Wednesday, September 23, 2009

BikeWest - part iv - Scott Street from Bayview to Dominion

The Scott alignment is much straighter than the riverside path and passes through major residential and employment areas

For most of its length along Scott, BikeWest is pretty simple. The two-way paved surface would be set back from Scott Street whenever possible. At major signalized intersections, the bike route might snuggle up to Scott. Signalized intersections at Holland, Island Park, and Lanark would operate as described previously: through east-west traffic on both the road and BikeWest would proceed on green; all left and right turning traffic that might cross BikeWest would go only on green arrows when through traffic movements are prohibited. This would not unduly delay car traffic, and would minimize the conflicts between cyclists and motorists.

Lots of City-owned room along Scott for BikeWest and new pedestrian walkways

For the minor, unsignalized intersections, the bike route might be pulled close to the transitway cut, and would cross the streets on a raised surface. This sharply raised surface will be self-enforcing to vehicles, which will slow down before going over the hump. With a hump, motorists would be reminded of the cycle route whether cyclists are present or not. There would be at least one car length transition zone between the bike crossing and the Scott roadway, so cars would not get hung up in the intersections. There should be yield signs located at each car crossing of the bike surface, to remind vehicles that they are crossing the bike way and that cyclists have priority.

If the raised bike route crossing intersections arrangement fails to get past City hall bureaucrats and naysayers, it will be back to level crossings similar to the picture below, but with better alignment and hopefully a coloured asphalt path crossing the road to reinforce the presence of the bike route.

Current Scott path meets cross street: a mess that discourages path use

The preferred set-back / raised crossing is not perfect. Nothing short of a fully-grade-separated route can be. But most of these unsignalized streets are low volume local traffic roads. Signage would be required reminding motorists not to queue up blocking the bike route.

Exactly how the BikeWest route would bypass the bus transfer stations at Tunney’s and Westboro can only be determined when design criteria for these stations has been decided on.  The bypass need not be difficult or expensive or dangerous. But it needs to be designed into the stations right from the beginning. For example, the current arrangement at Westboro Station locates the bus bay well off Scott Street, letting cyclists continue along a painted shoulder. This is better than the Tunney’s arrangement that forces cyclists to mix with pedestrians and waiting bus users in the same area. Recall that both these stations will be redesigned as part of the LRT project and modifications/provisions for WestBike could be incorporated in the rebuilding.

Current Tunney's Station will undergo major renovation and rearrangment if LRT goes ahead. Could BikeWest be incorporated in the redesign?

Westboro Station. Cyclists either ride on the bus bay or between the island and the road

Once BikeWest approaches Churchill and Dominion, a number of options open up. Many cyclists will percolate south on the side streets that penetrate the residential neighborhoods between the River and Carling. For more dedicated longer-haul cyclists, two options will be explored in the next segment.

Click to enlarge route map along Scott

One key reason why the BikeWest concept needs to be accepted soon is there are a lot of road and infrastructure projects going in along the route in the next seven to fifteen years that can make or break the feasibility of the cycling route. In addition to the transitway and stations, Scott may be rebuilt/realigned, there is a Scott CDP (planning exercise), a Bayview-Carling CDP, and the Interprovincial transit study. The LeBreton concept plan and the city’s Escarpment CDP (covering the area from Booth to Bay) would need to be updated to incorporate the BikeWest concept.

The generous right of way along Scott facilitates BikeWest infrastructure.


  1. Eric,
    Have you approached Councillors Leadman and Cullen with this idea? You could talk to the group behind the Old Ottawa East footbridge for ideas about how they have (now successfully) managed to get that crossing included in the tranportation master plan. I think your plan makes a lot of sense for a major piece of cycling infrastructure at a fairly low cost.

  2. I don't know anyone for the footbridge crossing, but I think it is a great idea, especially if a better surface route can be found to link up to the Somerset bridge over the canal.

    Once the posts are finished, I will cut and paste the posts into a single illustrated document and circulate it to community associations and councillors and try to drum up some support.