Here’s a suggested bike route from the Glebe to Centretown, in response to a request from a cyclist in search of a commute route that avoids having to ride along busy Bronson Avenue or Bank Street. This ride begins at the intersection of Holmwood Avenue and Craig Street and ends at the intersection of Bank Street and Somerset Street West.
Head north along Craig St. There’s a short jog left where Craig meets Fifth Ave before the route continues north along Percy Street.
There is often a fair amount of traffic along Percy Street heading through the Glebe, and there are no bike lanes, however stop signs at almost every intersection seem to help keep drivers calm.
A bike lane appears just before Percy continues under the Queensway. It requires easing your way over to the centre of the street. There are traffic lights to help get across the busy three lane speed strip that is Chamberlain Ave.
The bike path continues bi-directionally along Percy under the Queensway, however the northbound bike lane disappears a few blocks later at Flora St.
Turn east on Flora, then continue north along Bay St, which has a bike lane.
This stretch of Bay goes past the Powers House designed by architect Francis Sullivan. Sullivan worked with Frank Lloyd Wright before settling in Ottawa. If the works of Sullivan strike your fancy there’s a tour with visits to this and other buildings he designed within Ottawa that can be found by clicking here.
The trickiest part of this route is encountered at the intersection of Bay & Gladstone where there aren’t any traffic lights to help get across busy Gladstone. You have to wait for a break in traffic.
The next busy street to get across is Somerset a few blocks further north along Bay. UPDATE – June 22, 2016: A cross walk with pedestrian activated lights has just been installed at this intersection that greatly facilitate traversing busy Somerset.
Once across Somerset, continue for a block along Percy, then turn right on to Cooper St. Cooper is a quiet one way street. The next two streets that require crossing are Lyon St and Kent St, both of which are one ways that drivers fly along on their way in or out of Centretown. No cross lights at these intersections but the gaps in traffic tend to be quite generous due to lights being one block away. Being one-ways there is also less traffic to contend with.
Once arrived at Bank Street I recommend walking your bike the final block to Somerset because Bank & Somerset is a pretty crazy intersection with cars and buses squeezing around each other or jumping the lights. You can also lock up to one of these sidewalk bike racks.
OR you can lock up to this fine bike rack in front of the Independent Grocery, also popularly known as Hartman’s.
Heading home, walk another short block along Bank to MacLaren, another quiet one way heading west, and follow it all the way to Percy. Another fine building encountered on this route along MacLaren is the old St Elijah’s Antiochia Orthodox church that was successfully converted into apartments, while maintaining it’s original outer form and aesthetic. It’s at the corner of Lyon and MacLaren right across from Dundonald Park, a.k.a. The Beer Store Park.
Once arrived at Percy St, head southwardly along the bike lane back to the Glebe. Fortunately there are lights at the intersections of Somerset and Gladstone along Percy.