City of Ottawa Awarded With Cycling Friendly Community Designation

The City of Ottawa was recognized as a silver-level Cycling Friendly Community Award. The award was announced by Andy Clarke, CEO League of American Bicyclists and Eleanor McMahon, CEO Share the Road Cycling Coalition, during the 2011 Ontario Bike Summit taking place in Ottawa June 27-29.

This is a great accomplishment for the City of Ottawa and reflects years of investment in pathways, safety initiatives, and other cycling facilities to support active mobility choices. Ottawa is now among the highest ranked Bicycle Friendly Communities in Ontario with the City of Waterloo also receiving a silver-level award.

The "Bicycle Friendly Communities" Program for Canada was launched last year at Annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Conference. Today’s awards were the first to be presented to Canadian recipients. This initiative of the Washington-based League of American Bicyclists provides incentives, hands-on assistance, and award recognition for communities that actively support bicycling. In Ontario, the program is managed by the Share the Road Cycling Coalition, with assistance from the League.
The award underscores the excellent progress Ottawa has made in cycling investments. Applicants to the program are evaluated, and must demonstrate achievements, in five categories, including: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation & planning.

The City’s silver-level award highlights the growing popularity as well as the facilities in place to support cycling in the City. Highlights of Ottawa’s many cycling initiatives include:

• Almost 700 km of cycling facilities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy
• Introduction of the first downtown segregated bike lane, expected to open in early July 2011
• Partnership with Google Maps to offer cycling information that helps residents plan their trips
• Studying a number of future pedestrian and cycling bridges that will further link communities: the Multi-use Pathway Crossing of the Rideau River (vicinity of Somerset Street East and Donald Street) that will connect the Sandy Hill and Overbrook communities and provide a direct pedestrian and cycling link to the downtown core via the Corktown Footbridge over the Rideau Canal.
• Increased bike racks throughout the downtown and sheltered bike parking at major rapid transit stations, and the introduction of bike boxes at intersections to promote safe cycling movements in the downtown.
• Re-introduction of the Cycling Safety Training Courses (Can-Bike) to help cyclists of different age groups and skill levels become more confident and knowledgeable when cycling in traffic.
• Development of new maps, including the overall Ottawa Bike Map and the more specific Downtown Ottawa Bike Map, which highlights the segregated bicycle lane facility – which will be available this summer.
• Offering of the “Rack & Roll” program, which provides transit customers with bicycle racks on the front of select buses. The program operates from May to the end of October every year, and residents can identify what buses offer the racks by consulting the Travel Planner at octranspo.com.

Further related cycling initiatives include the National Capital Commission’s BIXI, Sunday Bikedays and Park and Cycle programs.

For more information on Ottawa’s cycling facilities, please go to Ottawa.ca/travelwise.