Physical Seperation is the Key for Cyclists | Unpublished

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Unpublished Opinions

peter_karwacki's picture
Ottawa, Ontario
About the author

Former candidate for Rideau-Rockcliffe
Professional project manager

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Physical Seperation is the Key for Cyclists

June 14, 2023

Lack of physical Separation is a "systemic" problem

As an avid cyclist I appreciate cycling in Ottawa and Gatineau. Overall our bike routes, bike lanes, bike parking amenities are pretty good. They too often lack physical separation from vehicles.  The lack of separation is a “systemic “problem. Decision makers don’t see or understand the problem and will not spend enough money to alleviate it.

The reason for this is because those who make the funding decisions are not cyclists themselves. We hear: “Pas de problem” as the LRT project sucks up all available capital.

Citizens had the opportunity to select candidate McKenny who advocated a $250 million spend on cycle infrastructure. So cyclists have been left with “a balanced approach” to a mixed bag of unfinished paths and lanes. Existing routes have rough and cracked pavement, inappropriate sewer grates and wheel bending potholes. Worst of all is the general lack of separation from cement trucks, delivery vehicles, road builders and other cyclist killers.

We won’t know the full extent of the problem because stats are incomplete or unavailable and reporting of accidents is non existent. Mostly we have a growing collection of ghost bikes to remind us.   Get ready for even more carnage.  Since 2012 there has been a revolution going on in active transportation brought on by ever improving battery power and storage capacity. More people are going electric. Electric bikes, scooters, unicycles, tricycles, Segways, hoverboards..

In the meantime advise cyclists: 1. Do not hit anything or anyone, 2. Do not get hit and 3. Give pedestrians the right of way at all times.