Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More off-road bike paths for Ottawa

West Side Action broke news yesterday of Ottawa Transit Transportation (Ed. note: thanks, Charles) Committee approval for a series of new bike paths in Ottawa, including the following routes:
  • The Otrain corridor linking the Ottawa River paths near Bayview Station south to Carling Avenue and Prince of Wales Drive
  • Rideau River western pathway from Belmont to UofO Lees Campus
  • Sawmill Creek, Brookfield to Walkley
  • Hampton Park pathway from Sebring to Island Park/Merivale
  • Aviation Pathway, Innis to Prescott-Russell rail corridor pathway
All said, the cost of the new paths is estimated at $3.2M. Still, although the motion was approved unanimously by the Transit Committee, it still has to go through full council and budgetary deliberation.


Charles A-M said...

*transportation committee, not transit committee

Spezzal Teams Playa said...

I can't possibly be reading that article correctly.

Am I to understand that the Committee wants to spend at least $1.6M to build an underpass for cyclists where Somerset crosses the O-Train?

Am I missing something here, because (a) the O-Train already has a massive underpass at that location, and (b) the article talks about access to Preston, implying that the path would run parallel to the tracks along their east side.

Forgive me for being dense here, but who exactly is being served by this $3.2M pathway? Certainly not the residents of Hintonburg if the path is on the wrong side of the tracks.

Who then? The two dozens Italian families whose backyard's are depicted in the picture? First of all they already have a path, narrow as it may be, and secondly, why would they - all 24 of them - want to cycle to the arboretum?

The author of the article can claim all he wants that this is a good idea that will bring more people to Preston, but my question is, from where? All those cyclists that live in the industrial park called City Centre? The cyclists in the arboretum who are just dying to sit down for a big meal, but are afraid to travel along Preston itself for two blocks?

I'm sorry, but $3.2M for renovatiosn to already exusting paths that nobody uses, or will ever use, seems crazy to me.

I realize that half of that seems earmarked for the other sites, like the ever-useful "Innis [sic] to Prescott-Russell rail corridor" (otherwise known as the already existant unused path from Costco to the edge of the Bog).

Or how about the Brookfield-to-Walkley path? Here's an idea if you want to get from Brookfield to Walkley: take friggin' Brookfeild down to Walkley. It may change names to Flannery, but the quiet residential road is almost as scenic as yet another nature path along the Transitway in that neighborhood, yet doesn't cost $3.2M dollars to use.

If I could advise Council on this project, I would tell them to focus on the two aspects that more than a dozen local residents walking their dogs would actually use - the western bank of the Rideau River, and maybe the Hampton Park area, though the latter seems already well equipped to handle those wishing to bike the half-kilometre from Sebring to Merivale.

Alternatively, if the city wants to pay me $1.6M, I will gladly walk back and forth a million times, treading the already worn footpath that allows people who don't want to use a 500m stretch of Carling to access Westgate Mall from Kirkwood.