Winter cycling in Ottawa today? There's a map for that
'It's hard to know what's plowed. And when you're on a bike, that matters a lot,' cycling group president says
If you're thinking of biking to work this winter, whether occasionally or every day, one of the first things you'll likely wonder is, are the bike pathways clear?
Well, now there's a map for that.
The cycling advocacy group Bike Ottawa is now hosting a winter maintenance map on its website, which lets people know if pathways are clear or not.
"It's hard to know what's plowed. And when you're on a bike, that matters a lot," Bike Ottawa president Heather Shearer told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning.
The data is crowdsourced and can be updated by anyone, which means there's a chance the information won't always be completely accurate.
"We're not giving a guarantee with this, that [it's] 100-per-cent correct, but it is the best available information," Shearer said. "We hope that just with time and people using it, it will be pretty accurate."
The conditions of pathways in winter are an annual gripe among cyclists, but Shearer isn't quick to judge the city's snow-clearing efforts.
"I know how hard it is to plow all the roads. We have a massive road network and pathway network and sidewalk network — thousands of kilometres. It's a big job. You're not going to get to everything right away," she said.
"So I always try to be patient, but yeah, we do want to see service eventually."
CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning