Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bike-share may be coming back to Ottawa

After a pretty successful pilot program from 2009 was set back in 2010, some bike-share program may return to Ottawa for the summer of 2011, according to Centretown News. From their coverage:
[NCC Director of Communications Lucie] Caron says the NCC is working co-operatively with Ottawa and Gatineau and hoping for the program to be completed by the spring.

Media spokesperson Jasmine Leduc confirmed the NCC’s expectation for 50 stations and 500 bicycles to be available in Canada’s capital region and on both sides of the river by next year.
Ottawa's 2009 bike-share pilot program was supposed to set the groundwork for a permanent system, but in 2010 the NCC was unable to find a partner to manage the Bixi bike-share service, so it didn't get off the ground. Now, it appears the program is expected to move forward in the new year.

In the Centretown News article, Somerset Councillor Diane Holmes voiced significant support for the moving forward with the project. However, in a June 2008 interview with PTIO, new councillor David Chernushenko suggested the city needs to truly invest in building up a cycling infrastructure in order to make sure any bike-share program will work:
"We would start by saying every time a street or a sidewalk needs repair, we can seize that opportunity not just to replace the sewer infrastructure and the telecom cables and everything else that’s there. We’re actually going to redesign that street."
Many recent street redesigns have included measures to make them more pedestrian-friendly, particularly in the core, and a potential segregated cycling lane would only add to that.

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