Unsafe bike lanes on Terry Fox Drive

(Devyn Barrie at OttawaStart.com has posted a commentary on his blog about cycling infrastructure in Ottawa. With permission, here’s a snippet that may be relevant to Stittsville residents who bike…also added are comments from Stittsville Central)

Anytime I’m talking to someone about poor cycling infrastructure in Ottawa, I make sure to mention the murder strip bike lanes on Terry Fox Drive. I used to ride on them regularly between Hazeldean Road and Campeau Drive, about two years ago when I lived in Stittsville and worked in Kanata. These things are bad.

For a fair length, they’re at the side of the road. Not great, but OK. There are two segments where it becomes sandwiched between regular traffic and a turning lane — one of which is for a highway on-ramp. One of these exposures is about 120 meters long. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re in the middle of a high traffic-stress road where the speed limit is 70, it feels like a very long time. And it only takes a second for some driver to take you out.

I took a screenshot of a city aerial photograph of Terry Fox Drive and added a yellow line to mark where the bike lane is, plus a broken red line to mark where the design intentionally allows for vehicles to cross the bike lane. Of course, you can bet some drivers will be crossing over the solid line anyway.

(An exposed bike lane crosses a long turning lane on Terry Fox Drive.)

These lanes are actually quite old. They were added when Terry Fox Drive was widened sometime between 2002 and 2005, judging by city aerial photographs. But the city has been doing this rubbish more recently, too. To read Devyn’s complete article – Read more on OttawaStart.com…

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1 thought on “Unsafe bike lanes on Terry Fox Drive”

  1. I cycle on Hazeldean Road almost daily heading west and I would say that the cycling lane has to be one of the most unsafe designs I have encountered. Except for the first part heading west from Terry Fox Drive, cyclist and cars interweave through all the turning lanes leading into the shopping areas and finally ending at Huntmar. I don’t know why any planned would think this was a good idea.

    Terry Fox is another one. Crossing over the 417 is treacherous in either direction. And if you go south of Hazeldean there is a section where the bike lane disappears completely. They decided to take the bike lane away completely so cars can make a right hand turn without having to be concerned about cyclists. To compensate, they painted a bike symbol on the car lane (it’s a single lane) indicating that this is now a shared lane. I bet motorists don’t see it as it is quite faded. To cap it off, they have a decent path alongside the road but getting onto it is not all that easy. I don’t know why they don’t plan decent access points.

    While I an here, the one that really intrigues me is the cross-walk where the rail trail crosses Terry Fox Drive. It used to be, that when you wanted to cross, you would press the button and shortly thereafter you would have a green light to cross safely. Now, the delay is ‘forever’ and many cyclists and walkers give up and cross against the red. I wont go on about the fact that there isn’t even a light at the next cross-over – Eagelson Drive. That one is a disaster waiting to happen. A traffic light synced with the one down the road would be a good idea.

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