Ottawa's segregated bike lanes will be a first for Ontario
The city's new segregated bike lane on Laurier Avenue will open on July 10, making Ottawa the first city in the province to provide cyclists with a bike lane that uses a median to separate bikes from traffic.
"The focus on this project is to get those people who don't cycle often to cycle more," said Colin Simpson of the City of Ottawa.
The two-year pilot project was the subject of a talk at the Ontario bicycling summit that kicked off in Ottawa on Monday.
It's estimated there are 25,000 bike trips in the capital every day, and cycling advocates say the goal is to get more people on their bikes, especially families and retirees.
"Well, likely the last time they rode a bike for any length of time, there was less traffic; the traffic patterns were different. There seemed to be anyways more respect for cyclists, but that's because there were more of them. There are fewer cyclists on the road today than there were when most of us were young," said Eleanor McMahon, founder of Share the Road.
Although drivers are worried the new bike lanes will reduce parking on Laurier Avenue, the city says there will be 166 parking spots available that weren't offered before during peak periods.
The new bike lanes, though, also mean drivers will no longer be able to turn right on a red light on Laurier Avenue.
The cycling summit in Ottawa wraps up on Tuesday.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Kate Eggins