Welcome Guest! In order to take advantage of all the great features that Waterloo Region Connected has to offer, including participating in the lively discussions below, you're going to have to register. The good news is that it'll take less than a minute and you can get started enjoying Waterloo Region's best online community right away. Click here to get started.

Dear WRConnected Users: Three whole years! We've grown so much over the past three years, and much of that is because of you, the amazing WRConnected Users. But like any other website, there are costs associated with running it. To this point it has been funded out of my own pocket. As some of you may already know, we accept donations. Some of you have made donations (thank you!). This helps cover all of the background costs associated with running this site. If every user were to donate $1 we would more than cover our yearly expenses. If WRConnected is useful to you, take a minute and help keep it online for another year. Any donation is helpful. Thank you.


Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Ottawa Street Widening (Hwy. 7 to Lackner)
#1
I'm surprised there isn't a thread about this:

http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/gettin...nSheet.pdf

This project is well under way! The whole section from River to Lackner is torn up, South of the current alignment. Signage is poor heading West (they should really cover the "Through traffic keep left" sign, as it implies you should drive in the oncoming construction temporary lane!).

The project includes both on-road cycling lanes and a 3m off-road MUT.

(As a novice cyclist - why would they put cycle lanes on the road, and have a MUT? If there's an off-road option, why would I want to ride dangerously close to traffic when I could ride on a relaxing MUT? Or am I not supposed to ride on the MUT in this case? And if not, why is it called a MUT and not a sidewalk?)
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
Reply
#2
Perhaps they're allowing for cyclists of different abilities?
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
Reply
#3
Maybe! I see it other places when riding, and I always scratch my head and wonder what I'm "supposed" to do. I usually end up riding on the road within the designated lane figuring that's what the intent is, but then I see this nice, wide paved trail off to the side... But I don't want to get fined for riding on the "sidewalk".

I guess the differentiation in my mind between "sidewalk" (no riding) and MUT (riding is ok) is that sidewalk is concrete and MUT is paved, but it seems silly that the technology choice should dictate the use. So I'm guessing my mindset is wrong.

I am not sure if Ottawa is getting 4 lanes here instead of 2, or if it is just the addition of cycling lanes and OAL cleanup. I'm guessing it'll be 4 lanes.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
Reply
#4
Several MUTs these days have been paved using concrete, which in many cases makes them indistinguishable from sidewalks, the only way to know is literally to read the construction contract. The city could fix it with signage but hasn't yet done so.

That being said, the reason for building MUTs and cycle lanes, in my mind, is the poor design of MUTs. Proper segregated cycle lane with good intersection design, and separated from pedestrians works just fine for racing cyclists. I experienced this personally in the Netherlands, there really is no issue with racing cyclists on the cyclepaths. However, our trails do not function that way. This means to accommodate both casual cyclists and racing cyclists both are really needed. And even then, the experience for casual cyclists is really quite compromised (no legal safety at intersections, slower cycling time, many dismounts to push ped beg buttons, very bumpy because of curbs, etc.).

But I will give the region credit for building both, it makes a decent effort to provide for all types of cyclists, given the current limitations.
Reply
#5
I suspect racing cyclists (like competitive runners) are not at the top of the list for MUTs. Priority will be to provide trails for commuters and recreational cyclists, runners and walkers. Which, given the numbers, is as it should be.
Reply
#6
MUT tends to be for recreational users, and all sorts of users.

On-street tends to be for people who are using for commuting, or speed.
Reply
#7
I never ride on MUTs, if I can avoid them. As tight as some drivers cut by me, I've never had one jump directly in front of me, which has happened to me, albeit when running. Walkers generally seem more prone to being tuned out to their surroundings and I find their reactions to be unpredictable at best. Considering that the difference in speed between me on a bike and your average walker is probably the same as the difference between me and a passing car on the road, I choose to ride on the road where travellers generally behave more predictably, where I have better opportunities to ride defensively, and where I don't pose a hazard to others. I'm a-okay with this, for what it's worth.
Reply
#8
I'd rather ride on a road than a crowded MUT but aside from the Iron Horse the ones I've used farther out in suburbia tend to not be busy at the times I go by. Some of the MUTs also connect the off-road trails that run throughout the city in an attempt to make a cohesive cycling network. I don't know why better signage isn't being put in as these changes happen.
Reply
#9
The question of whether MUTs are preferable or not aside, there's a few details from planning that I remember from reviewing it on ATAC a couple of years ago.

On Ottawa, the MUTs won't be continuous. They are meant to provide park/trail connections, and there are areas where this was viewed as being important... in particular, the trailhead at the eastern edge of Stanley Park over to just past Franklin where the Dom Cardillo trail system is. I also recall a portion of Ottawa deemed impractical to continue the MUT because of the cost of moving hydro.

(Disclaimer: matching map details to fuzzy memory, some lossiness expected, and sometimes plans change too.)

Now, as for MUTs vs. painted bike lanes: well, as always context matters. But in general, if given the choice between a MUT and an on-road, unbuffered bike lane, I would pick the MUT. I want to see our region put bike infrastructure in place for 8 to 80 year olds, and even though intersection handling for MUTs currently sucks, I expect legislation to eventually catch up.

So what kind of context would change my mind?
  • High pedestrian volumes suggest pedestrian/cycling separation
  • High cycling corridor volumes suggest a directional separation of bike traffic
  • Connecting bike lane infrastructure could make MUT to bike lane transition a problem
Low-volume ped/cycling areas like alongside region arterials are a great place to apply MUTs. If there's room and opportunity for bike lanes I wouldn't object to them, because the road cyclists who travel at higher speed will appreciate them. But it's important to not let their needs get in the way of an accessible bike network.

These days I place a lot of hope and emphasis on separated bike lanes. They seem to provide most of the strengths of MUTs and painted bike lanes, with fewer of the weaknesses, but they have their own challenges too (such as snow clearing.)
Reply
#10
(07-03-2016, 09:11 PM)jamincan Wrote: Considering that the difference in speed between me on a bike and your average walker is probably the same as the difference between me and a passing car on the road, I choose to ride on the road where travellers generally behave more predictably, where I have better opportunities to ride defensively, and where I don't pose a hazard to others. I'm a-okay with this, for what it's worth.

You must be a very fast rider. For most people though, there is no comparison. Average walking speed is 5km/h, average cycling speed is 15km/h, average car speed in the city is the posted 50km/h.

A collision between a person and a bike happens at 10km/h speed differential and at a minimal weight difference. A car accident happens at a speed differential of 30 to 35km/h and a mass differential of 10x between cyclist and cars.

Having said that, I agree with you that really fast cyclists (>25km/h) belong on the road not on MUTs.
Reply
#11
I should think our average is at least 20 km/h. Copenhagen is 16 km/h, and they have a lot of leisurely commuters. Walking on Iron Horse Trail, I find that the bicyclists zip past pretty quickly. I would hazard a guess that most are between 20 and 25 km/h, but I have no actual data.
Reply
#12
Even if I think I'm riding crazy fast, pushing my hardest and hit 25-30 km/h in some stretches, the average over an hour or two of my ride is always 15-18 km/h. Average will always be lower/worse than what you think it is.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
Reply
#13
For possible collisions, you're concerned with average speed while in motion. Most averages computed digitally will include braking, accelerating, and sitting still at stop signs and traffic lights. The actual speed while in motion will be noticeably higher than the computed average.
Reply
#14
I think it depends on how you measure the difference. If walking speed is 5 km/h, then a cycling speed of 15 km/h is roughly triple the speed. 50 km/h is also roughly triple the cycling speed.

That being said, my average cycling speed is 25-30 km/h (of course slower when climbing, and faster on downhills), so, in absolute terms for me, the difference between walking and cycling is roughly the same as the difference between cycling and driving. I would not want to use an MUT at that speed. Some roads are also dangerous at that speed (holes, cracks, debris, etc.) and I need to adjust accordingly.
Reply
#15
Well, of course - I guess I was assuming "Average Speed" in this case meant the average speed over the period of time from origin to destination, not "Average Traveling Speed". You're of course right, that the latter would be much higher, and closer to observed values.

Back to the "widening" - I still haven't been able to determine; Will there be new road/traffic lanes here or no?
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)