'Exceeded expectations': Latest figures show Corktown, Adàwe bridges popular with pedestrians, cyclists

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Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen

More than 185,000 people used the Corktown Footbridge to walk, jog or pedal over the Rideau Canal in a five-week span this spring, making it Ottawa’s most heavily-used pedestrian and cycling bridge.

Between May 10 and June 13, 186,333 people — an average of 5,324 per day — used the decade-old bridge to travel between Somerset Street West in Centretown and the street’s eastern portion in Sandy Hill, according to figures supplied by the city. The numbers don’t distinguish between pedestrians and cyclists.

July, meanwhile, was a record-breaking month for the Adàwe crossing between Somerset Street East in Sandy Hill and Overbrook’s Donald Street. Of the 117,659 people who crossed the bridge between Canada Day and July 31, 60,758 were on bicycles and another 56,901 were on foot.

That’s the highest monthly total recorded since the $9.2-million bridge opened in December 2015.

More than 114,000 people crossed the bridge in June, and on three previous occasions — July, August and September 2016 — monthly totals exceeded 90,000 crossings, according to the city’s figures. Adàwe was the least busy in December 2016, when 21,850 pedestrians and 4,823 cyclists crossed it.

“The high usage of the Adàwe crossing has exceeded my expectations and is a testament to the demand for safe, convenient and pleasant routes for walking and cycling,” said Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. Tobi Nussbaum.

He wants the city to build on the bridge’s success by ensuring infrastructure is in place to link these crossings to a wider grid of dedicated walking and cycling routes.

City puts final touches on pedestrian and cycling crosswalk on Bronson

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The city put down the green thermoplast on the crosswalk this spring to make the bike lane. (Jennifer Beard/CBC)

Krista Johnson was struck by a car and killed while cycling on Bronson Avenue in 2012

CBC News

Five years after a cyclist was killed on Bronson Avenue, the city has put the final touches on a pedestrian and cycling crosswalk on the busy road just north of Sunnyside Avenue.

Twenty-seven-year-old Krista Johnson, an avid runner and city cyclist, was struck by a car and killed on Bronson Avenue in October 2012.

The Carleton University student was cycling home at the time.

While speed was not deemed a factor in the crash, Johnson's death triggered a safety review of that stretch of the road.

According to the councillor for the ward, David Chernushenko, it was determined that section of Bronson was a very confusing and busy area.

And, the lack of a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights there meant people were dashing across in busy traffic.

Green thermoplast marks bike lane

"This crossing addressed a need to be able to cross a very high speed busy road in a safe manner. It's only triggered when the need is there. So, while it does have the traffic calming effect of slowing down traffic by having another intersection, it's not going to be activated if no one wants to cross so you won't have frustrated drivers," said Chernushenko.

The crossing has been in operation for 18 months, but the city recently added signs, and in the spring, put down green thermoplast paint on the road to mark the bike lane.

Chernushenko said the process took five years to reach this final stage due to a number of factors. It took a year to do a traffic safety review and hold public consultations. And then there was a municipal election before the contracting process began.

"The usual, I guess process to do a public infrastructure project of tendering and design, sure it did take longer," said Chernushenko.

Comment on proposed roadway modifications in OOE

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City of Ottawa

Pursuant to By-law No. 2011–122, the City of Ottawa is providing notice to the public of its intention to approve road modifications at the following locations in Old Ottawa East, in accordance with the authority under By-law No. 2011-28:

Greenfield Ave. between Main St. and Lees Ave./King Edward Ave.

  • Cycle tracks on both sides of Greenfield Ave. between Main St. and Lees Ave./King Edward Ave.
  • A reduction in the number of on-street parking spaces on Greenfield Ave. between Main and Concord Sts. to accommodate the proposed cycle tracks
  • Removal of the existing median on the east leg of the Greenfield Ave. and Concord St. intersection

Colonel By Drive from Graham Ave. to Hawthorne Ave.

  • A multi-use pathway on the east side of Colonel By Dr. between Hawthorne Ave. and Graham Ave.

Main St. from Harvey St. to Colonel By Dr.

  • A multi-use pathway on the west side of Main St. between Greenfield Ave. and Colonel By Dr.
  • Cycle tracks on both sides of Main St. between Greenfield Ave. and Harvey St. and on the east side of Main St. between Greenfield Ave. and Echo Dr.
  • A potential pedestrian crossover on the west leg of the Main St. and Colonel By Dr. intersection, subject to funding availability and National Capital Commission approval
  • Minor narrowing of portions of these roadways to accommodate the proposed cycling facilities

Full reconstruction of these roadways is warranted based on the requirement to replace aging sewer and watermain infrastructure. As part of the sewer work, existing combined sewers will be separated. The preliminary and detailed design process will begin this year with the construction year to be determined. Additional public consultation showing the proposed implementation details will be undertaken by the Infrastructure Services, Design and Construction Branch.

If you have any questions or comments about the proposed roadway modifications, please contact Vanessa Black at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 613-580-2424 x12559 no later than Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Here’s why Lansdowne Park is failing Ottawa

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Jake Dicks and Jorell Izaguirre play basketball after a rainy day at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa Friday May 26, 2017.

Jonathan McLeod, Ottawa Sun

Well, it happened again. Lansdowne Park has posted another annual loss.

The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group reported a $14.4-million net loss for the site in 2016.

Granted, things are looking up, and the Grey Cup win hurt the finances a bit, but no excuses or rationalizations can obscure the fact that Lansdowne is not performing as well as we’d hoped.

Yes, officials keep reminding us that it’s better than what was there before, but if that’s the best we can say...

If Lansdowne is to ever be the “urban village” we were promised, we need to identify the problems that exist, so we can find real solutions.

And the main problem is pretty obvious. Lansdowne — despite all intentions — is not a place for people. It doesn’t draw people in and through the site. It doesn’t invite people to linger. It isn’t home to enough different uses to maintain the level of activity — every day, all day — that is necessary for a thriving city district.

Such activity is known as urban diversity. A thriving urban area has enough different uses (residential, commercial, cultural, entertainment) happening all at once to ensure a rich variety of people using the same space consistently — that is, using the same streets and the same blocks at the same time.

By balancing the types of users at Lansdowne Park, there would be a more consistent flow of customers for businesses, and people for the public amenities.

Of course, to get more people moving through Lansdowne, the layout needs to be inviting to pedestrians, guiding them through the site, and encouraging them to take part in different activities.

But Lansdowne, as it is right now, is not built for people. The pedestrian-friendly areas are turned over to driving. The sidewalks are pinched by patios and parking. The bulk of the public spaces have no shade and nowhere comfortable to sit and chat.

This is due, in part to Lansdowne lacking residents. You may stand on Bank Street, look at the two towers and think of all the people who live at Lansdowne, but they don’t live in Lansdowne.

They live on Bank Street. They live on Holmwood. They never have to enter the park; they never have to walk its streets; and, thus, that key component for creating a diverse, people-friendly space — residents — is missing.

With a lack of residents and a half-empty office building, Lansdowne is relegated to having only one primary use, leisure. We talk about a live-work-play balance, but Lansdowne is all play: festivals, bars, restaurants, sporting events.

Areas with only one primary use grow stagnant, failing to live up to their potential, as noted by author, activist and professor Jane Jacobs.

This is predominantly by design. The city and OSEG are focused on bringing events to Lansdowne. They trumpet the fact that we had 177 special events at the park.

Yes, Lansdowne draws millions of visits, but too many of them are for a single purpose ...often a paid, private event that erects barriers to keep their guests out of the rest of the park.

Lansdowne needs more people conducting routine, mundane daily life stuff. It can thrive with fewer visitors if it gets better balance.

Forget about an urban village. Right now, Lansdowne is an urban amusement park, a wax museum where the elements of a vibrant city can be seen but can’t come to life.

If we want that urban life, we need to prioritize people. We need fewer cars. We need more seating, with tables and chairs. We need umbrellas and canopies to address the dearth of shade.

We need events like the farmers’ market; events that are integrated into the park, encouraging people to mingle, encouraging city life to naturally appear.

Or we can keep prioritizing cars, parking and paid events. And we can keep wondering why the best we can ever say is that it’s better than what was there before.