New bike paths coming to Aylmer
Gatineau is building new bike paths around town this year. One includes continuing the incomplete McConnell bike path, between Rivermead and Allen Roads, to be completed by fall, 2015.
In 2014, Richard Bégin announced $3 to $3.5 million to repave McConnell between Vanier and Allen Roads in 2015. A bike path is included, subject to the Ministry of Environment (MDDELCC).
McConnell roundabout to go
“We will repave the street, correct a few things to make the street more practical, and extend the McConnell cycling path. It was a little annoying, as we had a strip of bicycle path that ended in the middle of nowhere,” said Richard Bégin, Deschênes councillor. “Yes, the McConnell roundabout will disappear during the repairs; that’s a guarantee. I fought for that.”
Adding a path will provide a connection for the McConnell bike path between Vanier and Rivermead Roads. The new trail will also provide a connection with the path heading north from the Allen and McConnell intersection, which connects with the path running along Allumettières Boulevard.
This new trail and the street repair will address some safety concerns voiced by Champlain Park Residents Association members. In the past, members complained about the safety of pedestrians and cyclists on McConnell Road. Residents there unanimously voted in favor of completing a multi-
purpose path along Rivermead between McConnell and Allen Roads.
Along re-surfaced Lucerne
The city is also studying a bicycle lane on Boulevard Lucerne, between Vanier Road and the Champlain Bridge -- by the fall of 2015. “The plan is to repave the boulevard and widen the road to add a bike lane,” said Bégin.
This new lane, on the south side of Lucerne, is subject to the NCC’s agreement. “We are negotiating with the NCC, as they own most of the land along the riverbank,” noted Bégin.
The new lane will be a more direct connection along Lucerne to the interprovincial bridge than the windy path beside the Ottawa River. It will also help other issues, explained Howard Powles, Deschênes Residents' Association (DRA) President.
“One problem with the river path is the speed limit. This is multi-user and the speed limit is 20 kph, but the serious
commuters go a lot faster, which endangers pedestrians. A direct lane on Lucerne would deal with this,” he told the Bulletin. Powles hopes the path will be accessible year round, as paved and plowed shoulders.
Snow-free bike lanes
“Cyclists have been asking for snow-free lanes. There are no big east-west arteries for cyclists in western Gatineau that are snow-free in the winter. The main ones are along the river and along Allumettières, but both are snowed-in during the winter,” added Powles.
According to Councillor Bégin, “One of the big projects in my ward is Vanier Road’s redesign in Old Deschênes, where there will be another new bike path. It will either be built this year or next.”