Councillors’ ideas

During the fall 2014 elections, we polled city council candidates on three cycling-related questions. Here are the responses from the candidates who were successful: (Note: the other elected councillors had not replied to our questions during the election. That doesn’t mean they are not interested in cycling).

What is the next important bicycle infrastructure project in your ward?

Bob Monette (Ward 1 – Orleans)

Completing the multi-use pathway link to Prescott-Russell as well as improving access points to this pathway throughout the community while continuing progress on paving the Ottawa River Multi-use pathway.

Also, the construction of a segregated bike lane on St-Joseph Boulevard which will also offer a distinct pedestrian corridor, both of which will be separate from cars. I have been working closely with the Heart of Orléans BIA on this project and I look forward to continuing to work with them to make this a reality. This project will not only provide a much needed cycling link for our community but will also ensure that all road users can do so safely and without interfering with one another.

Jan Harder (Ward 3 – Barrhaven)

There is good investment in cycling in Barrhaven we will connect pieces of a future network, formalize cycling opportunities with Greenbank Rd widening, extend the network to Farm Boy on Woodroffe, add cycling to Strandherd north.

Marianne Wilkinson (Ward 4 – Kanata North)

A multiuse pathway along the north side of Campeau Drive to separate pedestrians and cyclists to travel off the road surface

Eli El-Chantiry (Ward 5 – West Carleton)

As outlined in the Transportation Master Plan, if a road is identified as a major cycling route in the City, then when the road is resurfaced the shoulders will be paved. For example, Galetta Side Road is a major cycling route and the shoulders were paved. Kinburn Side Road is not identified as a major cycling route and therefore the shoulders will not be paved.

Mark Taylor (Ward 7 – Bay)

The redesign of the Carling avenue underpass at the train bridge on Carling avenue. This is a very challenging area for cyclists and dissuades people from the Kanata commute. Throwing in one other would be the installation of bike lanes on our main spine, Carling avenue.

Keith Egli (Ward 9 – Knoxdale-Merivale)

The next important cycling project in my ward is the completion of the Nepean Trail cycling pathway

Mathieu Fleury (Ward 12 – Rideau-Vanier)

Over the last four years, we have worked hard to increase the cycling facilities in our community. The Donald-Somerset pedestrian bridge is under construction, which will connect residents to Sandy Hill, Vanier and beyond. We also have the East-West Bikeway and new cycling facilities on Sussex Drive, St. Patrick Street, Rideau Street, and key neighbourhood routes in Vanier.

It is now important that we build on this network and connect our communities together, so that all residents can access the new cycling lanes from their residential streets in Lowertown, Sandy Hill, and Vanier. Two key projects include creating connection points into the ByWard Market, which we have already begun with the counterflow lane on Cumberland and Rideau Street, and making Montreal Road a model complete street through renewal.

Tobi Nussbaum (Ward 13 – Rideau-Rockcliffe)

The planned Somerset-Donald St bridge will be a critical piece of infrastructure for those who travel from our ward to the downtown core. We will need to explore how to extend cycling infrastructure east of the bridge to ensure good connectivity. I would like to see the completion of cycling connections between the east-west and north-south routes that already run through our ward but do not completely connect with the ‘spine’ routes in the City’s 2013 Cycling Plan.

Our Ward needs one or more complete streets with infrastructure designed as much for cyclists and pedestrians and public transit as for cars. Donald St, Montreal Rd, St. Laurent Blvd.and Beechwood Ave. are potential candidates and are important routes for connection with the city’s cycling network.

Catherine McKenney (Ward 14 – Somerset)

The most immediate is the O’Connor segregated bike lane. The data is clear and shows that over the last 15 years there have been fewer motor vehicles travelling into the downtown yet the number of residents and visitors has increased. So the shift to pedestrian, bicycle, and transit travel has been successful and there is a need to continue to improve these alternate modes of transportation. If elected, I will also ensure that Albert and Slater become Complete Streets upon the completion of the LRT.

Jeff Leiper (Ward 15 – Kitchissippi)

There are several.

First, just outside the boundary of my ward, we need to complete the O-Train Multi-Use Path all the way to Carling. This has been approved, but the design has to be done properly to ensure that pedestrians and cyclists can each safely use the path unimpeded. This path will be a major route for people to access the LRT in a rapidly intensifying area. It must safely connect to the cycling routes at Dow’s Lake. Another important consideration is that snow needs to be cleared from the entire path in the winter and spring for cyclists and pedestrians to be able to use it all year round. Why are the existing sections of the pathway not cleared? This needs to be remedied.

Second, we need to ensure that cyclists are safe on Scott Street and its connections during LRT construction when all the Transitway buses are diverted onto those roads, including in planning for the phase 2 western LRT. We must also plan for complete permanent cycling networks along Scott and Albert all the way downtown as part of the LRT construction.

Third, we need to tackle making Richmond and West Wellington roads safe for cycling from one end of the ward to the other.

Fourth, we need to address the dangerous situation where the cycling route along Tyndall Ave. intersects Parkdale.

David Chernushenko (Ward 16 – Capital)

1. The Glebe Bikeway project

2. O’Connor North-South segregated lane project

3. Fifth-Clegg pedestrian and bike bridge

Stephen Blais (Ward 19 – Cumberland)

The most important cycling project in Cumberland ward is what I am calling the Trans Orléans Pathway.

This dedicated and 100% segregated multiuse pathway will connect Trim Road in the east with Navan Road in the west.

It will be built along the Cumberland Transitway corridor and provide an excellent opportunity for cyclists and pedestrians alike to enjoy the fresh air and truly connect Orléans from one end to the next.

Scott Moffatt (Ward 21 – Rideau-Goulbourn)

Finding a safe crossing for cyclists, pedestrians and wheelchairs over the Rideau Canal in Manotick as an alternative to Bridge Street. The preferable solution would be making the dam at Watson’s Mill accessible.

What measures should be implemented to ensure the safety of all road users?

Bob Monette

Education from all levels; cyclists, pedestrians and automobile drivers on top of clear bicycle markings that are not directly competing with vehicles. We must all share the road and I believe that all users must contribute to the safety of others.

This is one of the reasons why I have been working in partnership with Safer Roads Ottawa to promote shared multi-use pathways throughout Orléans by holding pathway safety sessions held directly on local pathways with the help of local residents as well as the Ottawa Police and I plan to continue to hold these in the future.

Jan Harder

I will make sure our decisions regarding cycling in the Master Transportation Plan are implemented.

Marianne Wilkinson

More education of both cyclists and motorists to ensure rules of the road are followed by both.  Providing separate bike areas on busy roads, use flags to mark cycle lanes.

Eli El-Chantiry

Safety on our roads is everyone’s concern (motorists, cyclists and pedestrians). We all need to follow the rules of the road, but also be engaged and report speeding, unsafe driving and road hazards. Road safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Mark Taylor

The eventual deployment of complete street designs wherever possible. This insulates all forms of traffic to their own mode and alleviates cross modal conflict. Put simply, cars don’t hit bikes and bikes don’t hit pedestrians.

Keith Egli

The Complete Streets approach to road building and road renewal is the best way to ensure safety for all as it seeks to balance and enhance road accessibility and usage for all users. Each road project and community has different needs and concerns. The Complete Streets policy adopted this term of Council provides numerous tools and options to be considered by the City and the impacted community going forward on road renewal and new build projects. It attempts to balance all users needs and concerns through techniques such as wider sidewalks, transit lanes and cycle tracks or sharrows. Road users’ safety should be part of any discussion related to road renewal or construction.

Mathieu Fleury

I am happy that the City is embracing segregate bike lanes and cycle tracks on main streets. Although painted bike lanes are great for residential streets, it is important that the City install cycling facilities appropriate for each roadway’s use and volume. We also need to support and expand the public education program so that all road users can feel safe and happy when travelling.

Tobi Nussbaum

The planned Somerset-Donald St bridge will be a critical piece of infrastructure for those who travel from our ward to the downtown core.  We will need to explore how to extend cycling infrastructure east of the bridge to ensure good connectivity. I would like to see the completion of cycling connections between the east-west and north-south routes that already run through our ward but do not completely connect with the ‘spine’ routes in the City’s 2013 Cycling Plan.

Our Ward needs one or more complete streets with infrastructure designed as much for cyclists and pedestrians and public transit as for cars.  Donald St, Montreal Rd, St. Laurent Blvd.and Beechwood Ave. are potential candidates and are important routes for connection with the city’s cycling network.

Catherine McKenney

The City must ensure that its Complete Streets Policy is always implemented.  This will provide all road users, pedestrians, cyclists, transit and para-transit riders, and motorists, with the same level of safety and comfort.

I have stated publicly that I will advocate for $1m in funding to be earmarked in a separate fund for Complete Streets that can be used for immediate improvements to any sidewalk or roadway, moving them closer to becoming a complete street model.  Rochester Street is an example of a street that is slated to become a complete street however this will only happen with a full reconstruction which won’t happen for many years.  We should not have to wait for this to happen.  The $1m fund would be used now to paint a cycling lane protected by planters to offer cyclists a safe and comfortable cycling lane.

Jeff Leiper

I would like to highlight five.

First, a huge issue is the unsafe conditions where bike lanes cross bridges (such as the Bank Street bridges) and major intersections. This includes everywhere multi-use pathways cross or end at roads without provision for cyclists.

Second, we need increased numbers of dedicated bike lanes like the highly successful Laurier bike lanes. In my ward, it is great we managed to make a segment of Churchill into a “complete street,” but we cannot wait to do this elsewhere only when streets undergo major reconstructions. We must decouple implementing safe cycling infrastructure from replacing underground infrastructure like sewers and pipes. Why cannot safe cycling be a priority during simple road resurfacing or sidewalk replacements, which are much more frequent?

Third, missing links in the bike routes must be filled in so that every neighbourhood is bikeable without dangerous gaps.

Fourth, I strongly support reducing the speed limit on local and residential streets to 40 kph.

Fifth, we need to fund education campaigns, initiatives such as “bike boxes,” and signage that effectively encourages automobiles and bikes to safely coexist while our cycling infrastructure investments catch up.

David Chernushenko

Reducing speed on almost all roads where mixed traffic exists, most notably on arterials that are shared by bikes and a reduction to 40kph in all residential areas. Ongoing education of all road users about the legitimate place of cycling as a transportation option, what they can do as cyclists and drivers to improve road safety and basic skills for beginner adult and children cyclists. Continued construction of appropriate infrastructure for cycling.

Stephen Blais

Road Safety has been a top priority of mine since coming into office. We have undertaken a number of education campaigns including my Slow Down Campaign.

As part of Slow Down! We measured traffic volumes and speeds on some of the busiest streets in Cumberland Ward. Based on the results we implemented a number of measures ranging from enhance police enforcement to road paint modifications, signage and traffic calming measures.

You may have seen these traffic calming measures in the centre line of some streets in our ward – particularly in front of schools and parks.

We have also undertaken measures to enhance the safety of pedestrians by completely rebuilding and extending the sidewalk along Trim Road in Navan and through the Rockdale Road renewal project which is about get underway.

Both shoulders on Rockdale will be paved and widened and a concrete rumble strip will be installed to create a segregated area for pedestrians and cyclists.

Scott Moffatt

In the rural area, the key is paved shoulders. As we resurface roads that are identified as preferred cycling routes, we need to ensure we pave the shoulders as well providing safe space for cyclists.

Would you support increasing the proportion of the transportation budget spent on bicycle infrastructure to 2.5% to more equitably represent the current ridership?

Bob Monette

As with any financial question, I do not make promises unless I have the full budget in front of me so that all aspects of it can be reviewed. I am open to discussion and a possible increase if we can do this within the financial limitations that we are faced with.

Jan Harder

We have struck a good level of investment in all modes of travel. We just approved this Transportation Master Plan with more public feedback than ever before. I see no reason before it’s implementation to make changes

Marianne Wilkinson

Much of the cycling costs are within road budgets as well so the amount will need to be segregated to ensure adequate funding is provided – more is needed but as current funding includes specific projects funded outside tax dollars it will need to be 2.5% of tax dollars used for capital transportation infrastructure.

Eli El-Chantiry

This is a discussion that needs to take place as part of the Budget process, to see if the money is there to support something like this.

Mark Taylor

I would support an increase but prior to committing to a percentage would prefer to have knowledgeable participants from city staff and Citizens for Safe Cycling outline what spending at a given level would allow provide for.

Keith Egli

An increase in spending on cycling infrastructure in light of the stated aim is an important discussion that Council needs to have. The amount of any proposed increase would have to be considered in light of competing needs and services at the time of any budget deliberation but debate and dialogue on this issue is necessary.

Mathieu Fleury

Absolutely. It is important that we continue to build on the established network and expand the the projects set forward by the 2013 Cycling Plan. If we want to increase the number of cycling trips made residents we need to do all possible to make cycling welcoming, attractive and friendly for all residents.

Tobi Nussbaum

I am a firm believer in the importance of safe cycling infrastructure. However, I don’t think fixed targets are the best way to get policy outcomes. As Councillor, I would advocate that transportation dollars be spent smartly – with a focus on providing safe and convenient choices for transit users, cyclists and pedestrians.

Before the budget is allocated, it will important that Citizens for Safe Cycling articulate to City Council its views on the highest priority needs for cycling infrastructure in Ottawa.

Catherine McKenney

Yes. I have publicly stated that I would advocate for spending $70m over the next term of council on improved cycling infrastructure, i.e. over the next 4 years. This is the amount that is presently slated to be spent in the Transportation Master Plan over the next 15 years. It should be used now to increase cycling lanes and other important cycling facilities in advance of the completion of the LRT.

Jeff Leiper


We should tie the funding level to the percentage of trips that are by bike, and increase our funding for bicycle infrastructure until it reaches at least 2.5% as soon as possible. One of my major campaign issues is making budget decisions much more transparent, and pushing for priorities of constituents (including cycling and other active means of transport) in the budget. This will allow us to put in place more safe cycling infrastructure without having to wait for major road reconstruction, and will allow us to prioritize where such cycle routes are actually most needed. Safe cycling infrastructure should not be an afterthought driven by the need to replace sewers. Instead, we need to devote actual resources to cycling infrastructure if we really are serious about increasing the modal share.

This means implementing the Ottawa Cycling Plan with real funding. It is not enough for a Councillor to just commute by bike. I have always commuted by bike and transit, but I promise also to do the hard work as Councillor to ensure safe cycling throughout Ottawa.

David Chernushenko


Stephen Blais

On any budget item before I submit it I ask several questions. Is this enough money? Too much or not enough? Where are the funds coming from? Is there something more pressing that these funds could be used for? How does this impact taxes and fees?

These are just some of the questions I ask myself and others before making any financial decision.

I certainly look at every proposal with an open mind.

Scott Moffatt

I have supported cycling infrastructure projects in my first term, such as the Laurier Avenue SBL and various complete street projects, such as Scott Street and Churchill Street. At this point, however, I think it is premature to speak to spending unless I know what the impact of increasing that spending was. For instance, in Rideau-Goulbourn, we need more money on infrastructure renewal so I wouldn’t be in favour of reducing that budget in favour of increasing the cycling projects budget. However, the more roads we resurface in the rural area, the greater the likelihood of paved shoulders on busy roads.