Capital region's parkways go vehicle-free on Sundays
Published Sunday, May 20, 2012 3:08PM EDT
From one holiday weekend to another, many of the capital region's parkways will be closed to vehicles on Sundays as Alcatel-Lucent Sunday Bikedays begin.
Three parkways in Ottawa and four stretches of road in Gatineau Park will be open for cyclists, runners and in-line skaters only from now until Labour Day.
"It's a chance to get out and enjoy the scenery, get some exercise and the wonderful thing about Bikedays is there's lots of room for everybody," said inline skater Karen MacGillavray.
"No cars, no traffic, no worries, just freedom," said cyclist Rorry Harding.
Ottawa has 21.5 kilometres affected by these changes: the Ottawa River Parkway, Colonel By Drive and Rockcliffe Parkway are closed from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Gatineau, Champlain and Fortune Lake parkways in Gatineau Park are vehicle-free from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Three-and-a-half kilometres of road north of Meech Lake Road are open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. and are recommended for families with young children.
Those using the traffic-less roads said they're especially happy for the increased safety after three cyclists were hit in less than 45 minutes this week.
"You read in the newspapers these days (about) all the bicycle accidents," said inline skater Lisa MacGillavary. "This is glorious, all you have to do is watch out for the odd speeding bike."
Ottawa's Church of the Ascension gave a blessing to cyclists hurt or killed in collisions with vehicles on Sunday, also blessing bicycles of people in attendance.
"I ride my bike and sometimes I'm a bit nervous," said Diana Partridge. "I feel a little more protected now, having my bicycle blessed."
The NCC has been opening these roadways to cyclists since 1970.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Katie Griffin