Bike Ramp Tour

All the excitement surrounding the new bike ramp at Hartwell Locks inspired me to come up with this tour of ramps I know of in the area. Felt like a giant version of Snakes and Ladders!

First, the new ramp itself at Hartwell Locks. Mmmmm, very nice!

Ramp at Hartwell Locks
Ramp at Hartwell Locks

The curbs have yet to be ground down at the intersection of the O-Train Path and Beech St, so someone poured these mini-concrete ramps to compensate. Much obliged. UPDATE 2017: The city has made this crossing level to the road.

Concrete Ramp at Louisa
Concrete Ramp at Beech

A bit further along, where Louisa joins the O-Train Path, the city has installed this fabulous ramp.

Ramp at Louisa
Ramp at Louisa

To get up the stairs to Somerset St W from the O-Train Path path this steep ramp is there to help. What’s great about the black and yellow cross-hatched road decal isn’t so much it’s visual punch, but how it has a grit impregnated into it’s surface making for a much more controllable push up this particularly steep incline.

Ramp at Somerset
Ramp at Somerset

Should you wish to continue north there’s this mini-set of stairs and ramp to access Breezehill Ave on the north side of Somerset.

Ramp at Breezehill
Ramp at Breezehill

After circling along the Ottawa River Pathway behind the War Museum you can avoid the steep and nasty climb up Nanny Goat Hill along Bronson by heading a bit West and pushing your bike up this fabulous series of ramp joining the two sections of Empress Ave. You would be amazed the number of bike rides this mother of all Ottawa bike ramps has saved with tired kids in tow.

Ramp at Empress
Ramp at Empress

So, bravo for city of Ottawa for coming through on these ramp initiatives, any others I have yet to discover, and many more to come (fingers crossed).

p.s. Here’s a very interesting post by Hans on the merits of ramps, written a bit before the Hartwell Locks were installed.

Author: ottawavelo


15 thoughts on “Bike Ramp Tour”

  1. Also along the canal at the NAC, just south of the Plaza Bridge (a very short one). I can only assume there are more, but I can’t for the life of me think of where any might be.

  2. Hmm. I’m not so sure. Great concept but how functional? I assume the intent is to walk you bike and not ride, but I can imagine many will attempt to stay seated and potentially take some pretty hard falls. I’m kind f surprised the city doesn’t consider these ramps an insurance lability.
    But I do commend them for their efforts to accommodate.

  3. BTW I’m not trying to slag with my previous comment, so let me add two more affirming things.
    1. I can only wish that Hamilton would be thoughtful enough to consider some sort of similar innovation.
    2. I enjoy your “tour” posts when you go about collecting pics of things you have seen.

    1. The ramps are the kind of solution that improves access to so many different bikers, increasing the number of bikers, and, through strength in numbers, making it safer for all of us. So yeah ramps!
      I’m glad you are enjoying the ‘tour’ posts. I’m cooking up a few others so stay tuned….

  4. The ramp at Empress is okay. But the ramp at Breezehill is an improvement because it is wider and has a grippy texture.
    Pretty sure that the ramp at Louisa is homemade…

      1. Oops! That was my fault. I wrote Beech in the body text but Louisa in the caption under the photo of the mini-concrete curb. Since fixed. Thanks.

  5. Also, what is better about the Breezehill ramp is that it is away from the handrail. On the Empress ramp, the bike pedals hit the posts on the hand rail.
    I wonder why the Somerset ramp is on the opposite side of the stairs than all the others?

  6. re – Breezehill compared to Empress ramp. True – maybe the one on Empress was a dry run before the city perfected their ramp technique. Regardless it is still a huge asset.
    re – The path to Somerset ramp. Hmmm…. that’s true, why is it on the opposite side compared to the others? Life’s subtle wonders….

    1. I’m not familiar with the one on Breezehill, but I’m pretty sure Empress was first (a search of CfSC’s discussion list archives would confirm), when the stairs were replaced ~2005. Primrose stairs are still without.

      I suspect the Somerset stairs’ ramp is on that side because it’s opposite the pathway and out of the way of the majority of stair users who aren’t pushing bikes (who presumably would favour the pathway-side of the stairs).

      1. Yes, a ramp down the Primrose stairs would be great. I regularly carry mine and my son’s bike down that flight of stairs on the way to Devonshire, which is OK, but I worry about those who find it too inconvenient or difficult. The ramps encourage those folk to ride. Strength in numbers. It’s becoming my mantra.

  7. The signage at the Corner of Albert has increased bike traffic up those stairs by a whole bunch. I used to see 5 or 6 people a month use those stairs with their bikes, now I see 5 or 6 people a day! Even more during events like bluesfest.

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