Ottawa, Gatineau traffic updates for Sept. 14 – Ottawa

Good day, commuters!

This should be the last busy day of this beautiful week.

There will be some intermittent tie-ups downtown related to the Big Bike charity event happening 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. Expect those to happen on Kent, Sparks, Wellington and Elgin streets.

Speaking of bikes, I got a long note from Renee, who bikes to work and was happy to hear police were out enforcing bike boxes in Sandy Hill.

“Having started cycling to work for the first time this year, I really appreciate the efforts toward education and enforcement of the rules of the road as they relate to cyclists. I love, love, love cycling to work. I can’t believe I didn’t start cycling to work years ago. It fits with my preferred lifestyle, wanting to be good to the planet, and wanting to stay fit.

“I love it and I plan to stick to it as my main method of transportation on a permanent basis. But I will say that I find it amazing how often cyclists can be put at risk of injury (or worse). Some of my biggest pet peeves are:

  1. Motorists who park in designated bike lanes. I come across this just about every day. They would never think to park in the middle of the road, and yet they think nothing of parking in the middle of the cyclists’ equivalent. I assume it is illegal, and yet I even see City of Ottawa vehicles doing it!
  2. Motorists who sit in the middle of the cycling lane waiting for pedestrians to finish crossing at a crosswalk. I understand that it slows cars down to have to contend with pedestrians and cyclists. I get it. I’ve been on the receiving end of that scenario before as a motorist and it can feel like you’re a third-class citizen. But as a cyclist now, I also understand that it endangers cyclists! I do think that the city could split more car/bicycle green lights (as they’ve done at the intersection of O’Connor and Isabella) to reduce the problem. Turning right on Laurier onto O’Connor seems particularly bad for motorists.
  3. Pedestrians who think it’s OK to use the bike path as an extension to the sidewalk when the latter is slightly congested. This happens a lot on Laurier, particularly on the north side it seems, and particularly at lunchtime I think. It’s also quite common for pedestrians to step into the bike lane when they’re waiting to jaywalk.”

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