further project information, below.  The upcoming consultation will also accept comments on how connectivity can be further improved along Confederation Boulevard, in areas such as Portage/Wellington, Elgin/Wellington or Murray/Mackenzie/Sussex, as guidance for future Ottawa Cycling Plan updates.

Mackenzie Avenue to Laurier Avenue Cycling Link

Overview

The City of Ottawa is carrying out the planning and functional design of a two-way protected cycling connection from the termination of the Mackenzie Avenue cycle track at Rideau Street to the NCC Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway (which also provides a link to Cross-town Bikeway #2 at Laurier Avenue). Currently, a southbound painted bike lane is provided between the Mackenzie cycle tracks and the Rideau Canal Pathway, with northbound cyclists needing to use a shared facility on Colonel By Drive and Rideau Street. The proposed, upgraded cycling connection will run along the Mackenzie Avenue ramp between Rideau Street and Daly Ave, but will add a northbound direction as well as physical protection from traffic. Alternatives are being developed for the functional design (including cross-sections). All design alternatives will be evaluated based on factors such as impacts to other road users, feasibility and cost.

Project Status

Traffic studies and discussion with federal partners are underway. Design alternatives are currently being drafted.

Design Elements

  • Bi-directional, protected cycling facility on Mackenzie Avenue ramp to Daly
  • Adjustments to Rideau Street / Mackenzie Avenue intersection to accommodate the new cycling movements

Public Consultation

On-line public consultation is planned for later in 2018. If you wish to provide comments related to this project in advance of consultations, please contact:

Adam Hortop, M.Sc., P.Eng.
Project Manager
Transportation Planning
Transportation Services Department
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue, 4th Floor
Email: adam.hortop@ottawa.ca
613-580-2424 ext. 20234

Wellington Street Cycling Facility

Overview

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.

Planning Context

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.

Link: http://ncc-ccn.gc.ca/our-plans/the-plan-for-canadas-capital

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).

Link: https://documents.ottawa.ca/sites/default/files/documents/ocp2013_report_en.pdf

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.

Link: https://documents.ottawa.ca/sites/default/files/documents/tmp_en.pdf

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.

Link: https://documents.ottawa.ca/sites/default/files/documents/dm_draft_report_en_0.pdf

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.

Link: https://documents.ottawa.ca/sites/default/files/documents/2015_2018_strategic_plan_en.pdf

Project Status

  • 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

O'Connor Street Bike Lanes (Laurier Avenue to Wellington Street)

Overview

The City of Ottawa is undertaking a planning and functional design study to extend the bi-directional cycling facility on the east side of O’Connor Street from its current termination at Laurier Avenue north to Wellington Street. A functional design for the O’Connor Street cycling facility (Glebe Avenue to Wellington Street) was completed and approved by City Council in 2015, and Phase 1 (Glebe Avenue to Laurier Avenue) was constructed in 2016. Contextual changes such as the opening of the Confederation light rail transit line, upcoming cycling facilities in the area and a safety review of the existing facility warranted updates to the 2015 Functional Design for Phase 2 of the facility (Laurier Avenue to Wellington Street). Upon its completion, the O’Connor Street cycling facility will form the downtown portion of Cross-town Bikeway #5, a major north-south cycling link as defined in the Ottawa Cycling Plan, and will provide connections to Cross-town Bikeway #1 and #2.  The updated functional design will integrate connections to upcoming cycling facilities on Albert Street / Slater Street, the Parliament O-Train station at Queen Street, and will include recommended safety measures such as separated signal phasing and protected intersections.

Project Status

Functional design currently undergoing refinements, preparing for stakeholder and public engagement / consultation.

Design Elements

  • Bi-directional cycling facility on east side of O’Connor Street, with mitigation of turning conflicts
  • Protected intersections at Albert Street and Slater Street
  • Separate signal phasing provided to cyclists
  • Options review for physical separation of the cycling facility (i.e. pre-cast concrete curbing or raised cycle track)

Public Consultation

On-line public consultations for Wellington and O’Connor are planned for later in 2018. If you wish to provide comments related to the projects in advance of consultations, please contact:

Paul Clarke, P.Eng.
Project Manager
Transportation Planning
Transportation Services Department
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue, 4th Floor
Email:  paul.clarke2@ottawa.ca
613-580-2424 ext. 29882