Residents questioned about Laurier bike lane pilot project

The City of Ottawa has hired a survey centre to ask people along Laurier Avenue if they like the segregated bike lanes lining the street.

Surveyors are questioning people on Laurier Avenue about their thoughts on segregated bike lanes

The City of Ottawa has hired a survey centre to ask people along Laurier Avenue if they like the segregated bike lanes lining the street.

The two-year segregated bike lane pilot project ends in July, and the city is trying to get a sense of how successful it's been.

Part of the project's aim is to decrease vehicle traffic and make people feel safe while commuting by bike.

"It gives you that extra buffer zone in between you and the vehicle," said Elliott Cozens, who was biking on Laurier on Wednesday.

Greg Morris, another cyclist, agreed.

Greg Morris says he feels much safer while biking on Laurier Avenue with the segregated lanes. (CBC)

"You're much safer from cars," said Morris.

"I would be very upset if they took the median away, because even if a car can't see you, there's no way it's going to run into you," he said.

Zero collisions

Statistics support Morris' claim. Where the Laurier Avenue corridor used to see an average of five collisions involving cyclists per year, it now has zero.

That's despite the fact that the number of bike riders crossing the intersection of Laurier and Metcalfe Street has jumped from about 600 riders a day two years ago to about 3,000 today.

But not everyone loves the segragated lanes. Several motorists expressed their displeasure on Wednesday.

The results of the survey will be available on the city's website on June 26.

If the city is pleased with the results, the lanes could eventually be expanded to Westboro and Sandy Hill.