Ottawa is a great cycling city but there are gaps along pathways that force cyclists to ride on sidewalks, cut through commercial properties and weave through traffic, a new report suggests.

More than 50 cyclists took part in a cycling audit in September, travelling along 20 different routes across Ottawa to City Hall during the morning commute to identify trouble spots and ways to improve pathways.

None of the participants completed their entire ride on cycling infrastructure, meaning bike lanes, multi-use pathways and cycle tracks.

Participants identified 12 "pinch points," where cyclists and motorists are funnelled together, that should be addressed to increase cycling.

"Pinch points are hard to avoid and many present the cyclists with a dilemma. Do I travel through this pinch point, which is less safe and difficult to ride, do I try to find an alternative or do I choose not to cycle?" the report detailed.

The 12 pinch points identified in the Cycle In report are:

  • Billings Bridge.
  • Bank Street Bridge.
  • Queensway Underpass at Bank Street.
  • Wellington Street West, between Bayswater Avenue and Parkdale Avenue.
  • Beechwood Avenue from the Vanier Parkway to Mackey and Charlevoix streets.
  • Cummings Bridge over the Rideau River.
  • St. Patrick Street Bridge. 
  • Smyth Road – Main Street Bridge.
  • Mackenzie Avenue.
  • Sussex Drive Bridge.
  • The nearly complete Donald Street Bridge over the Rideau River.
  • The planned bridge to link Clegg Street to Fifth Avenue over the Rideau Canal.

Read the full report, completed by the Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict, here.