Ottawa

Council passes Laurier bike lane pilot

Ottawa city council has approved a plan to install segregated bike lanes on Laurier Avenue, despite objections from some residents.

Condominium group say plan will hurt visitor parking for residents

Ottawa city council has approved a plan to install segregated bike lanes on Laurier Avenue, despite objections from some residents.

The proposal, which was approved by the city's transportation committee earlier this month, calls for bike lanes to run from Elgin to Bronson Streets.

The lanes are part of a two-year pilot project estimated to cost $1.3 million.

The Bank Street Business Improvement Area has complained the proposed lanes will affect their parking and loading bays.

And condominium residents at the west-end of Laurier have asked councillors to chop-off two blocks of the bike lane.

Frank Paterson, who manages three buildings on the street — the Queen Elizabeth Towers and two buildings at 570 Laurier — with 570 total units, says the bike lanes will make it harder for visitors to park near the homes.

"We're not opposed to segregated bicycle lanes but we would have preferred to see it on another street, as Laurier presents very own unique problems," said Paterson, who said many of his residents are seniors with special needs.

"Health care workers and providers come in to give people dialysis or take blood samples, or help them get their meals...and they all park on the street," he said.

Paterson said the Queen Elizabeth Towers has only four visitor parking spaces and the other buildings have none. The city has offered to create parking spots on Gloucester Street and Nepean Street.

But Paterson said those solutions are inadequate and too far for his residents to walk. However, the condos do have underground parking garages and the QET does have a drop-off ramp.

Community activist Eric Darwin says the condominium associations need to do more to help themselves, and make more efficient use of the garage space they do have.

Darwin said the condo associations should convert their own under-utilized spots into visitor spaces, or arrange a rental program.

Paterson said individual units at the QET for the most part own their parking spaces, and said the condominium is not in a position to buy the spots back at an estimated $30,000 a spot.

"Well, the condo association could buy it, but why would we have to pay out of our own pocket when we've got street parking," he said.

The pilot project could be built by the summer.

With files from Giacomo Panico