AIDS memorial could go up in front of Ottawa City Hall

on .

Coun. David Chernushenko introduced a notice of motion to seek city support to have the memorial placed in Marion Dewar Plaza in front of City Hall.

By Ryan Tumilty, Metro

A new memorial could be in place outside city hall next year to mark both those who have died from AIDS and the dark history of the disease.

After celebrating their 30th anniversary last year, the AIDS committee of Ottawa is hoping to install a new memorial for those who have died.

“We have recognized that Ottawa is one of the bigger cities in Canada that doesn’t have an official AIDS memorial,” said Khaled Salam, the group’s executive director.

On Wednesday, city Coun. David Chernushenko introduced a notice of motion to seek city support to have the memorial placed in Marion Dewar Plaza in front of City Hall.

A message to Good Samaritans on O'Connor

on .

The following is directed to those who stopped to help the cyclist who was hit by a driver on the O'Connor Bikeaway this week. Both the cyclist and his wife wish to remain anonymous. If you are the owner of the orange jacket, or if you know who is, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 613-580-2487 so that we can arrange its return.

To all those who came to the aid of the O'Connor cyclist on Tuesday late afternoon:

We'd like to thank you for your amazing kindness and generosity to a stranger who needed help. We were both very touched by it all and extremely grateful.

I suppose we are not really strangers, as I feel a certain camaraderie with other cyclists, knowing the potential dangers that can exist on even a daily commute.  We all have to look out for each other — pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. This is our community.

My husband is at home recovering, still in quite a bit of pain, but things should improve every day.  Cycling season is over for this year.  :-)

We would also like to track down the owner of the orange jacket pictured below so that we can return it. 

The good vibes we got from this situation will go towards the healing process, I believe that.

Our sincere thank you to everyone once again.

Jacket

Cyclist hit on same day O'Connor bike lane opens

on .

Mayor says there's still a learning curve for drivers and cyclists

Michelle Nash Baker, Ottawa Community News

The excitement surrounding the opening of a new two-way bike route in Ottawa’s downtown core was short-lived when only hours after city officials celebrated, a cyclist was hit by a vehicle.

Ottawa police responded to the call of a cyclist being hit at the corner of O’Connor and Waverly Streets on Oct. 25 at 5:23 p.m.

One male cyclist was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the car, who was making a left onto Waverley, was charged with failure to yield.

The O’Connor Street Bikeway consists of a combination of protected two-way bike lanes, painted bike lanes, and shared-use lanes connecting the Laurier Avenue Bikeway with Fifth Avenue, near Lansdowne Park. It is part of the Cross-Town Bikeway Network, a system of seven bicycle routes designed to provide a safer, continuous path for cyclists across the city.

The collision took place exactly four hours after city officials, including Mayor Jim Watson, Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney and Capital Ward Councillor David Chernushenko, celebrated the new bike route.

“Over the past decade, we have expanded our cycling infrastructure network to meet the growing number of cyclists in Ottawa, and to encourage that number to continue to grow,” Watson said at the opening. “The city of Ottawa is committed to being a cycling-friendly city, and with so many cyclists on the roads, everyone needs to be more dedicated than ever to safety.”

McKenney called the new lanes a great example of safe transit option in the city.

Chernushenko called the lanes a way to get the bike "wannabes" out on the road.

Staff blitz O'Connor bikeway users after opening-day collision

on .

Cyclists have been using the new O'Connor bikeway since last Thursday, but it officially opened Tuesday afternoon, just hours before a cyclist was struck by a car. EMMA JACKSON/METRO

Councillors and staff insist the O'Connor Bikeway is still safer than riding on O'Connor without bike infrastructure.

Emma Jackson, Metro

The O’Connor bikeway is still safer than no bike lanes at all, councillors and city staff insist after a cyclist was hit on the brand-new segregated lane Tuesday evening.

Ottawa police were called to O’Connor and Waverley streets around 5:20 p.m., where a 44-year-old cyclist had non-life threatening injuries.

A 71-year-old woman was charged with failure to yield to traffic.

Timing couldn’t have been worse, as politicians and cycling advocates had officially opened the new bi-directional bikeway with great fanfare just two hours before.

But Capital ward Coun. David Chernushenko said he believes the bikeway is still “much better than what we’ve had before.”

O’Connor is a one-way southbound street, so drivers are not used to checking both ways before they turn, he said. Cyclists and drivers just need time to learn how the new infrastructure works.

To that end, staff installed temporary digital signs reminding drivers to watch for cyclists when turning almost immediately after the collision.

“There are yield signs right there, but this is an added signage,” said Vivi Chi, manager of transportation planning at the city. “We felt we had to make it really visible for drivers.”

The signs will likely remain on site for another week, Chi said, and ambassadors from Citizens for Safe Cycling, EnviroCentre and police are out in full force to make sure drivers and cyclists understand the system.

Chernushenko said he wants staff to also consider more permanent tweaks to make it crystal clear cyclists are going both directions.
“I am sure there is something we can do to make that clearer to people,” he said.

Chi said her team is monitoring the bikeway and has the power to install more signs, road markings or other tweaks as necessary.