NCC offering more options on Gatineau Park parkways this spring and summer
A sign advises people to practice physical distancing as they enter Gatineau Park in Chelsea, Que., on Sunday, May 24, 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Free four-wheeled electric scooter rentals and a weekend shuttle service are some of the ways the National Capital Commission hopes to bring people to Gatineau Park this spring and summer.
The NCC released its summer schedule for Gatineau Park on Wednesday. From May 7 to Sept. 23, parkways in Gatineau Park will be reserved for active transportation, like walking, cycling and rollerblading, every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Active users will have reserved access to the parkways until 1 p.m. every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday as well, but will have to share the road with private vehicles after 1 p.m. Wednesday and will not be permitted on weekend after 1 p.m. because of vehicle traffic.
The section of the Gatineau Parkway between parking lots P8 and P9 (North Loop) is always reserved for active use.
Cars and motorcycles will have access to parkways from 1 p.m. until 30 minutes after sunset every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturdays and Sundays during the summer, the NCC will offer a free shuttle service to the parkways sector. The shuttle will leave from downtown Ottawa–Gatineau and the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre, and will stop at all popular locations along the parkways. The service will be free this year, and the shuttle will be accessible to people with reduced mobility.
FREE ASSISTED MOBILITY DEVICES
In order to help provide residents with mobility issues more equitable access to the parkways, the NCC says, in partnership with Relais plein air, it will be offering free rentals of four-wheeled electric scooters. The rentals are free so as not to create financial barriers for people with disabilities. Electric-assisted bicycles will also be available for rent from Relais plein air and a second location in Chelsea to be determined.
The NCC has yet to announce any plans with regard to certain roadways in Ottawa, such as the Queen Elizabeth Driveway, which had been closed to vehicular traffic throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to offer options for active transportation in the downtown core. A spokesperson said the NCC's summer programming should be announced the coming weeks.