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Cyclists raise concerns about safety in pathway construction zone along Ottawa River

Along the Ottawa River pathway near Westboro Beach, cyclists are facing a construction zone they claim is both confusing and unsafe.

During this time of year when everyone has to deal with construction, cyclists are encountering a different kind of challenge at Westboro Beach in Ottawa's west end. 

Cyclist Stacey Mulder rides through this construction zone every day.

"I'll be honest, the construction aspects are very difficult to navigate," Mulder said. "Not the most ideal, because you're also dealing with, you know, more traffic and biking on the road."

The major infrastructure rebuild happening around Westboro Beach has resulted in cyclists being pushed dangerously close to oncoming traffic.

Cyclist Andrew Douglas says he’s disappointed there isn’t a better option for cyclists. 

"What offends me the most is that the NCC says that it's green and refuses to close a lane of traffic to allow it to be safe for pedestrians and cyclists."

Andrea English, another cyclist, suggests a possible solution.

"You almost wish they would break this into a one lane, and then give us one of the lanes to go around. But I don't know if that's possible."

Despite the detour provided around Westboro Beach on the eastern side of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway, some cyclists choose to disregard it and take a shortcut through the construction zone.

Cyclists are raising concerns about the construction zone along the Ottawa River Pathway near the Westboro Beach. A detour has been set up on the east side of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway, but some cyclists want the NCC to close a section of the road. (Dave Charbonneau/CTV News Ottawa)

In a statement, the National Capital Commission says they appreciate the patience and understanding of the situation. 

"There is a detour in place through the area, accompanied by comprehensive signage to help direct pathway users. Under the circumstances, it is the safest and most efficient detour," the NCC said.

In response to one cyclist on Twitter, the NCC said detour signage is in place, "but continues to be tampered with."

"Signage is being reinstalled on a daily basis."

However, some cyclists argue that the detour is too lengthy and prefer taking the risk of cutting through a dangerous section of oncoming traffic.

Debby Whately says the area is too confusing. 

"I just came here and I'm trying to figure out how to get to the other part of the bike path, which is on the other side of the road," Whately said.

Cyclist John Norton says bikers just need to be cautious if they chose to ignore the detour.

"It can be dangerous if you make it that way. You can also just watch for cars. It's only 100 yards."

According to the NCC’s website, the pathway closure will remain in effect until the end of the year. Top Stories

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