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Byron-Tyndall-Gladstone Cycling Corridor Improvement Study

Update: The HCA received on July 3 along with other residents who submitted comments to the study an email from planner Wook Kang. he writes:

Dear participants of the above studies,

 

The attached are long over due summary of the public comments that we received regarding the Byron Avenue Area Traffic Management study and the Byron-Tyndall-Gladstone Corridor Cycling Improvement study, and our consolidated answers to the comments. There have been some changes in our recommended plan after we had the public meetings June-July of last year. The following is the summary of the changes:

 

  • The recommended flat-top speed hump on Byron between Mayfair and Granville is moved 12m west to avoid steep grade;
  • The realignment of the Byron Tramway Park pathway at Granville, Clarendon and Harmer is either minimized or no longer required. Wide raised crosswalks are recommended at the pathway crossings and two of them will be built as part of the reconstruction projects of Clarendon and Harmer;
  • Sharrow markings recommended on Byron Avenue between Island Park Drive and Granville Avenue will not be implemented due to narrow width of Byron Avenue in this section;
  • A bike box is added on westbound Tyndall Street at Holland Avenue. Right turn on red light will be prohibited on this approach;
  •  Two mini-roundabouts on Tyndall Street will be replaced with other speed reduction measures.  These measures have not been studied yet.

If you have any questions or require further clarification please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Attachments:
 

A copy of the HCA's comments one year ago to the consultation is at http://hintonburg.com/news.html#ByronFeedback.



The City is currently asking for comments related to significant new changes to the streets around Holland, Byron, Tyndall, Parkdale and Gladstone. It's hoped the changes will improve cyclist safety. Measures being contemplated include:
  • "Mini-roundabouts" at Hamilton and Hinton at Tyndall
  • Bike boxes
  • Shared lane markings
  • A new no-left-turn rule from Tyndall to Parkdale
  • New turning lanes for bicycles
  • Some removed parking
  • A no-right-on-red rule turning from Gladstone to Parkdale inadvertently left off the attached plans, but which is an existing recommendation and likely to be implemented as part of the proposals
There are two versions of the proposals: version 1 & version 2. Click on these to view the plans in PDF. City planners have also provided us with all the display boards that were available during a June 20 meeting at which these plans were launched. Download the boards (zip file) here. The entire plan stretches through the length of Wellington West in addition to the Hintonburg portion.

Note: City planners Wook Kang and Robin Bennett will be available at the Hintonburg Community Centre (1064 Wellington Street West) in the Laroche Room, July 3 from 7-8 PM to answer questions in an informal drop-in. Pick up a comment form or drop one off.

We've heard some good feedback already, and we'll spend some time putting together our comments to the City based on what we hear from residents. Please take some time to provide your feedback to the City by filling out the comment sheet available here and emailing it to wook.kang@ottawa.ca and copy robin.bennett@ottawa.ca. Please consider copying us as well at info@hintonburg.com.  The City will accept comments until July 20.

We've been provided with several documents by planners to help understand the changes. One of the most interesting is a proposal to build "mini-roundabouts" at Hamilton and Hinton at Tyndall. Planners have given us the following information about them:
  • What is a mini-roundabout?
A mini-roundabout is a circular junction in which road traffic flows in counter-clockwise direction around a mountable central island. Entering traffic must always yield to circulating traffic.
  • Benefits
In comparison with a typical intersection, a mini-roundabout has less vehicle conflict points. A mini-roundabout also horizontally deflects vehicular traffic, and therefore reduces speed. A mini-roundabout has a potential for reduced accident frequency and severity. On the other hand, it has disadvantages such as increased walking distance for pedestrians. Pedestrians also have to yield to vehicular traffic at crosswalks.
  • Existing examples
Mini-roundabouts on Tyndall Street will be the first ones in Ottawa. In Ontario, there are two mini-roundabouts on Quinte Street, Burlington.
  • Why it would work on Tyndall Street?
Mini-roundabouts on Tyndall Street are expected to reduce vehicle speeds. Originally two mini traffic circles were recommended to calm the traffic on Tyndall in the Parkdale Area Transportation Study (1997). A mini-roundabout treats major and minor feeder streets the same. It will be easier for minor streets to enter Tyndall Street during peak hours.

The planners provided us with photos of a "mini-roundabout" in Burlington ON, the only other city in the province to have them currently. If employed as part of the Tyndall plan, they would be the first use in Ottawa. Right click and open any of these in a new tab to view them full size. Detailed plans for the Hinton and Hamilton roundabouts are here and here.

Burlington roundaboutBurlington roundaboutBurlington roundaboutBurlington roundaboutBurlington roundabout

Probability of fatality in collisionsThe mini-roundabouts, according to planners, may or may not assist with cycling safety. However, they will likely slow traffic on Tyndall with safety benefits. Planners tell the HCA that 85% of traffic (the metric to which planners pay the most attention) traveled at 48 km/h or lower in 2012. In 2006, this was slightly higher: 50 km/h (view the 2012 speed study here).

According to studies, collisions with pedestrians at 50 km/h is likely to result in a fatal injury around 85% of the time. This probability decreases to around 10% at 30 km/h (right click and view the image in a new tab for more info). It is expected that traffic on Tyndall will be reduced to 25 km/h around the roundabouts, with higher speeds in between.

In our preliminary conversations with planners, it's becoming clear that the mini-roundabouts are primarily a traffic-calming measure, rather than a cycling measure. This may or may not be a reason to recommend either for its implementation or not. It could be considered a "nice-to-have" or even important to have if traffic speed on Tyndall is a concern. There is budget attached to the proposal and it has pre-approval as part of the 1997 transportation study. However, residents may also wish to consider whether the expense and inconvenience to pedestrians resulting from the re-alignment offset the benefits. 

The HCA is arranging a small, informal meeting with planners so that residents can ask further questions, including about the experience of mini-roundabouts in Burlington. The date and time of that meeting will be announced soon.