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Segregated Bicycle Lane Draft Report Response

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					                               TIME SENSITIVE MATERIAL




Segregated Bicycle Lane Draft
      Report Response
           Executive Summary




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Table of Contents


THE BUSINESS CASE ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 4
TOURISM AND CULTURE ................................................................................................................................................................................... 6
SAFETY CONCERNS .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 6
DRIVEWAYS & ENTRANCES (Page 20 section 3.8.5) .............................................................................................................................. 8
TRAFFIC SIGNALS AT MAIN CROSSINGS (Page 23 Section 4.1.4)...................................................................................................... 8
Stage 1 Route Evaluation Results ................................................................................................................................................................... 8
Cycling Conflicts with Vehicles (Page 26 4.2.2.1) ..................................................................................................................................... 9
Adjacent Land Usage (Page 27 Section 4.2.2.2) ........................................................................................................................................ 9
Vehicle Traffic Volumes (Page 29 Section 4.2.2.3) ................................................................................................................................... 9
Truck Traffic (Page 30 Section 4.2.2.4) ..................................................................................................................................................... 10
Impacts to Loading Zones (Page 42 Section 4.2.5.2) (Page 45 - Table 4.16).............................................................................. 10
Stage 2 Evaluation Results (Page 45 - Table 4.16) ............................................................................................................................... 11
Public Open House Attendance (Page 47 Section 5.3.1) ..................................................................................................................... 11
Preferred Corridor (Page 49 Section 5.3.3) ............................................................................................................................................. 11
Impacts to traffic flow on Laurier Avenue (Page 65 Section 6.2.2.2) ............................................................................................ 11
Final Corridor Evaluation (Page 62 Section 7.2.1) ............................................................................................................................... 12
Automobile Traffic Impacts (Page 67 Section 7.2.6) ............................................................................................................................ 12
Curb side Garbage Collection (Page 67 Section 7.2.7) ......................................................................................................................... 13
Parking Impact (page 67 section 7.2.8) .................................................................................................................................................... 13
Shopping Environment Impacts (Page 68 Section 7.2.9) ................................................................................................................... 14
Impacts on Adjacent Streets (page 72) ..................................................................................................................................................... 14
Driveways Parkade Entrances (pg 74 section 8.1.5) ............................................................................................................................ 14
Parking Zones (Page 75 Section 8.1.6) ...................................................................................................................................................... 15
Loading Zones (Page 78 Section 8.1.7) ...................................................................................................................................................... 16
Taxi Zones (Page 79 Section 8.1.8) .............................................................................................................................................................. 16
Hotel Zones (page 79 Section 8.1.9) ............................................................................................................................................................ 17
School Bus Loading Zone (page 79 Section 8.1.10) .............................................................................................................................. 17
Para-Transpo (page 80 Section 8.1.11)..................................................................................................................................................... 17
Street Vendors (Page 81 Section 8.1.12) ................................................................................................................................................... 17
Monitoring Plan – Vélo Quebec (Page 94) ............................................................................................................................................... 18
Next Steps (page 95) ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 18




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We have extensively reviewed the material, data, analysis, and recommendations
contained in the East-West Segregated Bicycle Lane draft report. As a result, we have
serious concerns and reservations regarding the practicality feasibility and safety of
Laurier Avenue as the selected corridor. We believe it is important to remember that
Laurier Avenue was a distant third choice with respect to attendees to the four public
open houses, as the preferred corridor.

In fact, only one hundred sixty-eight people in total attended the four open houses.
The City does not differentiate how many of the same people attended multiple open
houses. We have requested the sign in sheets. However, to date we have not received
them. The report states that eight percent of the attendees chose Laurier Avenue as
the preferred corridor. Eight percent of one hundred sixty-eight equals approximately
thirteen. It is probable that less than thirteen people chose Laurier Avenue if the
same people attended multiple open houses. However, if the City counted each
attendant only once then the maximum number of people who chose Laurier Avenue
is 13. Furthermore, in the Appendix titled: “Segregated Bike Lane Pilot Project” (pg
22) provides comments from people that attended the open houses. By City staff’s
own admission; only several respondents chose Laurier avenue and while it had some
desirable factors the corridor also received these comments “that the traffic volume
is too high for many cyclists to consider riding on, and that the connections to
the East and West (MacKenzie King Bridge, Albert/Scott St) are also difficult and
dangerous areas for cyclists.”

In addition, on page 23 of the draft report, under the title Traffic Signals at Main
Crossing 4.4.4 it states that [“design “vehicle” for a segregated cycling lane is for an
accompanied 12 year old child to safely travel along the corridor”]. Ultimately, we
believe that the litmus test with respect to the selected corridor (Laurier Avenue) is
whether a person would send their own 12 year old child accompanied down the
entirety of the Laurier Avenue Corridor.

If, at the conclusion of our response, you would hesitate to send a child down the
corridor, then we ask that you reject Laurier Avenue as the selected corridor and ask
staff to determine a new, safer corridor. It should be noted that one of the major
differences with respect to the implementation of a SBL between Toronto and Ottawa;
is that the Toronto City Council gave staff a [primary directive stating that SBLs are to
be implemented where it has a MINIMAL impact on parking and traffic.]

The Laurier corridor has a major impact on parking and traffic and, as such would not
be considered to be utilized as a potential as an SBL in Toronto. We will endeavour
through our analysis to clearly demonstrate that the majority of information and data
                                            3
used to support Laurier Avenue as the selected corridor is biased, ostensibly
irrelevant in most cases and highly questionable with respect to the safety
considerations especially as they would apply to novice or young cyclists.

Due to the voluminous amount of material, we have divided our response to correlate
to the sections and titles in the draft report.


THE BUSINESS CASE

Contrary to the draft report conclusions, [the economic benefits of an SBL are not
universal and are dependent on many variables within the study area]. Authors
of the draft report would have you believe that the benefits that accrue to the City’s
utilized in the report that have extensive cycling infrastructure (Copenhagen, Hague,
San Francisco, North Carolina, Portland, Victoria BC, and Australia) will be realized in
Ottawa. We, however, believe that there are significant differences in the City’s
used to support the case for implementing an SBL in Ottawa and as a result will
substantially reduce the perceived benefits of an SBL on a main arterial road in
downtown Ottawa. The business case for an SBL is ostensibly predicated on a
presentation by Ine Molenoor from The Hague and Roger Geiler from Portland as well
as research from Copenhagen; the research conducted by City of Ottawa Staff, as
contained in appendix 3 is primarily based on Toronto – Bloor Street (SBL not
implemented – a hypothetical analysis), Victoria BC, North Carolina, Portland, the
European Commissions Report and the Australian Bicycle commission. The vast
majority of the aforementioned research used to expound the qualitive and quantive
benefits of SBLs is not relevant to the Ottawa market.

First, the vast majority of cities used have mild winters which extends cycling
into the winter months thereby increasing usage and frequency. By stark
contrast Ottawa has inclement winters with temperatures exceeding -30°C
compounded by strong north-east winds/snow/sleet and ice. Therefore, by simple
comparison, the practicality and safety of a novice cyclist traversing the downtown
core in the winter months is highly questionable. In addition, the European cities
have a compact urban form with much higher densities than Ottawa and in some
cases with substantially reduced roadway widths, especially in the historic part of
many European cities. The higher densities produces major traffic congestion
problems and thereby makes cycling a more attractive alternative to driving a vehicle.
Extensively, Ottawa has infinitely smaller traffic congestion than most major
European and American cities utilized. Therefore the reasons for which people utilize
cycling in European cities is not necessarily applicable to cyclists in Ottawa.
                                           4
Furthermore, in many European cities, the narrow roads, in combination with the
high densities cannot physically accommodate high volumes of vehicular traffic
thereby necessitating that individuals seek out alternative modes of transportation.
The cost of living in European cities is significantly higher than that of Ottawa for
example fuel in many European cities is double the cost of fuel in Ottawa. Therefore it
is reasonable to assume that many cyclists in Europe do so out of economic necessity,
however, this is by and large not the case that motivates Ottawan’s to cycle. The
lifestyle and consequently consumer behaviour of residents in many of the cities
utilized both in the UK and North America is significantly different than those
individuals in Ottawa. The fact is cycling in the majority of cities utilized for the
purpose of the draft report is more attractive from an economic and lifestyle
perspective. Furthermore, in many cases we have determined that City staff are not
using comparable examples to arrive at their conclusions and recommendations. For
instance, the report does not mention that in San Francisco the Valenica Street SBL
has retained on-street parking. In the Bloor street study, Ottawa City Staff does not
indicate that basically the Bloor Street study is conjecture, supposition and
assumptions. In fact, the Bloor Street Study is hypothetical as it has not been
implemented and the relevant business survey questions were predicated on 50%
removal of on-street parking. In contrast, Ottawa City Staff is recommending 80%
removal of on-street parking in the Laurier Avenue corridor. Also, as previously
mentioned, the primary directive from Toronto City Council is to select corridors
with the least impact on parking and traffic. In addition, in the appendix of the
draft report under the heading of Bloor Street Study, the researchers state that their
sampling /respondents were heavily weighted towards the university students as
they form a large population in the study area. This bias [consequently skews the
results heavily towards that demography and lifestyle segmentation of university
students]. The [Bloor Street Study also states that “more than halfway through
the timeline established for the implementation of the Toronto Bike Plans less
than 20% of the planned-for-on-street bike lanes have been built; in part,
because of opposition from businesses on-streets where there are proposed.]
Businesses people by their very nature are entrepreneurial and actively seek
opportunities to increase their trade. Therefore, if over 80% of the Bike Paths have
not been implemented then in fact there are serious economic drawbacks to the
implementation of bike lanes.

The above, speaks to the fact that the economic benefits of an SBL are not universal.
To reinforce our point, we asked Ottawa City Staff why there are not more relevant
comparisons of cities that are similar to Ottawa especially with the same climate
                                           5
conditions. City staff answered by saying there are few examples of Cities such as
ours. We firmly believe that there are few examples primarily due to the fact that the
economic benefits, utility safety and ultimately feasibility of SBLs are reduced
proportionately in the vast majority of cases studied as you move north of Kingston,
Ontario. Without question, if the economic benefits were substantial and attainable
businesses would be the first in line to advocate an SBL. However, this is not the
case, the fact is Ottawa City Staff has attempted to make a business case
primarily based on non-comparable economic, geographic, and lifestyle data
with little basis in fact with respect to the circumstances in Ottawa.


TOURISM AND CULTURE

We agree that cycling, as a component of alternative modes of transportation, is
attractive under the right circumstances. However, to the extent that the vast
majority of tourists access Ottawa by one-day automobile trips, we believe it is
counterproductive for our tourism sector to make it more difficult for visitors to
navigate Laurier/Downtown with the advent of more congestion, longer idling times,
restricted turns and turning prohibitions. To reduce the viability of our tourist sector
by introducing punitive traffic management measures will undoubtedly undermine
many of the efforts made by tourism associations and individuals to attract visitors to
the Nation’s Capital. That is not to say that bicycles do not occupy an important niche
for the tourism sector, however, we believe it should not compromise the efforts of so
many to increase Ottawa as a tourist destination. If indeed, we lived in San Francisco,
Portland, The Hague, Victoria, Venezuela, then perhaps would cycling would occupy a
larger segment of tourism facilitation, as it does in the aforementioned cities.
However, Ottawa being a northern capital city has in climate weather that greatly
restricts the practicality and safety of cycling for at least four to five months per
annum.


SAFETY CONCERNS

     Road safety of cycle tracks (Excerpt from Copenhagen Study)

     From Table 1 it can be deduced that the construction segregated bike lanes has
     resulted in three gains in road safety: fewer accidents in which cars hit or ran
     over cyclists from the rear, fewer accidents with cyclists turning left and fewer
     accidents in which cyclists rode into a parked car. These gains were
     outweighed by new safety problems: more accidents in which cyclists rode into
     other cyclists often when overtaking, more accidents with cars turning right,
     more accidents in which cars turning left drove into cyclists as well as more
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     accidents between cyclists/pedestrians and exiting or entering bus passengers.




Proponents of an SBL on Laurier Street assert that the significant number of accidents
and injuries as contained in the table above are somehow miss-reported and in fact
not accurate. We believe that if that was the case then the authors of the Copenhagen
report would have dismissed the accident data and it would not have been provided
in the body of their report.

We further believe that through our analysis of the data presented in the draft report
we will demonstrate that Laurier Avenue is not a good candidate for a corridor with
respect to safety considerations. In fact as previously stated, attendees at the open
house who cycle also admit that parts of the Laurier corridor are dangerous to
cyclists.


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DRIVEWAYS & ENTRANCES (Page 20 section 3.8.5)

                        Quote: “Driveways and entrances create a potential
                         conflict zone between cyclists and motor vehicles”


Response: The Laurier Avenue corridor has beet 35 -45 entrances ostensibly to
parking garages and loading zones therefore creating a significant potential for
accidents to occur between cyclists and vehicles.

                        Quote: “Entrances to larger businesses or parking
                      garages allow vehicles to enter and exit facing forward
                         but high volume of vehicles entering and exiting
                        throughout the day causes a potential conflict for
                             accidents between cyclists and vehicles.”




TRAFFIC SIGNALS AT MAIN CROSSINGS (Page 23 Section 4.1.4)

                         Quote: “That the traffic volume is too high for many
                      cyclists to consider riding on, and that the connections to
                      the East and West (MacKenzie King Bridge, Albert/Scott
                       St) are also difficult and dangerous areas for cyclists.”


Response: As you can see cyclists perceive the Laurier Avenue corridor as
problematic and in fact dangerous as it requires cyclists to traverse an area out of the
corridor and current bike paths.

As previously noted, on page 23 section 4.4.4, it states that the design [“vehicle” for a
segregated cycling lane is for an accompanied 12 year old child to safely travel
along the corridor”.] Ultimately, we believe that the litmus test with respect to the
selected corridor (Laurier Avenue) is whether a person would send their own 12 year
old son or daughter unaccompanied down the entirety of the Laurier Avenue
Corridor.


Stage 1 Route Evaluation Results

Please note that on table 4.1 that Laurier was one of six corridors that was selected
according to total points in the first stage evaluation.




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Cycling Conflicts with Vehicles (Page 26 4.2.2.1)

                      Quote: “A vehicle making a right turn across a signalized
                      bike facility creates a potential conflict with cyclists going
                      straight at an intersection. The frequency and volume of
                          right turning vehicles is an important factor when
                            considering the location of a cycling corridor.”


Response: In the stage 2 evaluation, corridors with more than 6000 right turning
vehicles per day were not awarded any points as [Laurier Avenue has more than
6000 vehicles turning right per day] it received no points. Clearly, there are some
major safety considerations and serious implications with respect to over 6000
vehicles turning right per day. We firmly believe that the number of vehicles turning
right on Laurier Avenue seriously reduces safety and therefore the feasibility of the
corridor.


Adjacent Land Usage (Page 27 Section 4.2.2.2)

                         Quote: “Each driveway or entrance to a business or
                       parking lot/garage creates a potential conflict between
                                       cyclists and vehicles.”


Response: Laurier Avenue has between 35-75 entrances and driveways ostensibly
parking garages and loading zones. We believe that the number of entrances which
close in on 75 are problematic and pose a significant safety hazard for cyclists. We
feel that it is not reasonable or appropriate to subject a novice cyclist to conditions in
which a skilful cyclists finds dangerous.


Vehicle Traffic Volumes (Page 29 Section 4.2.2.3)

                       Quote: “The main purpose of a segregated bicycle facility
                            is to provide cyclists with a safe environment by
                         physically separating them from traffic. This type of
                      facility is intended to allow timid or inexperienced cyclists
                                to feel safe travelling along any corridor.”


Response: Laurier Avenue has between 3000-7000 vehicles per day (as noted before
the Laurier corridor experiences 6000 vehicles turning right per day, therefore, it is
reasonable to assume that the traffic volume for Laurier Avenue is closer to 7000).


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Three to seven thousand vehicles per day as well as thirty-six thousand vehicles in the
area of the corridor. We firmly believe that the high volume of vehicular traffic both
on and around the corridor presents a significant risk to the safety of inexperienced
cyclists and therefore a corridor with moderate traffic volume should be chosen.


Truck Traffic (Page 30 Section 4.2.2.4)

                         Quote: “High volumes of truck or heavy vehicles will
                             frequently cause safety concerns for cyclists.
                       Implementing a SBL can significantly improve the safety
                          of cyclists on corridors where truck traffic is high.


Response: It is noted that 3% of Laurier Avenue’s vehicular traffic are trucks.
Therefore, 3% of 7000 is equivalent to 210 trucks per day. Many of these trucks
are double tandem tractor trailer trucks that are routinely making deliveries to large
commercial office complexes along the corridor. In order to facilitate delivery, those
trucks must cross the cycle lane which increases potential for accidents between
trucks and cyclists. [We strongly feel that the number of trucks and the type of
trucks that traverse the Laurier corridor pose a significant safety hazard,
especially to novice cyclists.]


Impacts to Loading Zones (Page 42 Section 4.2.5.2) (Page 45 - Table 4.16)

                         Quote: “Many businesses rely on loading zones, taxi
                      stands, and hotel zones to carry out their daily activities.
                       These designated zones along the selected corridor may
                      have to be moved or removed completely to impact as few
                       businesses as possible it would be [preferable to select a
                       corridor which has fewer designated loading zones, taxi
                                       stands or hotel zones.]”


Response: The Laurier Avenue corridor was awarded no points in the evaluation as it
has over 150 meters (a minimum of 487 feet) of designated loading zones. The
Laurier Avenue corridor by staff’s own criteria is a poor candidate for a safe corridor
with respect to the number of loading zones located in the corridor. In fact, with 75
entrances and over 450 feet of loading zones, the Laurier Avenue corridor
represents serious potential for collisions to occur between vehicles and
cyclists.



                                                  10
Stage 2 Evaluation Results (Page 45 - Table 4.16)

                       Quote: “These low scores reflect the existing constrained
                         conditions in downtown Ottawa and the significant
                         impacts to implementing segregated bicycle lanes.”


Response: The total points available are 13 per direction for a total of 26 possible
points. The highest score was awarded to Slater Street which received 17 out of 26.
The second is Somerset Street which received 16 of 26. [Laurier Avenue was
awarded just 10 out of 26 points and in fact came last in the 20 possible
combinations and permutations]. It is clear to see that much of the Stage 2
selection criteria dealt primarily with safety concerns. In that regard, [Laurier
scored the lowest, or last, amongst all corridors.] We feel strongly that Laurier
Avenue should therefore be removed as a selected corridor, primarily due to the fact
that safety concerns are exacerbated on Laurier Avenue relative to other feasible
corridors.


Public Open House Attendance (Page 47 Section 5.3.1)

The total number of attendees resulting from four open houses only totalled 168.
However, City Staff has not disclosed how many individuals attended more than one
open house and whether those individuals were counted more than once in the total
thereby skewing the number of attendees higher. (Please note we have requested the
sign in sheets from City Staff, however, as of yet we have not received them). If
indeed, individuals who attended multiple open houses were counted more than once
than the number of people who attended is lower than reported by City staff.


Preferred Corridor (Page 49 Section 5.3.3)

As a preferred corridor, [Laurier Avenue was a distant third and received only
8% support. Eight percent of a hundred and sixty eight is equivalent to 13
people (maximum) chose Laurier Avenue.] We believe that, that number is too
low to justify the potential safety hazards and disruptions that will occur if Laurier
received approval for an SBL.


Impacts to traffic flow on Laurier Avenue (Page 65 Section 6.2.2.2)

At present, Laurier Avenue during peak hours has an E level of road service (E level is
second lowest road service other than F which is failure). However, eliminating two
travel lanes, restricting right hand turns to green lights (6000 vehicles per day turn

                                                  11
right off of the Laurier corridor), prohibiting left turns (180 vehicles per hours in peak
hours) will cause a road service level of F or failure especially during peak hours.
Therefore according to the draft report, [20% of the vehicular traffic must be
diverted if Laurier is to maintain the same level of service it has currently (E).]
It should be noted that no provisions or analysis have been performed to determine
impact on adjacent streets resulting from the 20% diversion off of Laurier Avenue.
Also noteworthy, is the fact that 30% of vehicles will have to be diverted at Elgin
and Laurier by either turning left or right. Failure to achieve 30% diversion
will exacerbate the road service levels on Laurier Avenue. We believe that many
vehicles will be cutting through residential neighbourhoods which in turn presents
further safety concerns with respect to collisions between pedestrians and vehicles.


Final Corridor Evaluation (Page 62 Section 7.2.1)

[The size of the Laurier corridor and surrounding area as defined in table 7.1
page 62 is almost twice the size of the Somerset and Gladstone corridors
combined.] We firmly believe that City Staff has increased the size of the surrounding
area, which in turn inflates the numbers of cyclists which adds in bolstering Laurier
Avenue’s position within the context of the final corridor evaluation, as the Laurier
corridor area takes in the majority of the financial district and core area, we feel it is
reasonable to postulate that a large number of the 2,100 cyclists shown in table 7.1
are bicycle couriers who will not use the Laurier corridor. Furthermore, as
shown in Table 7.1, there are [almost 39,000 motor vehicles per day in the
corridor area as defined by the table.] The number of vehicles in the Laurier
corridor area is more than double that of Somerset Street corridor area (19,600) and
triple the vehicles in the Gladstone corridor area. While we understand it is desirable
to facilitate an SBL on a somewhat busy street we feel that subjecting novice cyclists
to extremely high volumes of vehicular traffic presents a serious safety concern.


Automobile Traffic Impacts (Page 67 Section 7.2.6)

This section states that implementing a SBL on Laurier Avenue would increase
vehicular travel times by upwards of 7 minutes this seems extraordinary when
compared to data provided in section 6.2.2.2 (Impacts to Traffic Flow on Laurier
Avenue). The report states on page 55-56 that a 20% traffic diversion is required to
achieve an approximate same level of road service (E). Are we to believe that
removing two travel lanes, restricting right hand turns to green lights, prohibiting left
turns will result in a delay of 7 minutes? We believe that the delays that will be


                                               12
experiences will be far in excess of 7 minute delay. In fact, when combined with
inclimate weather we believe two scenarios will transpire:

   1. Road Service levels will fail causing major traffic congestion.
   2. Consequently drivers of vehicles will look for opportunities to snake through
      residential areas in an attempt to get to their destination. In our opinion,
      diverting a significant amount of vehicular traffic to residential streets is
      contrary to City Council’s intent and in fact could pose significant safety
      concerns regard residents and vehicles.
   3. Traffic congestion and the resulting road service level failures will inevitably
      increase vehicle idling times which will increase CO2 emissions thereby
      negating one of the purported benefits achieved by the implementation and
      usage of SBLs.
   4. It is difficult to understand how an SBL in this instance will reduce traffic
      congestion when in fact it is increasing congestion and travel times through the
      core.


Curb side Garbage Collection (Page 67 Section 7.2.7)

It is noted that Laurier Avenue has primarily but not exclusively off-street garbage
collection while this fact is touted as a positive by Vélo Quebec. In our opinion, it is a
negative as large commercial garbage collection vehicles must cross the cycling zone
in order to access the area where garbage collection is performed. As you will recall,
Laurier Avenue has over 500 feet of loading zones and in addition 35-75 entrances
and driveways we believe that those entrances will ostensibly facilitate garbage
collection. In our estimation, having large commercial garbage trucks cross the cycle
zone multiple times during any given weekday (garbage is collected on different days
by different service providers) and has the potential to precipitate collisions between
vehicles and cyclists. It should be noted that some of the collection vehicles will have
to drive in reverse in order to access garbage collection areas. This means that they
will be crossing the cycle lane with not necessarily the same field of vision as would
be expected if they are proceeding forward into the loading zone.


Parking Impact (page 67 section 7.2.8)

Laurier Avenue corridor and surrounding area according to staff has approximately
12, 300 parking spaces available for public parking in the immediate area. Staff uses
this figure to mitigate the loss of 140 short term parking spaces on Laurier in addition
city staff proposes to facilitate more parking on Gloucester and Nepean to again
mitigate the effect of removing parking on Laurier Avenue. First, [we challenge City
                                               13
staff to show the availability of 12,300 off-street parking spaces in the
immediate area that is available to the general public.] In fact, the vast majority
of off-street parking is not available to the general public, as large commercial
buildings usually have minimal parking for the general public, while the vast majority
of their parking spaces are dedicated to their tenants and their respective clients.
Furthermore, removal of on-street parking spaces is contrary to the City of Ottawa’s
parking management strategy objective of maintaining short-term on-street
parking, as an important service to small businesses. In addition, we believe data
demonstrates clearly that it is unlikely for individuals who are conducting business on
Laurier will park two to three blocks away (Gloucester/Nepean). The data that is
utilized for determining the parking impacts is from 2005, since that time there has
been a significant reduction in surface lot parking in the immediate area, as a result of
residential and commercial developments. Therefore, we believe that in fact the
reduction of 140 on-street parking spaces will have a significant impact not only with
respect to short-term parking inventory but also with respect to the consumer’s
disposition to have parking in close proximity to their destination.


Shopping Environment Impacts (Page 68 Section 7.2.9)

[We challenge the assertion that a SBL bike lane on Laurier Avenue would
encourage new commercial growth.] The fact is, the majority of commercial activity
(retail) is located within large commercial buildings and is primarily intended to
serve corporate clients. Since the corridor is fully built-out there would be no
opportunity for new commercial or retail enterprises in the corridor. (The exception
is the western part of the corridor where the former Ottawa Tech High School was
located.)


Impacts on Adjacent Streets (page 72)

The expected diversion of vehicle trips from Laurier will have an impact on
operations along adjacent streets. [There is no analysis in the SBL Pilot Project
draft report that speaks to where traffic will be diverted.]


Driveways Parkade Entrances (pg 74 section 8.1.5)

The current access points to Laurier Avenue have been maintained in the proposed
SBP pilot project design. [The authors state that the entrances and driveways
present the potential for vehicle/cyclist collisions, as vehicles will be crossing
the SBL to access driveways and/or parkade entrances.] Given the high density of
office workers, it is reasonable to assume especially in the A.M. peak hours that there
                                             14
will be more or less a constant stream of vehicles accessing parkade entrances. This
in turn will present a formidable safety risk to cyclists. In addition, and as previously
stated, Laurier has between 35-75 parkade entrances with loading and other zones in
the magnitude of 500 feet. We believe that common sense would dictate that the
potential for collisions are significant.




Parking Zones (Page 75 Section 8.1.6)

The 2005 Parking Study according to staff identifies 12,300 off-street parking spaces
within a two-block radius. The study does not mention the fact that the vast majority
of the 12,300 parking spaces are located within large office complexes (minimum
public parking – parking is reserved for tenants and their clients). The general
public does not have access to the majority of parking spaces for a variety of
reasons:

   1. Many of the building are government owned or leased. Consequently, their
      security procedures commonly lock-down access to parking after 5:30 or 6:00
      pm.
   2. There has been significant infill both commercial and residential which has
      significantly reduced parking inventory in the immediate area of Laurier.
      Furthermore, City Council has reduced parking requirements for residential
      high rises which in turn adds to the further reduction of on-street spaces as
      residents of those buildings park on the street (further reducing parking
      inventory).
   3. Parking is reserved for tenants and their clients as a result there are no parking
      spaces are available to the general public.

City staff hypothesizes that they can offset the reduction of parking on Laurier and the
resulting revenue loss by implementing on-street parking on Gloucester Street and
Nepean Street. The City claims that they can accommodate 96 parking spots on those
side streets.

In our experience over 25 years, we firmly believe, that the City will not realize the
same utilization and, therefore, revenue of parking on side streets, as opposed to
Laurier Avenue. Data suggests that it is not reasonable to believe that clients will
walk from Nepean Street to Laurier Avenue, especially in the winter months.
Therefore, we anticipate lower utilization of on-street meters on Gloucester and
Nepean Streets and a commensurate reduction in revenue. In addition, many of the
                                           15
Cities used that speaks the positive attributes of an SBL (have not had the majority of
on-street parking removed) (Laurier Ave 80% removal of on-street parking). As
previously stated in San Francisco parking is retained in the Valencia area of the
city. Furthermore, hypothetical scenario set out for the Bloor Street study asks
questions of businesses predicated on 50% removal of on street parking spaces
(Toronto City Council Directive – to implement SBLs where they have little impact on
parking and traffic). Clearly, the City has not in many cases used comparable data and
as a result their conclusions are not accurate.



Loading Zones (Page 78 Section 8.1.7)

                        Quote: “Because of the alignment constraints at the
                      intersection of Bank Street and Laurier Street, a loading
                        zone could not be accommodated on the north side.”


Response: The present loading zone is over 20 meters in length and provides direct
access to the loading dock at 161 Bank Street. As a result, the loading zones have been
relocated to the south side of Laurier Avenue while maintaining the current position
just East of Bank Street. This proposed move eliminates direct loading access to 161
Bank Street. The retail operation located at 161 Bank Street is called Murale (a
10,000+ sq. ft. Cosmetic store and blow-dry bar. The operation is product intensive
which means it receives deliveries from multiple suppliers on a daily basis. From a
logistic and safety perspective having a loading zone across a main arterial road is not
practical, appropriate or feasible.

There is no indication whether the tenants of that building have been made aware of
the proposed change. Furthermore, loading zones are no longer located along the
sidewalk, which will require that delivered goods are unloaded from [the delivery
truck (with-in the designated loading zone) and then transferred across the cycle
zone and onto the sidewalk]. As previously stated, [Laurier Avenue has over 500
feet of loading zones, in addition to taxi and hotel zones.] Considering the size of
the buildings in the Laurier corridor and the magnitude of supplies that are needed
for the operation of those buildings. Deliveries transpire at a rate that we believe
seriously compromises cyclist safety.


Taxi Zones (Page 79 Section 8.1.8)



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Taxi zones will [require all passengers to cross the segregated bicycle facility in
order to reach the sidewalk.] When one considers, the fact that many office
workers utilize taxis as opposed to their own cars to attend meetings, we feel that City
Staff should contact taxi companies directly in order to quantify the number of fares
that are picked up and dropped off in a given business day along the Laurier Avenue
corridor.
We are confident, that the number of stops made by taxis is significant thus posing
further potential for collisions between cyclists and taxis and or their passengers.


Hotel Zones (page 79 Section 8.1.9)

The report states that drivers will have to cross over the cycling lane to pull-in to the
hotel, as will tour busses in order to discharge their passengers and unload luggage.
The periods of day that we believe pose the greatest potential of collisions between
vehicles and cyclists is check in and out times. When one considers the size of the
hotel and the fact that it can accommodate thousands of guests; it is reasonable to
assume that a considerable safety concern is warranted, especially at the
aforementioned times of day.


School Bus Loading Zone (page 79 Section 8.1.10)

The proposed design will change the operations of the school bus loading zone in that
children loading or being discharged from the bus will now have to cross the
segregated bike lane thereby creating another potential for collisions to occur
between children and cyclists.


Para-Transpo (page 80 Section 8.1.11)

The draft report recommends moving a Para-Transpo stop North of Bay. We believe
that Para-Transpo drop-zones are determined and designated by virtue of their
client’s frequent trips to specific destinations. Therefore, we feel that users of Para-
Transpo that require a wheelchair or other walking aids would find it physically
difficult to reference their destination given the fact that they probably will need to
travel further and therefore exert greater energy. This could be exacerbated by
inclimate weather which restricts movement for people without challenges let alone
those trying to manage with physical limitations.


Street Vendors (Page 81 Section 8.1.12)



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The proposed relocation of chip wagon from 20 meters east of the intersection at
Bank Street to a location on Bank Street is inappropriate. To suggest that relocation
could be facilitated on a major arterial road which would obstruct peak-hour traffic
and upset fixed premise business owners by taking up a valuable on-street parking
space and blocking the entirety of their store windows is not desirable or practical.
The reasons we have stated are precisely why there are no vendors on Bank Street
proper.


Monitoring Plan – Vélo Quebec (Page 94)

[Nowhere in the monitoring plan which measures performance is the word
safety mentioned nor are there provisions for tracking accidents/collisions
over the period of the pilot project.] When a Vélo Quebec representative was
questioned about the absence of an instrument to measure or track accidents and
injuries. [I was told that of course it was part of the monitoring plan; it is
presumed and therefore not included]. I must say that in my twenty-five years of
administering the business of the BIA I have not heard a more incredulous
explanation, if we are to follow the logic put forward by the Vélo Quebec
representative then essentially we are left to guess what might be included in the
plan but is not included or written down in the monitoring plan. The explanation
causes us pause with respect to a representative from an organization that professes
to be experts in cycling infrastructure would put forward such a dubious
rationalization. Moreover, when you consider that in the introduction of the draft
study it states [that the overriding concern for the implementation of the
corridor is safety]. That is in stark contrast to a monitoring plan that is completely
absent and devoid of any mechanism to measure collisions and the severity of injuries
during the pilot period.


Next Steps (page 95)

The phraseology utilized in the first paragraph of this section to support using Laurier
Avenue as the selected corridor strongly intimates that it was selected by City Staff
based on the corridor evaluation process and the public consultation. With respect to
the evaluation process, we find it extraordinary that Laurier Avenue placed dead last
in the second stage evaluation. [Laurier Avenue was the last among twenty
possible corridor permutations and combinations]. The mechanism, by which
Laurier could go from dead last at a second stage evaluation to first choice in the draft
report, even though a maximum of thirteen people at the open house chose it, is
incredible. With respect to the public open houses and as previously stated Laurier
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Avenue was a distant third choice amongst attendees of the four open houses
(maximum thirteen people chose Laurier). However, the same individuals might have
been counted twice or more thereby reducing the net number that chose Laurier
Avenue as a selected corridor). [By the attendees own admission, there were
parts of the Laurier corridor that are avoided by advanced cyclists due to the
high volumes of vehicular traffic and the dangerous route that must be taken at
the expiration of the segregated bicycle lane.] [We believe that it would not be
reasonable, feasible or, foremost, safe, to introduce an unaccompanied twelve year
old child to traverse a corridor that advanced cyclists avoid.]


Summary

The benefits of segregated bike lanes are not universal but rather contingent upon
many variables within the study area such as climate, urban form, population
densities, cost of living and lifestyles. As a result, we believe that City staff has not
successfully achieved the objectives for implementation of a safe, segregated bike lane
on Laurier Avenue. In fact, under the present circumstances, we believe the measures
undertaken to produce a safe cycling corridor on Laurier Avenue are not sufficient,
realistic or, in some cases, workable and as a result could potentially subject novice
cyclists to a false sense of security. Common sense dictates that, regardless of
opinions expressed by experts, you do not subject a novice cyclist (unaccompanied 12
year old child) to a multitude of potential conflict zones and collision points along a
cycle corridor.

In the final analysis, we believe the real litmus test is whether you would feel
comfortable in allowing your child (unaccompanied 12 year old child is the design
vehicle utilized) to traverse the Laurier Avenue corridor alone. The answer to the
aforementioned question should form the basis of your disposition regarding this
issue. In our estimation, the multitude of outstanding safety concerns and the
corresponding and proportional potential for collisions effectively marginalizes
Laurier Avenue, as a safe and feasible cycling corridor.

We believe we have demonstrated the reason why Laurier Avenue was a distant third
choice amongst attendees to the open houses. The simple reason given by individuals
at the open houses was namely that the vehicular traffic volumes are too high and
sections of the corridor are dangerous and that is why it is avoided by advanced
cyclists. We believe the measures outlined in the SBL draft report, which are intended
to mitigate safety and other concerns, do not rise to a level which is commensurate
with a safe and feasible cycling environment.

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