new “bike-lanes” unfriendly

Here’s the way many local cyclists approach the Robertson/Moodie intersection:
It’s not legal but it’s safe – if the cyclist encounters the odd pedestrian, which is rare, there is lots of room to yield and use the boulevard area. The only problem area is crossing the right-turn lane, but cyclists will check to make sure no traffic is coming out of self-preservation, and car drivers are careful. So the existing situation isn’t terrible.
Maybe a speed hump or enhanced signage if anything?

The $3M intersection expansion can’t be justified as an “improvement” to cycling and pedestrian safety.

Here’s what the new official route will look like for cyclists (minus the extra lanes, the painted lines and the “enhanced” right-turn lanes designed to rush vehicles through the intersection as quickly as possible). Is shaving a second off a car trip such a lofty goal? Cyclists generally dislike riding between traffic lanes, especially if the vehicles are driving fast.
I’m good with it, but would you want a child or a novice cyclist cycling between lanes of high-speed traffic? As an “improvement” it sure isn’t worth $3M from a cyclist’s point of view, and it sure won’t do anything to encourage more cycling in Bells Corners.
The new “bike-lanes” end suddenly on either side of the project area, where law-abiding cyclists ride cheek by jowl with the busses and trucks. Many others use the boulevard area illegally.

Hopefully some of the community’s questions will be answered at the March 12, 7 p.m. meeting at the community building on Seyton Drive.

But maybe not.

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5 Responses to new “bike-lanes” unfriendly

  1. ottawaowl says:

    Hi Craig,

    Thank you for sharing this additional information with us.

    I wish to highlight the design of the proposed right turn channels at all four intersection quadrants. These conform to a new design made in Ottawa termed ‘smart channels’ to mitigate the impact of regular right turn channels on both pedestrians and cyclists. This design is rapidly becoming the default design across Ottawa if right turn channels are being provided.

    A more typical older design such as what currently exists at Moodie/Robertson is where the turning radius is large and there is a receiving acceleration lane so that motorists using the channel may take the ramp at higher speeds and may immediately speed up after making the turn in order to merge with already moving vehicles to their left (including bicycles). Smart channels intersect with the receiving roadway at sharper angles. The smart channel practically guarantees motorists will either stop or slow significantly before completing their right turn movements. Smart channels also offer motorists better sightlines to scan for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists as they complete their turns. Finally, smart channels also decrease the channel crossing distance for pedestrians, reducing their exposure to motorists.

    With respect to widening the pedestrian crossing distance, I acknowledge that it increases, partly because of the addition of bike lanes and partly because of new left turn lanes. In the future, we hope to introduce bike lanes that are separated from traffic and adjacent to sidewalks. These ‘cycle tracks’ will eliminate the extra crossing distance for pedestrians as the road crossing distance would start after the pedestrians have crossed the cycle track and would wait on a new boulevard area between the cycle track and the travel lanes.



  2. lana says:

    Here are the latest drawings and traffic counts for the intersection.

    Why wouldn’t they add cycle tracks now? Curious.

    – Because the car is king in Bells Corners? Because all of the money has already been spent on facilitating suburban sprawl?

    • lana says:

      Is most of the traffic drive-through? Bell’s Corners seems too small to need seven lanes. Where are they all going?

      – The $3M improvement is designed to make it more enticing for Sens fans and DND bureaucrats to shop on the strip. Rick’s strategy will serve motorists in the new suburban sprawl communities in Kanata and Manotick, increasing drive-through traffic in the hope that some of them will slow down long enough to patronize our drive-thrus, big boxes and shabby strip malls.

  3. lana says:

    I’ve got a few more details about the current “congestion” rates for the intersection…

  4. ottawaowl says:

    Lana, here’s how they collected the data – I suspect the councillor used a couple of his interns or hired some of his daughters’ friends.

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