Dedicated left turn lane coming soon to Huntmar-Maple Grove

Intersection of Huntmar and Maple Grove. Heading northbound, one lane combines straight-through and left turns. The other is for right turns only.

The verdict is in for the new lane configuration for the lights at Huntmar and Maple Grove.

Councillor Shad Qadri wrote in his weekly newsletter that he’s asking City staff reconfigure the northbound lane markings to allow for a dedicated left-turn lane plus a shared straight/right-turn.  The bike lane will be removed.  (Lanes in the other direction stay the same.)

Qadri had asked residents to pick between one of three options provided by city staff.  Feedback collected by the Fairwinds Community Association showed that 71% of respondents didn’t like any of the options presented.

“The majority of the comments received from these responses indicated that they would like the northbound approach painted with a dedicated left turn lane and a shared right turn/straight through lane,” wrote Qadri.

“Given the majority support for this recommendation I have requested that the Traffic Staff to take the necessary steps to make this modification which will also include the removal of the dedicated bicycle lane. I have requested staff undertake this work as soon as possible and am currently waiting for a timeline as to when this work can be completed.”

Qadri also said that he is working with City staff to see if Huntmar Road can be widened to four lanes (between Maple Grove and Palladium) sooner than originally planned.  Under the current Transportation Master Plan, the road won’t be widened until 2026-2031.  The next opportunity to revisit the timeline is in 2018.

Earlier this month, the Fairwinds Community Association wrote a letter to Qadri and the City outlining concerns about the options and the process.

“Residents are concerned about the amount of time it has taken for the City to propose options and that this intersection will become increasingly unsafe under winter driving conditions,” they wrote.

We’d like to hear from our readers.  Is this the right choice for the intersection? Add your comments below or email’s editor is a member of the Fairwinds Community Association board of directors.




6 thoughts on “Dedicated left turn lane coming soon to Huntmar-Maple Grove”

  1. Nice job. All kinds of people ride bicycles. Not everyone can pedal fast enough to avoid the cars overtaking from behind. Others can indeed pedal at the speed limit, but certain drivers pay no heed to the posted speed limit (and these drivers are a problem for motorcyclists too).

    Most drivers pass bicycles with seven to ten feet of clearance . I want to say that, before I say anything further. If every driver drove correctly , there would be no need for these Bike Lanes. These “Three Foot Laws” are a minimum, no driver would actually come that close to a bicycle, unless under the influence of drugs or alcohol… Three feet is more like a “Margin of Error”, an extra three feet added to the distance from which you were thinking of passing the bicycle. The bicycle needs some room to wiggle or wobble.

    For a long time, there was no adequate rear-view mirror available for bicycles. Then cyclists started carrying video camcorders. The next thing that happened was the sudden appearance of decent rear-view mirrors. Apparently, the camcorder was able to show the “blind spot”, and this led to a correction of the problem. Still, to this day, there is no law requiring a rear-view mirror on a bicycle. Either the motorist is to be held one-hundred percent responsible for passing the Bicycles safely, or the state will have to build Bike Lanes; In this case, the motorists won, and the state had to build Bike Lanes.

    But the point I was meaning to make, all kinds of people ride bikes, some young some old, some are novice riders, while others are pros. Some people ride for cardio vascular exercise , others are training for a Bike race, still others are riding because it’s too far to walk but not too far to pedal- a bicycle generally goes five times the distance of a pedestrian…

    Also, within a day, a Cyclist can go from being fresh and full of energy, to becoming bleary eyed and exhausted…

    A Race-Training Cyclist will NOT cease to pedal the bike, under any circumstances, he times himself, and if your auto-maneuver cost him so much as two-one-hundredths of a second, he will feel obligated to “flip you the bird”…

    But there are all types of people on bikes, I’m just trying to clue you in as to how some of them operate differently.

    Some cyclists ( some drivers, for that matter) , have a better understanding of the Theory of safe driving… Like when you had to take a test, at the DMV, before you could even get an appointment to take the road-test, there was a multiple choice written test, do you remember that?

    Here’s an example of “Theory” versus “Imitation” … A Cyclist is moving along at or near the speed limit, there is good visibility, he comes to a stop sign, he slows down, looks both ways and is prepared to stop , but there isn’t any traffic, so he rolls the stop sign… The next cyclist (novice) doesn’t quite understand the theory, but he follows by example, he sees another cyclist roll through the stop , so he tries it too, and BANG, he gets hit by a farm truck. The first cyclist looked both ways, that’s because, in THEORY, a car or truck could be coming. The second cyclist only copy-catted the part where he rolled the stop sign, but didn’t get the part about looking both ways…Oh, the farm truck won , btw…

    I’m not advocating anyone to blow through stop signs, but let’s take into account the bicycler is not in a sound proof booth, the bicycle does not stick ten feet out in front of him, the bicycle only weighs 1.2% of what a typical car weighs, and the bicycle can pull a sharp turn “right on red”, and pull tight to the curb, where he’s not blocking anybody. A Cyclist is taller, and in a higher position, for seeing over hedges and parked cars, and has no blind spots from roof pillars.

  2. It is mind boggling to think how much money was spent by the City to (a) incorrectly build the intersection to begin with, (b) paint the intersection in its current misaligned form, (c) announce a study and put up cameras to collect data on how cars actually commute through the intersections, and (d) have City transportation planners come up with three designs that made no sense at all and were resoundly rejected by three quarters of the respondents.

    Great job City of Ottawa! Shad, I could have given you the dedicated left turn lane and a shared right turn/straight through lane option with about 60 seconds of thought.

  3. Now that this change is in place, most people still drive through this intersection the old way!!!!! Drivers do not read the old signs. Just now, I had to cars ahead of me stop at the red light in the left lane and go straight through!!!!! The change has made it even more unsafe. The road needs to be painted at least. Something needs to be done. Almost every time I go through this intersection, I have at least one driver do it wrong.

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