Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Keith Egli, Chair of the Transportation Committee, profiled several infrastructure projects and programs offered by the City to make cycling safe and easy.
“Ottawa is continually expanding our cycling network,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “In the past year, we’ve opened the Adàwe crossing over the Ottawa River, the Coventry Bridge over the Queensway, the Hickory Bridge over the Trillium Line and numerous other pathways and bike lanes. This year we’re working on Mackenzie Avenue and we’ll open the first phase of bike lanes along O’Connor Street. It’s all part of a $31 million investment over this four year term of Council to improve our infrastructure and increase the number of residents who use two wheels to get around.”
The kick-off to Bike to Work Month took place in front of the popular bike repair station in front of City Hall. The station is operated by professional bike mechanics from Right Bike and is returning for its third year. They’ll take a look at your brakes, gears, wheels and tires to make sure that you are ready to ride. These are quick and free tune ups, so if there are procedures and replacement parts that you will need that are beyond what can be done on site, they’ll tell you what needs to be done and refer you to a bike shop in your neighbourhood. The bike repair station is open every day between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. from May 1 to 23.
“Now that the warm weather has returned, it’s a great time to get out on your bike,” said Councillor Keith Egli. “Take a break from your normal routine and try biking in to work at least one day a week. We have an extensive network of multi-use pathways, cycling lanes, cycle tracks and paved shoulders that connect communities across the city and has made it easier than ever to commute to work by bike. If your commute is a little long for cycling, try riding to your nearest Transitway Station, O-Train Trillium Line Station, or Park and Ride lot and lock your bike up there. Cyclists can Rack & Roll with OC Transpo and load their bike onto the front of one of the 450 buses equipped with a bike rack, including all articulated and double-decker buses. Have a look at the advanced planner on octranspo.com to see which trips have bicycle racks. Bicycles can also be transported year-round on the O-Train Trillium Line.”
For a fifth straight year, Ottawa Public Health has partnered with sports retailers across Ottawa to bring Ottawa residents a discount on helmets. As helmets help protect against potential serious head injury, OPH recommends that all residents – no matter the age – wear a properly fitted helmet while taking part in recreational activities like biking, in-line skating, skateboarding, sledding, ice-skating, skiing and snowboarding. The helmet discount will be offered on Saturday May 14 and Sunday May 15. A list of the 28 participating retailers is available from Ottawa Public Health.
The City offers a number of cycling education courses through its Cycling Education Program. These are led by nationally certified instructors to help residents become more comfortable and confident on the road. More information about courses is available at ottawa.ca/bikeschool.
The City is also encouraging residents who cycle to work to participate individually or as a workplace team in Bike to Work Month for a chance to win prizes. Visit ottawa.ca/biketowork for details.