I read an article today in the Ottawa Citizen about scary intersections for cyclists following the death of a Carleton University student last week. I’d put a link to it, but I don’t support their charging readers for content. I was able to grab the image before the annoying pop up box appeared demanding me to log in or pay to read what should be free. But I digress.

I was surprised to see the Chaudiere Bridge on the map. I cycle it every day. I used to take the long route following the bike path across Booth Street, past Mill Street Brew Pub, under the JAM parkway, back under Wellington then upon the Portage Bridge. Then I discovered a shortcut across Victoria Island, which is illegal by bike, but much quicker for my final destination. But after a few days of walking across Portage almost getting run over by fast-moving spandex-clad cyclists, I decided to be street legal.

And there began my route of cycling across the Chaudiere Bridge. At first I crossed Laurier to the bike path, but then got stuck at the lights waiting for the straight green arrow. The intersection also becomes a bike traffic jam with cyclists appearing from four different directions. Now, I cycle along Laurier, hopping over lane by lane to the left turn lane, then getting onto the bridge. I am visible and predictable and have not had any hassles. In fact, I find going over the Chaudiere Bridge to be quite pleasant since I basically have the lane to myself. Cars turning left with me know I’m there and don’t bother getting into the right lane because it ends before the narrow part of the bridge. And by the time the lane returns most drivers give me plenty of room if they do decide to pass.

Have a look at the map and let me know if you agree with the intersections identified. What experiences have you had?

 

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