Canada

Getting around: cyclists can take the lane; SGEC Parkway, Ottawa River Pathway closures

Cyclists can take the lane, so “stop honking!”

That’s Ottawa police’s safety message as they shared a new PSA that reminds motorists to follow posted road signs, let cyclists take the whole lane when required and leave space between their vehicle and the bike.

Summer means more construction — keep reading — plus more cyclists and motorcyclists.

Safer Roads Ottawa said it wants to remind drivers that by law cyclists can take the full lane when a vehicle can’t safely pass with at least a metre of space between the car and the cyclist.

Cyclists can also take the whole lane when signage stipulates single file for both cyclists and cars.

And everyone should be extra-careful  in constructions zones — and there are plenty of new ones popping up.

Expect closures on the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway and the Ottawa River Pathway over the next week as the National Capital Commission launches a restoration of a century-old boathouse on the Ottawa River.

The closures starting Thursday are to allow water and sewer mains to be installed for the National Capital River Pavilion — formerly known as the Ottawa New Edinburgh Club —  in a project to repair and upgrade the heritage building and create new ways for the public to enjoy the shoreline, the NCC said.

Starting Thursday and through July 24, a section of the multi-use pathway will be closed and cyclists and pedestrians are asked to follow the directions of workers with flags onto designated detours.

From Monday through Friday, sections of the eastbound and westbound lanes of the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway will be closed alternately between Acacia Avenue and Tennis Crescent during off-peak hours, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Flags, traffic cones and signs will direct motorists into the open lane.

It’s part of a spate of NCC projects underway.

Crews will be installing flexible bollards along the Champlain Bridge from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily through Friday, weather permitting, “as part of our ongoing work to improve the safety of our infrastructure.”

Construction on the Ottawa River Pathway along Parliament Hill will also affect pedestrians and cyclists this week. The section between the Cliff Heating and Cooling Plant parking lot and the Pit parking is closed until Friday at 6 p.m. to allow workers to connect a storm sewer tie-in to their construction site. A detour is in place.

In case you missed it earlier this week, getting around will be getting faster for O-Train Line 1 riders.

OC Transpo said that eight trains would be running starting Wednesday with seven-minute service “every day of the week.”

Inspections were stepped up after cracks were found in train wheels.

But Rideau Transit Group has a new routine for wheel inspections that allows them to increase the vehicle count for service to eight plus a spare.

On the Quebec side, La Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) made masks mandatory as of this week, following a move OC Transpo made last month.

Still need a mask?

United Way East Ontario and Ottawa Public Health volunteers are selling $15 cloth masks at 10 transit stations during the morning commute this week to raise money to provide masks to the most vulnerable, including isolated seniors and the homeless.

OTHER COVID-19-RELATED CLOSURES:

And a potentially-pricey reminder to motorists to slow down: the City of Ottawa rolled out photo radar near schools this week.

New signs warn motorists when the cameras are in use with the aim of reducing speeds and protecting kids and other vulnerable people.

CONSTRUCTION-RELATED CLOSURES:

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