Safety concerns mitigated – Elgin/Pretoria Gets Cycling Improvements

MAINSTREETER STAFF

Cycling infrastructure at the south end of Elgin Street leading onto Pretoria Bridge has been changed with the replacement of the eastbound cycling lane with an off-road link in the little island just east of the TD Bank.

The other significant change is the bike lane constructed along the west side of Elgin Street north of Catherine Street and Isabella Street and along the east side of Elgin Street between Argyle Avenue and Isabella Street.

“The additional facility connects the existing cycling lanes north of Argyle and on Queen Elizabeth Drive, mitigating various previous safety concerns with cyclist/motorist interactions along this stretch,” says Tara Blasioli, the City of Ottawa’s acting director of infrastructure services.

Originally, the City planned to keep the eastbound cycling lane leading to Pretoria Bridge. However Blasioli says the cycling facilities were modified “to give cyclists the option to use a new off-road link between Isabella Street and Pretoria Avenue, a location where traffic volumes can sometimes be high. The new configuration also included the installation of a new speed hump in the right-hand turn lane at this intersection, which will assist in slowing down traffic and improving safety.”

While the new bike lanes on Elgin under the Queensway and beyond are welcomed by most cyclists, the removal of the lane to Pretoria has not been as well received.

“If you are coming south on Elgin or turning on to the street from Isabella, and then continuing on to Pretoria Bridge, a bike lane would be the first choice, the fastest, and the safest,” says OOE cyclist Don Fugler. “Diverting to a shared facility/ multi-use pathway, and then crossing awkwardly at the intersection, will only be the preferred option for those who fear any sort of contact with traffic.”

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