A new safe crossing for pedestrians and cyclists coming soon to Colonel By Drive and Main Street

By John Dance

A much-desired safe pedestrian crossing of Colonel By Drive at the northern end of Main Street should be a reality this year, Councillor Shawn Menard recently announced.

Described as a “wonderful new design,” by Menard, the new crossing will be a marked improvement over what was originally proposed and much better than what was temporarily in place last year when a Rideau Canal pathway detour necessitated a temporary safe crossing at the busy intersection.

The new design will allow pedestrians and cyclists to safely cross Colonel By Drive from either side of Main Street. The original design had a crossing from just one side of Main Street. This would have required a bi-directional multi-use pathway for pedestrians and cyclists on the southwest side of Main.

Pedestrian-activated traffic-lights, distinctly and separately marked crossings for cyclists and pedestrians, and concrete lane dividers on Colonel By will all make crossing the parkway much safer.

Although the exact timing of the work is not known, it is expected to be completed this year as part of the massive Greenfield Avenue/Main Street/ Hawthorne Avenue reconstruction project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

The revised intersection design includes a cycling lane on each side of Main Street approaching the new signalized intersection.

“The previously proposed multi-use pathway on the south side of Main Street is not compatible with current intersection design standards,” says Bruce Kenny, the City’s Manager, Design and Construction – Municipal.

He also says, “Geometry changes to the intersection of Main Street and Colonel By Drive allow for a northsouth crossing of Main Street.” The earlier design did not have this feature and would have required cyclists and pedestrians to cross Main at Greenfield.

The new safe crossing of Colonel By will be funded by the Canada Infrastructure Program’s COVID-19 Resilience Stream in the amount of $226,000. The Main-Colonel By crossing will be the sixth safe crossing of Colonel By.

Originally, planners didn’t want to impede traffic flow and viewed the crossings as unsafe, but the crossings have made the Canal pathways more accessible.

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