Bike commute from Aviation Parkway & Montreal Road to Downtown – Option 2

In the Spring of 2014 I posted a bike commute route from the intersection of Aviation Parkway & Montreal Road to downtown which you can check out by clicking here.

This summer two new lengths of bike lanes along busy roads have been introduced that allow for a less circuitous route. The first set of new lanes are along St Laurent Boulevard, linking previously existing bike lanes that run along Montreal Road and Hemlock Road, which turns into Beechwood Avenue.

UPDATE 2018 : Bike lanes have been added to the full length of Beechwood, indentified by the purple line on the map, which allows for a slightly less circuitous route than the one described below.

The second set of new lanes encountered on this outing are along Sussex Drive that complete an important bike link from downtown to the Ottawa River Pathway.

I tried out the route one morning last week during commute hour. Here’s how it went.

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There are bike lanes along Montreal Road that end at St Laurent Boulevard heading west.

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Bike lane along Montreal Road

I turned north on St Laurent and rode down the freshly painted bike lanes.

Bike lane along St Laurent Boulevard
Bike lane along St Laurent Boulevard

Here’s a clip of my ride along the new bike lane along St Laurent heading north.

I turned left onto Hemlock Road and followed the bike lane to where it ends at Putman Avenue.

Bike lane along Hemlock
Bike lane along Hemlock

Headed west along Putnam then left down Vaughan Street, both quiet residential streets through New Edinburgh.

Riding through New Edinburgh
Riding through New Edinburgh

Vaughan ends at Crichton Street. A short jog west along Crichton took me to a gravel path that links to the Rideau River Eastern Pathway.

Gravel path off Crichton that leads to.....the Rideau River Pathway
Gravel path off Crichton that leads to…..the Rideau River Eastern Pathway

This brings you to the bike lanes along Sussex Avenue. Turn left onto Sussex towards downtown.

Bike lane along Sussex
Bike lane along Sussex

I then turned in to the parking lane of the National Gallery and cut across the plaza where one can admire Louise Bourgeois’ sculpture Maman.

Maman
Maman

Here’s another clip, this time of the new section of bike lane along Sussex heading in to town.

I then crossed at the signalized pedestrian crosswalk over to the bike lanes that run along Majors Hill Park. Before crossing the Alexandra Bridge (which would be a fine thing to do if your commute was to Gatineau) I turned left onto the road that goes down to where the Rideau Canal meets the Ottawa River and walked my bike over the second set of locks. From there one can follow the Ottawa River Pathway to points further west along the river, or bike up along the canal towards the NAC and the rest of downtown.

Et voila!

Rideau Canal locks
Rideau Canal locks

Biking to the Ottawa International Airport from Downtown

There are a number of bike routes one may follow to get to the Ottawa International Airport from downtown.
Here’s my favourite.

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Starting off from the corner of Laurier Avenue and Percy I headed south along the Percy Street bike lane. Percy and Laurier is an intersection that’s easily accessible from many points within the business core via the Laurier Bike Lane that slices through downtown.

 Bike lane along Percy
Bike lane along Percy

Percy continues on the opposite side of the tunnel under the Queensway sans bike lane.

Riding along Percy south of the Queensway
Percy south of the Queensway

I turned right on Fifth Avenue and crossed Bronson Avenue at the traffic lit intersection.

Traffic lights at Fifth Avenue heading across Bronson
Traffic lights at Fifth & Bronson

Once across Bronson I continued down Madawask Drive, then onto the pathway that cuts through Commissioners Park.

Access to path through Commissioners Park from Madawaska Drive
Lovely path through Commissioners Park. Always lots of flowers.

This path took me to the intersection of Preston Street and Prince of Wales Drive.

Path through Commissioners Park as it approaches Prince of Wales and Preston
Approaching Prince of Wales and Preston

I crossed at the lights and accessed the bike path that runs through the Arboretum along the edge of Dow’s Lake and the Rideau Canal.

Path through the Arboretum along the Rideau Canal
Ahhh…where are we going again? Oh yes, the airport.

I pushed my bike over the canal locks opposite Carleton University and continued west along the Rideau Canal Pathway as far as Mooney’s Bay.

Up & over the locks
Up & over the locks

The path continues over the Rideau River along Hogs Back Road.

Once over the Hogs Back Falls bridge take the path to the right that goes through Mooneys Bay park
Once over the Hogs Back Falls bridge take the path to the right that goes through Mooney’s Bay park

On the other side of Mooney’s Bay Park the path continues along Riverside Drive for a short distance. Riverside Drive is a very busy street with lots of speeding traffic. For much of its length there are paved raised shoulders between the sidewalk and the street, however these are mostly lacking along the stretch between Walkley Road and Quesnel Drive.

I see lots of cyclists at this intersection whenever I ride through this area. Most stick to the sidewalks because they have little choice, considering the crazy traffic and lack of shoulder space to ride along. This stretch of Riverside is screaming for bike infrastructure.

To avoid this nasty section I rode a short distance along the dirt path beside the sidewalk and crossed Riverside to the parking lot of the Anglican Church.

Crossed to the church parking lot, just beyond the cyclist riding on the sidewalk.
Crossed to the church parking lot, just beyond the cyclist riding on the sidewalk.
Entrance to church parking lot off Riverside
Entrance to church parking lot off Riverside

I rode through to the opposite side of the church parking lot to the short path that cuts through to Otterson Drive.

Short path from the church parking lot through to Otterson Drive
Church parking lot, to path, to Otterson Drive

I rode south along Otterson, then down the short path that links to Quesnel Drive. I then got back on Riverside Drive and continued south along the previously mentioned raised paved shoulders. They extend from Quesnel to Uplands Drive, apart from a few spots where Riverside intersects streets and bus stops.

Paved shoulder along Riverside Drive
Paved shoulder along Riverside Drive

Then I turned left on Uplands Drive for a short distance before continuing south along Bowesville Road.

Mid way down Bowesville there’s a NO THROUGH TRAFFIC sign, and a smaller green one below it that asks pedestrians and cyclists passing through to remain on the road. That’s because it cuts through the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club. There’s a steel gate a bit beyond the signs, however there’s space to ride by just to the right.

Signs midway down Bowesville, and gate a bit further on.
Signs midway down Bowesville, and gate a bit further on.

Once beyond the golf club property I crossed Hunt Club Road at the lights and continued south along Paul Benoit Driveway. This is a very pleasant road to ride down. Traffic wasn’t too speedy, the posted limit being 50km/h. There is also a paved path that runs along the west side of the road.

Paul Benoit Driveway
Paul Benoit Driveway

To get to the terminal I turned right where Paul Benoit Driveway ends at the airport, straight through the employee parking, then left at the end of the parking lot, which became a lane that airport employees use to walk back and forth to their cars. This lane leads right to the arrivals doors in front of the terminal.

Right @ end of PB Driveway...straight through parking...left @ end of parking...down lane to arrivals.
Turned right @ end of PB Driveway…straight through parking…left @ end of parking…down lane to arrivals.

The following concrete pillars located just outside the entrance to the airport at the arrivals doors have bike racks placed up against them.

Bike racks
Bike racks

Bonus – if conditions aren’t right for riding back in to town, there’s the OC Transpo 97 with Rack&Roll you can catch beside the last concrete column at the arrivals entrance.

Rack&Roll'ing on the 97
Rack&Roll’ing on the 97

I retraced my treads on my ride back, except for the last stretch north of the Queensway where the bike lane is along Bayswater versus Percy, as indicated by the purple line on the above map.

UPDATE – summer 2019: For a route heading from the airport to the downtown Byward Market click here.

Et voila!

Ride down Leitrim Road in memory of Andy Nevin

While cycling along Leitrim Road on the morning of Sunday June 28th, Andy Nevin was struck and killed by someone driving a white pick-up truck. The driver fled the scene of the collision and has yet to be apprehended. Andy was a father of two young boys. He was on his way to fix up a house his family were moving into just down the road from their previous home. Update – July 8 – 39 year old man arrested in hit & run death of Andy Nevin.

This past Sunday morning Patrick and I rode along Leitrim Road in an attempt to try to come to terms with this senselessness tragedy. For many there is an overwhelming feeling of apprehension that follow such horrible events. I know people who have given up riding after a friend or loved one was killed or injured while cycling, even though it remains one of the healthiest ways to get around. But when something like this occurs, facts and stats often seem meaningless.

This ride is in memory of Andy Nevin who should never have lost his life on that early Sunday morning.

Blue line is the route we followed to get there. Red is the stretch we rode along Leitrim Road. Purple line is how we got back.

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We joined Leitrim where it crosses Bowesville Road on the south side of the airport and headed east as far as Albion Road.

Leitrim & Bowesville
Leitrim & Bowesville

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Here’s our ride down Leitrim

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Most cars passed us at speeds well above the posted limits. Drivers seem to have a propensity to speed along popular commuter routes such as Leitrim. In such cases relying on signs alone to get drivers to maintain safe speeds is not effective. As Leitrim is a popular commuter route for drivers, so should it be made safe enough for who wish to do so by bike. Leitrim is also the only way to access the northern trailhead of the Osgoode Multi-Use Pathway.

Bike Commute from Woodroffe & Carling to Kanata where Herzberg Road turns into Terry Fox Drive

Laura was asking about a bike commute route from the intersection of Woodroffe and Carling Avenues to approximately where Herzberg Road becomes Terry Fox Drive in Kanata. Here’s the route I tested.

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Carling & Woodroffe is a busy extended traffic intersection – not the most pleasant place to hang out on a bicycle, so I cut through the parking lot to the north to get to Woodland Ave.

And away we go! Arrow points across parking lot towards Woodland Ave
And away we go! Arrow points across parking lot towards Woodland Ave

I then zig-zagged my way along quiet residential streets to the northern end of Edgeworth Avenue. There I crossed at the traffic lights to the north side of Richmond. Richmond is usually busy however there are bike lanes that run alongside where it goes up and over the SJAM Parkway.

Taking the bike lane along Richmond Road
Taking the bike lane along Richmond Road

I then turned north off Richmond onto Regina Lane.

Turn onto Regina Lane
Turn onto Regina Lane

Regina Lane is one way so the return trip would require crossing Richmond a block further west at the lights at Assaly Street, as suggested by the green line on the above map.

I then wove my way north-westerly along residential streets to a path just off Lincoln Heights Road that leads to the Ottawa River Pathway.

Path off Lincoln Heights Road
Path off Lincoln Heights Road

I followed the Ottawa River Pathway west all the way to the cross lights at Carling.

Crosswalk at Carling from Ottawa River Pathway to the start of Watts Creek Pathway
Crosswalk at Carling and the Ottawa River Pathway

On the opposite side of Carling the path becomes Watts Creek Pathway. There is another signalized crosswalk where the path meets Holly Acres Road.

Crosswalk at Watts Creek Pathway and Holly Acres Road
Crosswalk at Watts Creek Pathway and Holly Acres Road

On the other side of Holly Acres I rode along Aero Drive for a hundred yards or so before continuing on Watts Creek pathway.

Watts Creek Pathway continuing a short distance along Aero Drive
Watts Creek Pathway continuing a short distance along Aero Drive

Watts Creek Pathway rolls along very nicely through wooded area at times within sight of the Queensway.

Watts Creek Pathway in a wooded spot
Watts Creek Pathway in a wooded spot

Once arrived at Corkstown Road the path continues as a packed gravel path on the opposite side of the street for a short distance as far as Moodie Drive. Many choose to ride along Corkstown Road, but it doesn’t have a shoulder and many cars like to speed along this street, so if it isn’t raining or too mucky I take to the path. UPDATE 2017: A great new paved path has been created replacing the packed gravel path! So, no need to bike along Corkstown Road.

Watts Creek Pathway at Corkstown Road with view of the gravel path across the street
Watts Creek Pathway at Corkstown Road with view of the gravel path across the street

Across Moodie Drive, Watts Creek Pathway continues a short distance along Corkstown Road.

View across Moodie towards continuation of Watts Creek Pathway a short distance along Corkstown Road
View across Moodie towards continuation of Watts Creek Pathway a short distance along Corkstown Road

I continued along the path under the train tracks versus taking the split towards Carling.

Path followed under train tracks
Path followed under train tracks

A bit further on I took the exit off the path at the sign indicating Burke Road.

Exit towards Burke Road
Exit towards Burke Road

There’s a short section of packed gravel path on the way to to Burke Road.

Short section of gravel path on the way to Burke Road
Short section of gravel path on the way to Burke Road

Burke Road is very short before connecting to Carling Avenue.

There’s a mostly packed gravel & dirt path across Carling from Burke Road. It can get muddy if it’s raining but otherwise, it’s lots of fun to ride along through a forested area and past a golf course.

Start of path on north side of Carling opposite Burke Road
Start of path on north side of Carling opposite Burke Road

At one point there’s an unmarked left turn onto a narrow path. I missed it the first time round, which wasn’t a big deal because the path reaches Herzberg Road just a bit further on, which you can take back to Terry Fox Drive, as suggested by the pink line on the above map.

Short path link towards Terry Fox Drive
Short path link towards Terry Fox Drive

I prefer the short narrow path because it goes by this great old abandoned barn before arriving at where Herzberg Road becomes Terry Fox Drive.

Old barn
Old barn

Once arrived at Terry Fox Drive there’s a bike lane I followed the rest of the way to our final destination.

Bike lane along Terry Fox Drive
Bike lane along Terry Fox Drive

On the way back, rather than take the gravel path, I followed the bike lane along Terry Fox Drive/Hertzberg Road, then along Carling back to Burke Road, as indicated by the purple line on the above map.

If I’m riding at a time when there isn’t much traffic I may choose to continue along the Carling bike lane beyond the Burke Road turn, however where Carling passes under the train tracks the bike lanes disappear, like so. It’s location is indicated by the green drop pin on the above map.

The Carling SQUEEZE!!!
The Carling Avenue SQUEEZE!!!

Carling has a lot of speeding traffic, so I usually get back on Burke Road to avoid this tight spot.

Et voila!

bridge

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Bike Link From the Voyageurs Pathway to the Lac-des-Fées Pathway

The Lac-des-Fées Parkway runs along the eastern edge of Gatineau Park. A multi-use pathway runs parallel to it, then curls in to the park at Rue Gamelin, eventually meeting up with the Gatineau Park Pathway. It’a a good commuter route for those living adjacent to the park, as well as a slightly less arduous access to the park than the Gatineau Park Pathway, albeit not as scenic. The tricky part is how to access The Lac-des-Fées Pathway from the south, more specifically the Voyageurs Pathway that runs along the mighty Ottawa River. Here’s how.

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Riding along the Voyageurs Pathway heading west there’s a sign indicating Rue Millar.

Link off Voyageurs Pathway to Rue Millar
Link off Voyageurs Pathway to Rue Millar

Right across Rue Millar there’s a path through cozy little Parc Baker.

Path through Parc Baker (photo doesn't show it, but there's a bike rack & picnic table nestled in there)
Path through Parc Baker (photo doesn’t show it, but there’s a bike rack & picnic table nestled in there)

The path through Parc Baker brings you to Boulevard Alexandre-Taché, one of the worst roads to ride along in the entire Outaouais. Fortunately Alexandre-Taché needn’t be followed for very long, and there’s a sidewalk to follow that goes over the train tracks.

Boulevard Alexandre-Taché
Boulevard Alexandre-Taché

Just beyond the tracks there’s a desire line path that crosses in front of the Salaberry Armory.

Desire line path from Alexandre-Taché intront of the armoury heading towards Boulevard St-Joseph
Desire line path from Alexandre-Taché infront of the armoury heading towards Boulevard St-Joseph

This leads to Boulevard St-Joseph, another less than spectacular riding experience, with many-a-pothole and cross town traffic, but far less insane than Alexandre-Taché. It also requires following for just a short stint before arriving at the FIP sign pointing to Promenade du Lac-des-Fées along quiet residential Rue Duquesne.

Riding along Boulevard St Joseph just before turing on to Rue Duquesne
Riding along Boulevard St Joseph just before turing on to Rue Duquesne

Then, hop! – you’re onto the Lac-des-Fées Pathway.

Southern start of the Lac-des-Fées Pathway
Southern start of the Lac-des-Fées Pathway

On the way back things get a little convoluted as Rue Duquesne is a one way heading west. This requires weaving one block south to Rue Graham, as indicated by the purple line on the above map, and the photo below.

Dipsy-do to get to Rue Graham heading back
Dipsy-do to get to Rue Graham heading back

Et voila!

Ottawa bike route from the Glebe to Pineview

Here’s a bike commute route from the Glebe to Pineview or, more specifically, from the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Bank Street, to Innes and Blair Road. Pineview is one of the trickiest areas of Ottawa to access by bike from points west and north. That’s because Highway 417 divides it from the western part of the city, while the Queensway separates it from the north.

Blue line on the following map traces the route I followed to get from the Glebe to Pineview, purple line is an alternate route I rode on the way back, and green line is a section I followed on the return trip.

UPDATE– 2017: The transitway bridge over the Rideau River is closed off while the new transitway is being constructed. The orange line is a detour I would take to where one can cross the river.

Start : Bank St & 4th Ave. in The Glebe
Start : Bank St & 4th Ave. in The Glebe

And off we go! To begin I headed straight down Fourth Avenue towards the Rideau Canal and turned south on O’Connor to access the bike lane that runs along Fifth Avenue to the signalized intersection across busy Queen Elizabeth Drive.

5th ave bike lane east of O'Connor on the way to the lights across Queen Elizabeth Dr
5th ave bike lane east of O’Connor on the way to the lights across Queen Elizabeth Dr

Rode north along the Rideau Canal path and crossed at Pretoria Bridge, which has a bike lane.

Up and over Pretoria Bridge
Up and over Pretoria Bridge

That took me to the intersection of Hawthorne Avenue and Colonel By, on the east side of the bridge. Things get a little tricky at this spot. If traffic is heavy, as it tends to be at rush hour, I cross to the opposite corner and walk my bike for a short distance along the sidewalk to where it veers left along Echo Drive, like so.

Making your way over to Echo Drive
Making your way over to Echo Drive

On this occasion, as traffic wasn’t too bad, I chose to ride south along Colonel By Drive the short distance from the intersection to the meridian just before Echo Drive where there is a reserved bike exit lane.

Bike turn lane from Colonel By Drive to Echo Drive just south of Pretoria Bridge
Bike turn lane from Colonel By Drive to Echo Drive just south of Pretoria Bridge

I then turned onto the first street heading east which is Graham Avenue. It has a bike lane.

Graham Ave
Graham Ave

Graham ends at Main Street. The route jogs a bit to the right before continuing as Lees Avenue across the intersection.

End of east bound bike lane along Graham, looking across Main St to Lees Ave
End of east bound bike lane along Graham, looking across Main St to Lees Ave

There is a bike lane along Lees heading east, but it doesn’t start for a hundred yards or so beyond the lights at Main.

Lees Avenue bike lane
Lees Avenue bike lane

The Lees bike lane abruptly ends at Chestnut Street. Drivers always speed along Lees Avenue so I turned onto Chestnut. This took me to Springhurst Ave. I rode to the end of Springhurst to get on this stone dust path and veered left for a short distance along the edge of the Rideau River as far as the Transitway bridge.

Path at the end of Springhurst
Path at the end of Springhurst

I took the path along the transitway bridge over the river, like so.

Bridge over the Rideau River
Bridge over the Rideau River

Once on the other side of the river I turned right, circled under the bridge, and headed east along the Rideau River Eastern Pathway. I turned off the path at the sign pointing to River Road.

Exit
Exit

I then turned east onto Presland Road. There’s a pedestrian cross signal to get across the Vanier Parkway.

Crosswalk signal at Presland and Vanier Parkway
Crosswalk signal at Presland and Vanier Parkway

I continued all the way down Presland which became Hardy Rd.

Presland Road - nice quiet street.
Presland Road – nice quiet street.

At the end of Hardy I wove my way north-east a few blocks and crossed St Laurent Boulevard at Donald St. It’s a four lane intersection, but not for too long beyond St Laurent. I then wove my way further north-east along quiet residential streets to Gardenvale Road, off of which there is a short path that takes you to the Aviation Pathway.

Path off Gardenvale....up to Aviation Pathway
Path off Gardenvale….up to Aviation Pathway

I then crossed Aviation Parkway at the entrance to Cité Collégiale and rode along its narrow but adequate bike lane for a short distance as far as the pathway that links to Meadowcroft Crescent, which I took.

Bike lane along La Cité where it intersects path to Meadowcroft Crescent
Bike lane along La Cité where it intersects path to Meadowcroft Crescent

Wove my way along quiet residential streets to the three way stop at Matheson Road and Bathgate Drive. On the other side of the intersection there’s a link to a recently created path that goes around massive ominous works of architecture that make up the new CSIS headquarters campus. The buildings can be viewed from the path but, as the huge signs on the perimeter fence clearly indicate, not photographed! So this shot is looking back towards the intersection after crossing Bathgate.

Looking back towards intersection of Bathgate and Matheson
Looking back towards intersection of Bathgate and Matheson

The path ends at Ogilvie road, which I crossed at the lights, and worked my way through the giant mall parking lot to the Blair transitway pedestrian bridge over the Queensway.

Through the mall parking, round back behind the giant cinema
Through the mall parking, round back behind the giant cinema

The entrance to the transitway is on the east side. The bridge is one level up, accessible by elevator or stairs.

Access to Blair transit station.
Access to Blair transit station.

One is expected to walk your bike over the bridge.

Crossing the pedestrian bridge over the Queensway
Crossing the pedestrian bridge over the Queensway

On the south side of the bridge there is a meandering path that crosses Stonehenge Crescent on its way to Innes Road.

Path between the transitway pedestrian bridges and Innes Road
Path between the transitway pedestrian bridges and Innes Road

I turned east onto Stonehenge Crescent, then through Pineview Estates that came out onto Blair Road very close to our destination the intersection of Blair and Innes.

Intersection of Blair and Innes
Intersection of Blair and Innes

On my way back I followed Ogilvie Road, which becomes Coventry Road on the other side of St Laurent Boulevard, as suggested by the purple line on the above map. Now on first blush one might think it preferable to take this more direct route between Hardy St and the mall parking that leads to the pedestrian bridge. There are bike lanes along Ogilve Road, however Ogilvie is a 4-6 lane highway wannabe. Here’s what it’s like as seen from the bike lane along ogilvie just west of Blair. Lots of trucks too.

Ogilvie Road just west of Blair.
Ogilvie Road just west of Blair.

They are building segregated bike lanes along Coventry which will make the section between St laurent and Hardy much safer than it previously was. Whether this will change the intersection of St Laurent and Ogilvie/Coventry from remaining a hornets nest of traffic, we shall see.

St Laurent looking across to Coventry Road
St Laurent looking across to Coventry Road

The green line on the above map is a slightly different section taken on the way back to avoid crazy Lees Avenue, because it doesn’t have a bike lane heading west.

Et voila!

Biking from Sandy Hill to the Byward Market

Dave was asking about a route to access the Byward Market from the eastern edge of Sandy Hill. The Market is a challenge to get to by bike from the east and south due to the flow of heavy crosstown traffic coming off the Queensway down Nicholas Street, Rideau Street and King Edward Avenue, heading towards the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge. This includes a steady flow of transport trucks. Streets that traverse this heavy traffic artery leading into the market are less than stellar for cyclists. There are plans to introduce a safer pedestrian access along Nicholas Street between Besserer and Rideau Street. How this pans out in providing a safe access route for cyclists into the market remains to be seen. Until then, the safest approach into the heart of the market is from the north. Here’s the route I followed starting from the eastern end of Wilbrod Street in Sandy Hill.

Red line on the map is the route I followed to get to the market. Turquoise lines are slight deviations taken on the way back.

There’s a small patio beside the apartment building at the end of Wilbrod that provides a great view of the Cummings Bridge and Cummings Island in the Rideau River. Carriages once rode over a previous wooden incarnation of the bridge. It went to the island on which there was a grocery store run by the Cummings family.

Cummings Bridge and Island
Cummings Bridge and Island as seen from the end of Wilbrod St

Wilbrod becomes a one way heading east on the opposite side of Charlotte Street, so I rode one block north along Charlotte to get to Stewart Street. Vehicules heading down this stretch of Charlotte tend to speed as they rush from Laurier to Rideau Street, so I waited for a generous gap in traffic. Fortunately it’s a short block.

Stewart is a quiet one way heading west, with a bike lane!

Stewart Street
Stewart Street

I then turned north on Chapel Street which led to traffic lights across Rideau Street. Chapel dead-ends just before reaching Beausoleil Drive, except for bicycles.

North end of Chapel St
North end of Chapel St

I turned left onto Beausoleil, which makes a big curve before ending at traffic lights that help get across busy St Patrick Street. There’s an opening in the fence on the other side of the intersection that provides cyclists access to St Andrew Street.

Access to St Andrew St across the intersection at St Patrick & Beausoleil
Access to St Andrew St across the intersection at St Patrick & Beausoleil

St Andrew is a quiet residential street that curls west to a traffic light with a bike lane that gets you across King Edward Avenue. On the opposite side of King Edward only cyclists and pedestrians can access St Andrew at this point, which continues westwardly.

Lights at St Andrew St across King Edward Ave
Lights at St Andrew St across King Edward Ave

Traffic along St Andrew remains calm, thanks to a few ‘No Enter-Bicycles Excepted’ signs along the way to Parent Avenue. I then turned south on Parent, a relatively calm street, that brought me to the south end of the parking garage, one block away from the centre of the market.

Travelling south on Parent Ave
Travelling south on Parent Ave

There are hanging bike racks on the north exterior wall of the parking garage that are accessible throughout the year. There are also some seasonal racks along the sidewalk, as well as racks just inside the entrance to the garage.

Sidewalk, wall mounted,  & garage bike racks
Sidewalk, wall mounted, & garage bike racks

On the way back I headed east on Guiges Avenue to Cumberland St, as St Andrew is one way heading east for a few blocks.

Biking east along quiet Guiges Ave
Biking east along quiet Guiges Ave

Similarly Stewart St is one way heading west, so I rode along Wilbrod back to our starting point.

Heading east on the bike lane along Wilbrod
Heading east on the bike lane along Wilbrod

Et voila!

When I head to the market from the west side of town, I usually go along the path below Parliament Hill, or along the path in Gatineau and cross back over the Alexandra Bridge as described in this post. Alternatively, because this requires riding along the section of Murray Street between Mackenzie and Parent which can get pretty frantic with traffic rushing over the bridge, I often prefer riding up through Major’s Hill Park and locking my bike to the fence at the top of the stairs that lead down to the market, as described in this post.

Bike commute from the Ottawa Youth Hostel to the corner of Rochester and Poplar

Brendan was enquiring about a bike route from the Ottawa Youth Hostel to the intersection of Rochester and Poplar Streets. Here’s what I came up with.

The Ottawa Youth Hostel is pretty fantastic. It lives in the 150+ year old Carleton County gaol right downtown. Unfortunately it is located on an island with all forms of speeding vehicles circling around it including transport trucks.

Ottawa Youth Hostel
Ottawa Youth Hostel

So, first challenge is how to ingress/egress from this hive of aggressive traffic. After exploring all options, I decided to take the set of stairs up to the Mackenzie St Bridge, located right beside the hostel parking (hélas, this route doesn’t work so well for those with trailers or loaded panniers).

Stairs up to Mackenzie King Bridge
Stairs up to Mackenzie King Bridge

Having carried my bike up the flight of stairs, I headed west over the bridge along the sidewalk to the signalized crosswalk. There are bike lanes along the Mackenzie King bridge but they hug the centre meridian. Half way across the signalized crossing one may choose to get on the bike lane heading west, as suggested by the orange line on the above map, but the lane disappears once arrived at Elgin, a busy 6 lane street with speedy traffic and no bike lanes – enough to discourage many an intrepid pedalist.

Bike lane heading west on Mackenzie Bridge along the centre meridian..... that splits away approaching Elgin..... then suddenly ends at Elgin.
Bike lane on Mackenzie Bridge….. approaching Elgin….. then ends at Elgin.

A safer option I followed was to walk across the aforementioned signalized crossing (back to the blue line on the above map), and continue west along the sidewalk on the other side towards the stairs that go down to Confederation park.

Stairs from Mackenzie Bridge town to Confederation Park
Stairs from Mackenzie Bridge town to Confederation Park

Once arrived at the bottom of the stairs, I rode diagonally through the park to the corner of Laurier and Elgin.

Confederation Park in the Spring
Confederation Park in the Spring

The wonderful segregated Laurier Bike Lane begins on the west side of Elgin.

Laurier Bike Lane
Laurier Bike Lane

I followed Laurier to the end where it veers south and becomes quiet Cambridge St. I then turned west on Primrose, and south on Arthur along which there is a traffic light to get across busy Somerset St.

South of Somerset is a web of one-way and two-way streets that require a bit of navigating to arrive at the intersection of Poplar & Rochester, as per the above map.

Poplar and Rochester
Poplar and Rochester

Heading back downtown I followed the same route, apart from the few deviations in purple. The short stretches of Rochester, Booth and Somerset on the way back can get pretty busy especially around rush hour, so walking these may be preferable.

Et voila!

Winter bike ride to the Bayshore Park Community Oven

Members of the community surrounding Bayshore Park came up with a great idea – to build a brick oven for people to come together and cook.  On Saturday I packed up some prepared bun dough and biked over to the park to attend one of their scheduled oven lightings, and it was fantastic.

The blue line on the map below describes the route I followed to get there. Purple lines are deviations I took on the way back.

Our adventure begins at the base of the hill leading up from the O-Train path to Somerset St, both of which are cleared of snow! If anyone needs a bike route to get to this starting point, send me your cross street and I would be pleased to figure it out.

Hill heading up from OTrain path to Somerset
Hill heading up from OTrain path to Somerset

I crossed Somerset and followed the cleared bike lane to the west side of the bridge. UPDATE: On January 5th this bike lane and the one on the opposite side of street were not cleared of snow, and it is uncertain when or if they will be plowed. When they aren’t cleared I take to the sidewalk, as cars tend to speed when heading up and over this bridge.

Over Somerset Bridge
Over Somerset Bridge

The bike lane ends suddenly on the other side so I took the short set of stairs to the right, down to Breezehill Avenue.

Steps  down to Breezehill  from Somerset
Steps down to Breezehill from Somerset

I then wove my way along quiet streets through the Hintonburg and Wellington Village neighbourhoods, all the way to the intersection of Scott Street and Carleton Avenue where there are lights to safely cross speedy Scott Street. I then followed the cleared multi-use path that runs along the north side of Scott.

Multi-use path along Scott Street
Multi-use path along Scott Street

The path continues to be cleared beyond Churchill where Scott ends, as far the parkway along the river. The path that runs along the south side of the parkway isn’t cleared, however there is a very well trampled desire-line path to Fraser Avenue that was easy to follow, especially with my studded front tire.

Trampled desire-line path over to Fraser Avenue
Trampled desire-line path over to Fraser Avenue

I biked up quiet Fraser and across Richmond road at the lights to access the multi-use path that runs between Richmond and Byron all the way to New Orchard Avenue.

Multi-use path between Byron and Richmond Road
Multi-use path between Byron and Richmond Road

I crossed back over to the north side of Richmond at New Orchard Avenue where there are traffic lights. The bike lane heading west along Richmond starts at New Orchard, however the level of snow clearing varied. Between New Orchard and the bridge it wasn’t great, however the lane heading over the bridge was cleared.

Bike lane before the bridge heading west along Richmond ..... and over the bridge
Bike lane before the bridge heading west along Richmond ….. and over the bridge

Once over the bridge I turned onto Regina Lane that runs parallel to Richmond for a short spell. There’s a great mural part way down the lane. More detailed photos of the work can be found here.

Regina Lane mural
Regina Lane mural

I continued along residential streets through the Lincoln Heights neighbourhood, and took advantage of a small opening in the fence along Greenview Avenue to access Farrow Street.

Opening in the fence along Greenview Avenue
Opening in the fence along Greenview Avenue

UPDATE: March 2020 – they have paved this little link and it gets cleared.

Paved link from Greenview to Fallow

The final challenge was to get to Bayshore Drive without having to ride along busy Carling Avenue. This required following a couple of short, well traversed but not cleared, pedestrian paths between Kempster to Wylie avenue and Oakley to Birchdale avenue.

Path between Kempster and Wylie avenues
Path between Kempster and Wylie avenues

Then it was across Carling to Bayshore Drive, along Woodridge Crescent, and into Bayshore Park where sits the communal oven. When I arrived there were a whole bunch of wonderful people cooking and sharing an assortment of dishes. Tom, the head baker of the day cooked up the little buns I had prepared and they turned out perfect! Everyone was very pleased.

To know more about how the oven came to be check out this CBC interview with John McDougall the oven builder and Mete Pamir, one of the community organizers. They also have a Facebook page with more history.

Bayshore Park Community Oven
Bayshore Park Community Oven
Success! Tom the baker, et  les petits pains maison!
Success! Tom the baker, et les petits pains maison!

Time to head home. On the return trip I couldn’t ride back along Regina Lane because it’s a one way heading west. Closer to Centretown, I avoided Breezehill because it’s hard to see cars coming when crossing Bayswater heading east, as the two streets meet on the inside of a curve. Crossing Somerset at the top of the Breezehill stairs to get to the bike lane heading east is a bit tricky as well, as it’s hard to see cars coming over the crest of the bridge.

Et voila!

Winter ride from Baseline&Clyde to Barrhaven

A fellow cyclist is in need of a winter bike commute route from Barrhaven to the corner of Merivale and Baseline. That’s because the bike path along Greenbank which he follows on his summer commute is full of snow. The green line on the map is his regular summer route. Here’s a description of a winter route I plotted and tested a couple of days after this season’s first big snow fall, identified by the blue line on the map. I started from Merivale & Baseline. The purple line is a slight variation I took on the return trip.

Our journey begins in the parking lot at the end of Granton Avenue that fronts onto Clyde. Granton is accessible via a short, well trodden path to the left of this photo.

looking west down Granton Ave
looking west down Granton Ave

I wove my way along quiet residential streets to always-busy Meadowlands Drive. There isn’t a traffic light where Meadowlands intersects Sullivan Avenue, however there is a cross signal half a block east in front of the school which I took advantage of on my return trip as there was no let up in traffic. I also had to use the sidewalks along Meadowlands to get to and from the crosswalk.

View of Meadowlands signalled crosswalk in front of St Gregory School seen from Sullivan Ave.
View of Meadowlands signalled crosswalk in front of St Gregory School seen from Sullivan Ave.

I continued down Sullivan and turned west on Novice towards Woodroffe Avenue.

The biggest obstacle to commuters heading south of Ottawa are the two sets of east/west railway tracks. It’s a challenge to choose which of the minimal number of places to get across are the safest. On this route the crossing of the first set of tracks happens along the busy six lane Woodroffe underpass. There are bike lanes along Woodroffe, which were mostly cleared, except for one spot heading south where it suddenly was filled with snow for a short stretch. Up until that spot the sidewalk wasn’t cleared, but now it was, thus the snow in the bike lane. There are bus lanes beside the bike lanes and there weren’t any buses coming up behind me so I managed to bike around the short section of snow filled bike lane. If there were buses roaring up behind me I probably would have chosen the sidewalk.

Bike lane along Woodroffe. Cleared most of the way.... then filled for a short stretch.
Bike lane along Woodroffe. Cleared most of the way…. then filled for a short stretch.

I continued along the Woodroffe bike lane which was mostly cleared, however the crossing at Hunt Club Road was pretty treacherous with six lanes of impatient traffic meeting six other lanes of impatient traffic. I chose to avoid this intersection on the way back (see purple line on map) which I’ll describe in more detail further down the post. I’ve also been told by a local cyclist that the Woodroffe bike lane between Knoxdale and Hunt Club is often filled with snow due to the limited space between the road and the concrete sound barrier. The purple line detour avoids this as well.

Woodroffe bike lane heading south between Knoxdale and Huntclub
Woodroffe bike lane heading south between Knoxdale and Hunt Club

I was pleased to get off of Woodroffe at the entrance to the Nepean Sportsplex, and onto the CLEARED multi-use path that runs along the east side of Woodroffe all the way to Fallowfield Road. And it’s a pretty spectacular ride too. There’s a section that floats through a tall pine wooded area, while the rest is mostly farmland.

Path along Woodroffe through the woods
Path along Woodroffe through the woods

There’s a bit of an obstacle course where the path crosses the second set of tracks, but it’s very manageable and safe if navigated slowly.

Crossing train tracks along Woodroffe
Crossing train tracks along Woodroffe

I crossed at the intersection of Woodroffe and Fallowfield over to the cleared bike path that runs along the north side of Fallowfield to Via Park Place.

Towards path across  Woodroffe along Fallowfield.
Towards path across Woodroffe along Fallowfield.

At Via Park Place I crossed at the lights over to the very well cleared path that continues along Fallowfield before veering south alongside the Transitway and train tracks.

Path between new Barrhaven housing and the Transitway
Path between new Barrhaven housing and the Transitway

I got off the path at Berrigan Drive and followed it across Greenbank Road. Greenbank is a busy street, and when there are signs warning drivers about a red light camera as you approach, one can imagine what a frantic intersection it promises to be. I didn’t find it too crazy or dangerous, but I did consider the sidewalk.

Crossing Greenbank Road
Approach to Greenbank Road

I then rode along Wessex and Exeter Road to the round-about at Jockvale Road. I was very pleased to notice a cleared path running along the south side of Jockvale Road, which I followed over the train tracks.

Cleared path along Jockvale Road
Cleared path along Jockvale Road

I was impressed to see Barrhaven United Church thriving on another form of heavenly energy – large sections of their roof are covered with solar panels.

Barrhaven United Church
Barrhaven United Church

Not far beyond the train tracks I turned off the path along this short cleared link that brought me to Pickwick Drive.

Path link to Pickwick Drive
Path link to Pickwick Drive

I then wove my way along quiet residential streets to my final destination – the corner of Flanders St and Peacock Crescent, deep in the heart of Barrhaven.

Flanders St & Peacock Crescent, deep in the heart of Barrhaven
Flanders & Peacock

Now I had to get back before it got dark! Here’s a view of the farm along the Woodroffe path.

Farm along Woodroffe path
Farm along Woodroffe path

Here’s a description of the detour I took to avoid the crazy Woodroffe/Hunt Club intersection (purple line on the above map): I turned onto the path that runs parallel to the entrance to the Nepean Sportsplex.

On the left: view towards the north down Woodroffe Ave. ............On the right: the bike path heading in to the Nepean Sportsplex. I chose right.
On the left: Looking north along Woodroffe Ave. ………. On the right: The bike path heading in to the Nepean Sportsplex. I chose right.

The bike path ends at the edge of the parking lot. I biked through the expansive lot to the north/east corner where the path continues for a short distance to a signalized crosswalk that is MUCH more civilized than attempting to cross Hunt Club along Woodroffe.

Safe way to get across Hunt Club
Safe way to get across Hunt Club

I then rode along residential streets, popping out onto Woodroffe at Medhurst Drive. Once again the bike lanes were partially cleared. The sidewalk was completely cleared.

Woodroffe bike lane under the train tracks heading north
Woodroffe bike lane under the train tracks heading north

Once beyond the train tracks I turned off Woodroffe onto Norice, and retraced my route all the way back to the little path at the end of Granton Avenue that leads to the building at the corner of Baseline and Clyde. Ta-dah!

Path at the end of Granton Ave.
Path at the end of Granton Ave.