Monday, December 19 2016 @ 01:18 AM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
The City of Ottawa bypassed the advice of international consultants when designing the O'Connor Street bikeway in order to make more room for cars, choosing an option the firm described as "less safe" for cyclists.
In the first three weeks since its opening, there were three reported collisions between bicycles and vehicles in the section of the bike lane stretching from Laurier Avenue to the Queensway.
The city insists the lane is safe. But it doesn't deny it chose an option that was somewhat less safe for cyclists, and did so because the optimal choice would have been untenable for drivers — and may have killed the project altogether.
In its report submitted in July 2015, Mobycon concluded that Option 1 — protected bike lanes on both sides of O'Connor — was "the safest and most direct for bicyclists."
The firm acknowledged that its first choice could result in less room for cars and "slightly less optimal flow in the downtown area." But from a Dutch cycling perspective, inconveniencing motorists is "considered an acceptable trade-off."