Ottawa bike politics.
Do you think the City should stick to its plan to build bike lanes on O’Connor? Then you need to write the City right now. I believe we can change their course of cancelling the Glebe parts of the O’Connor bike lanes.
The plan for bike lanes for all of O’Connor goes back to 2008. This has been reinforced several times over the years, including in the April 9th, 2015 O’Connor Bikeway Plan. Just 11 days later: cancelled for all parts of O’Connor in the Glebe.
Here’s the about-face the City gave on April 20th, in email, out of the blue:
Based on comments from stakeholders and the public as part of the current public consultation program for the O’Connor Street Bikeway study, and in consultation with the Ward Councillor, the recommendations for the Glebe portion of the proposed O’Connor Street Bikeway are being revised. South of Strathcona Avenue, the recommended treatment will be for shared use lanes, which means that all existing on-street parking and curbside access between Strathcona Avenue and Fifth Avenue will be unchanged; dedicated bike lanes will no longer be recommended in this section and the existing on-street parking will no longer be relocated to other local streets. The primary reason for this change is in acknowledgement of the low-speed, low-traffic-volume residential nature of this two-way street coupled with the unique need for at least some on-street parking and curbside access.
Parking is usually the biggest blocker of any bike project, and I don’t see how parking can be considered a “unique need”. Moreover, there’s no reduction in parking, it was to be moved: “the on-street parking spaces within the Glebe East Permit Parking Zone would not be reduced”.
Maybe the City has just forgotten the years of support that Citizens for Safe Cycling and many other cyclists have had for this project. They need reminding.
I ask you to email Robert Grimwood, project manager for the Glebe portion of O’Connor bike facilities. His email address is email@example.com. I’ve known Robert for awhile, he likely isn’t the decision maker, but does collect feedback.
Use your own words, but here are some points I’ll be making:
Please take a moment and do this by Thursday, April 30th. There’s a good chance this will influence their report to the Transportation Committee on June 3rd.
In bike advocacy, you can only ask cyclists so often to write in favour of a cause. I’m using one of my silver bullets here. Please go make some noise.
I’m big on references: