Carys Mills, Ottawa Citizen
Conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists have pushed the city to look at whether multi-use pathways should be designed differently.
Collisions and near-accidents on paths were brought up Wednesday, when the city’s transportation committee was updated on Ottawa’s pedestrian plan, which includes 96 projects to be completed by 2031.
“I can see where multi-use pathways serve a purpose and are very efficient, where you might not have the volume of either pedestrians or other wheeled-users for example, to merit dedicated facilities,” said Capital ward Coun. David Chernushenko. “What I’m getting at, is that we are seeing more and more conflict on pathways.”
He asked whether the city is looking to control speeds and behaviour on the paths, citing users of the western Rideau River pathway being “in the throes of this issue.”
“There are those who would love it to be a really efficient route, so a cyclist can go quickly ... there are others who are quite concerned that it might just become a speedway for cycling,” Chernushenko said.
The city is examining other designs, including widening multiuse pathways beyond the regular three metres or creating more separate spaces, said Kornel Mucsi, transportation strategic planning manager. “In terms of the conflict between pedestrians and cyclists, this is something that is kind of a new problem,” he said.
Innes ward Coun. Rainer Bloess gave his own presentation about missing links between sidewalks and pathways.