Comment 88738

By Noted (anonymous) | Posted May 14, 2013 at 21:17:09

Ottawa is on its way to becoming a far more bike-friendly city. Since amalgamation, cycling paths have almost doubled, going from approximately 360 kilometres in 2000 to the current 685 kilometres of bike lanes, paved shoulders and multi-use pathways.

Last year, the effort to complete our network received an $8-million commitment over four years in additional funding. In 2011, we implemented Ontario’s first downtown segregated bike lane on Laurier Avenue and a pedestrian tunnel under the Somerset Street Bridge with this funding.

Budget 2012 provides an additional $12.1 million through Ottawa on the Move to help build and maintain the existing cycling path network. On top of this, through road growth and renewal, the City will be increasing our on-road facilities over the next three years to improve cycling by providing bike lanes and paved shoulders on more than 70 kilometres of routes identified as part of the cycling network. It is estimated that the resurfacing program will provide an additional $6 million towards these cycling improvements as part of these road works.

The network of cycling paths is getting a big additional boost through Ottawa on the Move. Over the next three years, cycling funding will go toward implementing:

• A new multi-use pathway along the O-Train corridor between the Ottawa River and Somerset Street that will link the Ottawa River Pathway, Bayview O-Train/Transitway Station, and the new pedestrian/cycling tunnel under Somerset Street.
• Hampton Park Pathway to provide a cycling-friendly east-west route as an alternative to busy Carling Avenue.
• A new multi-use pathway connecting Scott Street pathway to the Ottawa River Pathway.
• The Sawmill Creek/LRT Corridor Pathway (from Walkley Road to Brookfield Pathway).
• Aviation Pathway (Southern Segment from Prescott-Russell Pathway to Innes Road).
• The implementation of a 12-kilometre east-west bikeway from Vanier to Westboro, including improvements to the multi-use pathway along Scott, and the implementations of improved infrastructure for cyclists on Cobourg, Churchill and O’Connor.
• Detailed design of the pedestrian and bike crossing over the Rideau River at Somerset and Donald.
• Over $1 million in new funding to improve pedestrian connectivity and multi-use pathways.

In total, the 2012 draft capital budget identifies approximately six kilometres of new multi-use pathway connections and 12 kilometres of new on-road cycling facilities. This is in addition to over 70 kilometres of additional on-road bike lanes and paved shoulders that will result from the resurfacing program.

The City is also accelerating road-resurfacing projects throughout Ottawa, in order to keep our economy moving and address a backlog. Currently one out of every five roads in Ottawa is in need of renewal or reconstruction. To solve this problem, we are proposing to spend $133 million on roads over the next three years, allowing us to advance projects that would have taken five years or more to complete so they can be finished in this term of Council. This includes:

• Allowing the City to take advantage of the current financial and business climate in order to bring maximum benefit for taxpayer dollars, saving $12.9 million when compared to the original capital plan;
• Keeping Ottawa’s economy moving by creating the equivalent of more than 2,500 jobs over three years;
• Providing an additional $12.1 million to help build and maintain the existing cycling path network;
• Providing over 70 kilometres of on-road bike lanes and paved shoulders to improve active transportation;
• Renewing the main arteries and those routes that are to be used to keep transit moving during LRT construction;
• Resurfacing more than 200 kilometres of paved roads from 2012 to 2014;
• Gravel surfacing along the Ottawa-Carleton Trail from Ashton Station Road to Fitzgerald Road;
• Addressing over 20 kilometres in sidewalk needs through a $4 million sidewalk renewal program where no funding previously existed;
• Providing a stable and predictable funding source that will help keep tenders competitive and costs low.
• Accelerating these works over the next three years will reduce costs, as renewal projects only become more and more costly as they are deferred. It will also allow more rural roads to be resurfaced, and at the same time add over 70 kilometres of bike lanes and paved shoulders.

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