Back in mid-October Ottawa announced that funding had been allocated for the long-awaited pedestrian and bike bridge linking Vanier to Sandy Hill’s Strathcona Park! Cheers and joy erupted both sides of the Ottawa River & here are some sketches Ottawa City produced to further whet our collective walking and cycling appetites.
The narrow pinch-points have made pedestrian and cycling travel between the two areas unsafe (pinch points on Cummings Bridge), overly extended (the converted train bridge) and simply unpleasant. It’s refreshing to see logic prevailed in this undertaking to build a permanent structure where historically locals once built a summer crossing.
The bridge between park space on River Road and Range Road creates better access to existing river-side multi-use paths, facilitates access to services & businesses in the adjoining neighbourhoods while creating an essential link for cyclists to the Rideau Canal, Laurier Street, Western Parkway Bike Lanes and beyond. Work still needs to be done to finesse links and create safe-cycling for all levels of bike riding – we’d like to see novices, kids, retirees and lycra on two wheels to relieve traffic congestion & better connect our neighbours and businesses – however the advent of this bridge is confirmation that we are rolling forward in the right direction.
Of particular interest to cyclists is that in Strathcona Park they will no longer have to bike through the parking lot as the bike path will now go around the car lot making entering and leaving the park much safer. The bridge has also been designed with greater width in the middle to accommodate pier-lookouts that do not impede commuters.
Construction is due to commence next Spring and complete in the Fall of 2015… Wouldn’t it be great if it could be done sooner .