The budding of new leaves in the trees, the sprouting of crocuses and tulips after a winter of waiting to be encouraged to grow with warm spring sun is something I look forward to. I love the actions of nature signalling the coming of the new season and all that it means for us on two legs.
For many it means the breakout of runners, bikes, chariots, rollerblades and skateboards – all those fun activities.
It also means the breakout of runners, bikes, chariots, rollerblades and skateboards – all those activities that might scare the faint of heart pedestrians. It’s the coming of the bell rings, shouts of “on your left” and the swish of cyclists speeding by ‘owning’ the multi use paths across the city.
The NCC recently announced $57 Million for improvements in the Rideau Canal infrastructure. Outside of new paddle access points along the canal no specific improvements have been announced, I bet many pedestrians would be very happy if a portion on that would be spent on widening the paths along the canal and giving the paths a width that could make them accessible for ‘multiple use’.
In the same manner the increased year-long use of cyclists in the city has caused concern for drivers who are on the lookout for the unexpected cyclist , walkers along the pathway facilities are also on the lookout for a speeding cyclists along with increased use by e-bikes/scooters. It was not too long ago that wider urban sidewalks were part of new planning in our city and are now part of what we expect. We should expect the same for our multiuser paths.
The City of Toronto has created wide ‘real’ multi use paths along it waterfront that provide space for cyclists, pedestrians and all would be marathoners. Such paths would be a great benefit to Ottawans and visitors that come to our great city, especially for Canada 150 next year.
Wider paths will provide a sense of relief for cyclists who do not have to use the roads if they chose to, but the wider paths will also give a sense of calm to pedestrians that jump at sound of the bells or a cyclist whizzing by – probably in the same manner that a cyclist fears the driver who is not paying attention and sharing the road with them.
We will have to wait for the intentions of the NCC and how the $57 million will be allocated – to the canal, to summer ‘animation’ of the canal or the improvement of the aging walking/running/cycling infrastructure along the Rideau Canal.
I can be found Twitter @robertdekker, @rdmediaottawa and on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97.