In search of a safe north-south bike route across Carling, the Queensway and Baseline

This week I learnt that finding a safe route across the three busy east-west arteries of Carling Avenue, the Queensway and Baseline Road, anywhere between Prince of Wales Drive and Pinecrest Road is a tricky endeavour.

My search was spurred on by a request for suggestions on biking from Notre Dame High School in Highland Park over to Parkwood Hills. The blue line on the map below is a route with some rough spots I am comfortable biking through, however the request also needed to accommodate three travellers: one adult, one child passenger, and another child on their own bike. With two kids of my own, I would not recommend this route with bambinos in tow. But, that’s a judgement call, so I’ve included it below, with a description of the tricky spots. It’s identified by the blue line on the map. I’d suggest an adult solo dry run first.

I also tried a much safer route that I would feel comfortable taking my kids, however it’s more circuitous. See red line on map below.

And away we go.

Notre Dame High School on Broadview.
Starting point – Notre Dame High School on Broadview.

There is a crosswalk at Broadview and Carling. One major artery down.

Crossing Carling
Crossing Carling

The area east of Broadview between Carling and the Queensway appears to be zoned as light industrial. The streets I followed through this area (Kerr, Boyd and Dobbie) didn’t have a lot of traffic, but there are trucks and big potholes that go with them. This is the first zone I would hesitate to ride through with my kids.

Things get a little scarier passing under the Queensway along Clyde Avenue as it is a funnel through to another industrial zone on the other side. No designated shoulder and more trucks. The sidewalk might be an option to consider.

Under the Queensway along Clyde
Under the Queensway along Clyde

I then cut through Carlington Park by riding along the stone dust path that goes around the perimeter of the baseball field.

path around Carlington park baseball field
path around Carlington park baseball field

The area east of Calington Park is mostly residential with a few small industries hugging the edge of the park. Edgecliffe Avenue is a gradual climb up to Morisset Avenue. There is a link to the Experimental Farm Pathway halfway down Morisset.

Bike path link along Morisset Avenue
Bike path link along Morisset Avenue

I turned left onto the Experimental Farm Pathway and followed it for a short distance through a wooded area before taking a right along a path link that goes into a residential area called Central Park.

Left turn onto the Experimental Farm Pathway...... then a right turn off of the Experimental Farm Pathway
Left turn onto the Experimental Farm Pathway…… then a right turn off of the Experimental Farm Pathway

There is a bike path that cuts through from Whitestone Drive to Central park Drive, and then through Celebration Park to Central Park drive which loops around. One could also just stay on Central Park Drive. I then turned on to Scout Street and followed it to a path that cuts through to the Supercentre mall parking lot.

Path off Scout St.
Path off Scout St.

This path eventually merges into the mall entrance street that I followed to the traffic lights across Baseline. This is another area I would hesitate riding through with my kids, as drivers tend to be much less predictable in mall parking lots.

Riding along mall entrance towards traffic lights across Baseline
Riding along mall entrance towards traffic lights across Baseline

Immediately across the intersection on the north side of Baseline, there’s a short ‘desire line’ path that links to the Loblaws mall parking lot.

Well trodden desire line path to the Loblaw's parking lot.
Well trodden desire line path to the Loblaw’s parking lot.

I followed a lane that goes behind the Loblaws to avoid having to ride amongst folks frantically parking their cars. This brought me around to the lights at Merivale. Once through the lights there’s a path just a short distance along that turns off to the left.

Entrance to path off of parking lot
Entrance to path off of parking lot

This path took me to Eleanor Drive. I then worked my way up Leaver Ave and Beaver Ridge. The request was from Notre Dame High School to Parkwood Hills, which I’ve taken the liberty to mean Parkwood Hills Public School. At the top of Beaver Ridge just beyond Capilano there’s a dirt path through to the small streets around Huron Towers. I followed this to avoid having to ride along Meadowlands Drive, a busy street that’s always felt dangerous to ride along, especially while it’s presently under construction.

Path off Beaver Ridge towards Huron Towers
Path off Beaver Ridge towards Huron Towers

The path came to the entrance lane to the Huron Towers. I followed it to Meadowlands where there is a cross signal to Tiverton Drive, and our destination, Parkwood Hills School.

parkwood

Et voila!

Author: ottawavelo

bicycler

6 thoughts on “In search of a safe north-south bike route across Carling, the Queensway and Baseline”

  1. Thank you so much… I’ll have to drive it a few times solo to see if it’s doable. It’s pretty much the route I was hoping for.
    There seems to be a dirt path on google maps from McBride to Calwell, did you happen to see it?

    My alternate maybe to head towards Hampton park and go under the Queensway at Island park drive as we are a bit closer to the Fisher and Meadowlands part of Parkwood hills. But then there is Fisher and Baseline intersection to deal with.

    I love reading your routes to places and they have really helped me navigate the city better by bike.

  2. Thanks for the compliment! I’m glad the blog has been useful to you. Let me know if you have any other routes that need figuring out, or if you have friends who might need help figuring one out. A large percentage of commuters don’t commute by bike because they don’t know of a safe route.

    The link between McBride and Caldwell are stairs. I included a photo of them in this post https://ottawavelooutaouais.wordpress.com/?s=Caldwell ,which is ok if you don’t mind carrying bikes up stairs, however these ones are pretty steep and long.

    Fisher and Baseline is indeed an awful intersection. An alternative would be Going along Prince-of-Wales and cutting through the farm, as per this map. Prince-of-Wales has a generous shoulder, although there’s lots of fast traffic with trucks too. Prince-of-Wales & Baseline intersection is busy too. I don’t mind riding along it by myself although I’d hesitate to do so with the kids.

    https://maps.google.ca/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Notre+Dame+High+School,+Ottawa,+ON&daddr=45.3905618,-75.7322469+to:45.3812568,-75.718893+to:45.371404,-75.706947+to:Forest+Park+Ave&geocode=FXZstAId7Qx8-yHQN8RIuBtUpymnyLJvugbOTDHQN8RIuBtUpw%3BFeGatAId6mp8-ykTT0fDIATOTDFnMlt1Tudc-g%3BFYh2tAIdE598-ymtTjk4hwbOTDH4ex1Bi6LvCg%3BFQxQtAIdvc18-ykRx_8rbwbOTDFB1gIXvww6tw%3BFZwxtAIdmbV8-w&aq=0&oq=notre+dame&sll=45.360348,-75.725069&sspn=0.06646,0.072012&vpsrc=6&hl=en&dirflg=b&mra=dpe&mrsp=2&sz=14&via=1,2,3&ie=UTF8&ll=45.372046,-75.716915&spn=0.033344,0.036006&t=m&z=15&lci=bike

  3. Hi Brian! Can I offer a small suggestion to your red route? I live around there. To avoid that awfully bumpy section of bike path from Lawn and Edgeworth, through Lincoln Fields Station, until the transitway overpass, you can ride south on Edgeworth to Carling. There are those yellow bike circles at that intersection (what are they called anyhow?), continue south on Edgeworth until the high school, keep to your left through the high school’s drive and there is a gate in the fence right by the overpass. There’s a splash pad in Whitehaven I ride with the kids and that route is quiet. And, if it’s an issue, that gate with *Just* fit a MEC double trailer.

    Looks like your commuter wants to take the other route though, but thought I’d add that, as I really hate that bumpy section!

    See you on Twitter. 😉

  4. Two days so far of heading up the Edgecliffe Avenue hill… We are tired but boy are we building muscles!

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