A project to design the Manotick Multi-Use Pathway between Manotick Main Street and River Road has been including as one of the Public Transit Infrastructure projects approved by the Federal Government for funding. Of the project’s $1.2 million cost, $600,000 will be paid for by the Federal Government. This project is to commence this year (2016) and be substantially completed by March 31, 2018. The project includes developing designs to modify our two bridges and the connection between them, to provide a protected area for cyclists and pedestrians.
As an interim measure, the City of Ottawa included designated cycling lanes on Bridge Street when it repaved the road this summer. While the east bridge is wide enough to accommodate separate cycling lanes, other places are not and the cycling lanes end abruptly, e.g. at Dickinson Street. At those points, cyclists have to merge with regular traffic and drivers are required to yield to and follow cyclists in single file without passing. The City has erected special signs to this effect at the merge locations. I would ask all drivers to be patient and to give cyclists the lane at the merge. It will only delay you a few seconds, and those few seconds that can avoid a serious injury or spare a life.
As a reminder, a new provincial safety law regarding cyclists came into effect recently. Drivers on all roads in Ontario are required to give cyclists 1 metre of space when passing them. Passing a cyclist with insufficient clearance is illegal because it is dangerous. The road segments on Bridge Street where the cycling and traffic lanes merge do not provide sufficient clearance so they are effectively No-Passing zones and infractions can result in fines and demerit points. These penalties are doubled in Community Safety Zones where adherence to the No-Passing rule is especially important to protect our children, who are heading back to school soon.
For more information see http://www.ottawapolice.ca/en/safety-and-crime-prevention/Share-the-Road.asp .