Ottawa

City marks 2 million trips on the Laurier Ave. bike lane

Five years after it opened to both compliments and complaints, the Laurier Avenue bike lane has hit a significant milestone: its two millionth ride.

Launch was met with complaints, but now it's just part of the city, says Egli

The public is invited to learn more about a proposed Bay Street bike lane on Thursday. (Trevor Pritchard/CBC Ottawa)

Five years after it opened to both compliments and complaints, the Laurier Avenue bike lane has hit a significant milestone: its two millionth ride.

On Friday, the city announced in a press release that the segregated bike lane had passed the two-million-trip mark.

"I think if you went out and you interviewed people today, you would see that most people just accept it as part of the city's infrastructure — and frankly a pretty cool part of the city's infrastructure," said Coun. Keith Egli, chair of the city's transportation committee, on CBC's All In A Day.

Transportation committee chair Keith Egli says there have been fewer and fewer complaints about the Laurier Avenue bike lane. (CBC)

Initially 1.3-kilometres long, the Laurier Avenue lane has been extended both east and west and is now part of a 12-kilometre bikeway that connects the city's Vanier and Westboro neighbourhoods.

When it was first unveiled as a pilot project in 2011, some downtown businesses worried about the loss of parking spaces, while the Bank Street Business Improvement Area spoke out loudly against the plan.

The lanes also posed concerns for firefighters and other first responders, but cyclists flocked to them — and five years later, complaints have slowed to a trickle, Egli said.

"Things come up with any project, you know. But we have really, I think, worked well with the community, worked well with the businesses and people that live along Laurier," said Egli.

"And when they've raised concerns, we've sat down and tried to find ways to address them."

The city did not say specifically when that two millionth trip occurred. It did note, however, that the bike lane also set a one-day record this summer, attracting 4,128 riders on June 29.