The Bikeway begins immediately north of Laurier Avenue and terminates south of Wellington Street, for a total distance of approximately 400 m. It is designed as a bidirectional cycle track on the east side of O’Connor Street, consistent with the existing bikeway south of Laurier Avenue. The cycle track replaces one general-purpose vehicle lane and associated on-street parking.
The Bikeway is proposed as a raised cycle track, at the same level of the sidewalk, with the curb as the barrier to vehicles. This is a change from the pre-cast curbing that provides separation from vehicles on the existing bikeway south of Laurier and is expected to facilitate maintenance. The cycle track is 3.0 metres wide in most locations, with localized narrowing where the corridor is constrained. A 0.5m buffer separates cyclists from the edge of the curb, and a 0.2m tactile delineator strip provides separation from pedestrians.
Intersections and Driveways
All of the intersections between Laurier Avenue and Wellington Street are controlled with traffic signals. At each intersection, bicycle signal heads will be added for northbound and southbound cyclists. With the proposed design, there are no permissive vehicle movements across the Bikeway; whenever a cyclist has a green light at an intersection, vehicles are not permitted to turn across the Bikeway. This is achieved through the following key signal phases and turn restrictions:
- No left turn from O’Connor Street onto Queen Street
- Dedicated signal phase for the World Exchange Plaza garage exit at the Albert Street intersection
- Dedicated turn lane and signal phase for left turn from O’Connor Street onto Slater Street
- Dedicated turn lane and signal phase for left turn from O’Connor Street onto Laurier Avenue
The functional design also includes bicycle boxes to accommodate two-stage turns by cyclists at Queen and Albert. The bicycle boxes will feature green pavement markings for visibility and directional arrows to clarify expected movements.
For the three driveways that cross the cycle track between Laurier and Wellington, the functional design features green pavement markings and a change in elevation to increase driver and cyclist awareness.
Connections with Other Downtown Projects
The functional design was developed in coordination with upcoming City projects being planned for Wellington Street, Albert Street and Slater Street.
- Wellington Street: The intersection of O’Connor and Wellington will be included within the scope of an upcoming project to develop a high-quality cycling connection between Mackenzie Avenue and O’Connor Street. Therefore, the functional design for the Bikeway does not include modifications to this intersection. Until the Wellington Street cycling facility has been designed, it would be premature to make changes to this intersection.
- Albert Street and Slater Street: The Council-approved designs for Albert and Slater streets include dedicated cycling facilities on the right side of each roadway. The functional design for the Bikeway accounts for these planned cycling facilities at the Albert Street and Slater Street intersections.
The functional design also considers recent work linked to the O-Train Confederation Line: construction of a raised intersection at Queen Street; construction of a bus platform outside the east entrance of Parliament Station; and widening of the west sidewalk between Queen Street and Sparks Street.
Impacts on Traffic and Parking
Analysis indicates that O’Connor Street will continue to operate within acceptable levels of service for vehicles, though the southbound left movement at Slater Street is expected to approach capacity during the morning peak hour. Restricting left turns from O’Connor Street onto Queen Street is expected to have minimal impact on the downtown street network, since there are low volumes of vehicles that currently make this turn.
The implementation of the Bikeway requires the removal of at least seven additional parking spaces on the west side of O’Connor Street. Council approved the removal of 14 parking spaces on the east side of O’Connor Street and one space on the west side of O’Connor Street as part of the 2015 functional design. The functional design also includes removal of a taxi stand and police vehicle zone, and relocation of a hotel loading zone and food truck stand, consistent with the 2015 functional design.
Impacts on Pedestrians and Transit
The Bikeway will improve the pedestrian environment by increasing the boulevard width on the east sidewalk and increasing the distance between pedestrians and traveling vehicles. At intersections, pedestrians will benefit from shorter crossing distances; but there will be longer traffic signal cycle lengths.
O’Connor Street is not designated as a transit priority corridor, but there are several bus routes that use O’Connor. The dedicated left turn traffic signal phases, reduction in vehicle lanes and increase in traffic signal cycle length will result in additional delays of approximately 10 to 40 seconds at the intersections of Queen, Albert and Slater streets for transit riders.
For further information, please contact:
Transportation Planner - Cycling
Transportation Services Department
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
613-580-2424, ext. 27910