Hickory street ped and cyclist bridge


755 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 6R1
Eric Darwin VP & chair, transportation committee

5 Oct 2012

Robert Grimwood, P.Eng.
City of Ottawa

Cc: Diane Holmes, Katherine Hobbs

Re: Hickory crossing

Thank you for coming to our recent meeting to review the Hickory crossing.

We think the right location has been chosen, and will lobby to have the bridge built in the next year.

We do have a big problem with the proposed design.

The proposed bridge width – same as a MUP plus 1’ additional – would be fine if it was simple structure along the length of a single pathway crossing a culvert or cut.

But this is not the case here. The bridge is short, and is at right angles to the east side of the OTrain MUP now under construction. It is at right angles to the proposed path on the west side, due for construction within the next two years. It will also function as a straight-through east-west path connecting two neighborhoods. And it will be on busy paths, carrying dozens, possibly hundreds of rush hour pedestrians to the adjacent OTrain station.

You would NEVER design a motor vehicle structure in such close proximity to an intersection, let alone two intersections, without giving some allowance for turning movements, stopping movements, queuing, varying speeds of different users, etc.

This structure, as currently designed, is inadequate for the purpose and location, and will be congested, possibly dangerously so, right from installation. It will be the direct cause of conflict amongst its users and passers by on the MUPs.

At a minimum, it needs to be at least twice as wide as currently proposed to offer an adequate level of service to the users. We suggest you also re-examine the merits of separating peds from cyclists by way of a raised sidewalk for peds. If the City is to achieve its desired modal split shares for this area, if the condo builders are to offer their clients easy connection to the businesses of Preston Street, then the new infrastructure needs to be not barely adequate to the task, but encouraging more cycling and walking in a livable neighborhood.

For the above reasons, the bridge needs to be at least 7m wide.

We are always available and willing to discuss this structure with you.