Get riding. TD Place to offer 1,000 secure bike parking spots for fans

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Amy Yee, Metro Ottawa

The countdown to the opening of TD Place at Lansdowne Park continues with fans being encouraged once again to leave their cars at home and take alternative transportation to games.

Bernie Ashe, CEO of Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), announced Sunday that 600 on-site parking spots will be available for cyclists riding into the park. For events with more than 10,000 fans, the park will have 1,000 spots available, partnering up with Wheel-Up to offer supervised and secure bicycle parking. The zone will open two hours prior to an event and close when the last bike is picked up.

The Lansdowne area now has a 20 km/h speed limit and super sharrows are now painted southbound on the bridge. This designates the outside lane for cyclists and requires cars to either follow behind them or pass onto the inside lane

“(Biking) is possible, it’s safe, it’s attractive and for the most part it’s actually the most convenient way, the fastest, simplest way to get here,” said Coun. David Chernushenko.

“Cycling is no longer an afterthought, it is now a consideration in all of our planning and you’ll see that reflected here at Lansdowne.”

À vélo ou en bus à la Place TD

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Julien Paquette, Le Droit

À quelques jours du premier match du Rouge et Noir, la Ville d'Ottawa et l'Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) poursuivent leur offensive pour encourager l'emploi du transport actif et du transport en commun pour se rendre à la Place TD.

Le football canadien sera officiellement de retour dans la capitale le 18 juillet. Malgré les nombreux avertissements, la crainte de voir un embouteillage monstre autour du parc Lansdowne le jour du match demeure importante du côté de la municipalité et du promoteur.

Le conseiller du quartier, David Chernushenko, ne croit pas au désastre, mais croit que plusieurs n'auront pas saisi le message de la Ville à temps. Il entrevoit un bouchon de circulation qu'il interprète comme un «passage obligé».

«C'est un changement de culture important pour certaines personnes. Ç'a longtemps été un automatisme de se rendre en voiture au match. Au mieux, on faisait du covoiturage», affirme M. Chernushenko.

Le conseiller soutient que les automobilistes ne la trouveront pas drôle et continue de les encourager à explorer les alternatives qui s'offrent à eux pour se rendre au stade.

«Si jamais le premier événement est un désastre, je crois que la plupart des gens qui ont décidé de conduire vont changer d'avis. Espérons pour les équipes qu'ils ne décideront pas simplement de ne plus venir à Lansdowne», explique David Chernushenko.

Hoping for cycling 'culture shift' for football games

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City pushing resident to ride bikes

By Megan Gillis, Ottawa Sun

Don't drive to Lansdowne.

Got it yet?

As the city counts down to the first home game for the CFL's RedBlacks, the city and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group have been warning fans to take the bus or use park and ride shuttles — free with a ticket — to avoid traffic snarls, virtually no on-site parking and little on Glebe streets.

Now they're saying ride your bike, with Coun. David Chernushenko leading a cycling convoy to the new stadium Sunday, touting a host of new safety features nearby and demonstrating free, gated bike parking for major events, like the RedBlacks' sold-out home opener before 24,000 fans.

Though OSEG says 750 ticketholders have already told them they'll bike and 1,000 are expected to do so, Chernushenko admitted it may take a bit of a "culture shift" to get football fans to trade tailgating for two wheels and perhaps some annoyance July 18.

"My best guess is there will still be a lot of people trying to drive despite our best efforts and maybe that's a necessary step for us to go through — oh, I shouldn't have done that, next time I'm going to walk, cycle, take the bus," he said, though he hastened to add he thinks planning will avert the outright "traffic chaos" on streets many residents fear will become parking lots.

The avid cyclist pointed to a traffic signals crossing Queen Elizabeth Dr. at Fifth Ave. that are decades in the works but soon complete, reduced speed limits on Bank St. and "super sharrows" on the Bank St. Bridge.

They signal drivers to stay behind cyclists and slow to 20 km/hr or change lanes to pass on the bridge.

But Alex deVries of Citizens for Safe Cycling is skeptical after visiting the bridge and finding cyclists still walking their bikes on the sidewalk, pushed off the bridge where the city has nixed bike lanes.

Meanwhile, the city has quietly distributed maps on how to get to Lansdowne suggesting that the bridge is part of a "walk your bike" zone.

"It's quite contradictory," deVries said.