NCC approves strategic plan for bike and walking trails

Andrew Duffy – Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA - A  woman riding a bike past a puddle caused by an over night rain storm on Queen Elizabeth Drive in Ottawa Monday Aug 17, 2020.   Tony Caldwell

The National Capital Commission has approved a strategic plan for its celebrated network of pathways that calls for the addition of more than 100 kilometres of new bike and walking trails.

The NCC’s board of directors approved the plan Tuesday. It followed three years of public consultations, stakeholder discussions and drafts. The NCC now operates 220 kilometres of multi-use pathways with 21 named routes.

Bruce Devine, senior manager of facilities and programs, called the Capital Pathway Strategic Plan “the latest in a long series of plans.” It replaces a 2006 plan.

The new plan, which features 10 guiding principles, includes an “ideal network map” that will serve as the basis for long-term decision-making and future capital projects. It will add 97 kilometres of new, named pathways and 20 kilometres of new feeder links over 10 years provided that financing can be secured for the work.

When it’s completed, the NCC will operate 335 kilometres of multi-use pathways in the National Capital Region.

The master plan calls for “slow zones” in areas with a lot of pedestrians, the launch of pilot projects to separate cyclists from pedestrians, and the widening of pathways in troublesome areas. Most pathways are now three-metres wide.

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