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McIntosh Perry

McIntosh Perry helps make Hunt Club Road more user-friendly

It’s anticipated the new bus and bicycle lanes will help ease the traffic back-ups by making alternative modes of transportation more attractive…

McIntosh Perry had a lot to consider when starting the final detailed design stage of the Hunt Club Road widening in the City of Ottawa. The route, located between the Airport Parkway and Bank Street, is known for its bumper-to-bumper traffic every morning, and is one of the busiest roadways in the city.

Originally, the city planned to widen Hunt Club Road on the north side for the westbound traffic. McIntosh Perry completed and submitted this design package several years ago. The city began to investigate widening the south side of Hunt Club Road as well due to both directions being congested during peak morning and afternoon hours. The move was aimed to ease traffic in all directions – while making transit more attractive and easier to access.

Now, McIntosh Perry is currently finishing the tender documents and drawings for the widening of Hunt Club Road on both sides. Construction is expected to start in early summer. In addition to the widening, the scope of the large-scale project sees modifications to bus lanes and transit access, as well as connecting cycle lanes and improving safety for all users in the process.

Denton Byers, senior engineer at McIntosh Perry, said this section of Hunt Club Road is unique in several ways. Not only does it handle some of the highest passenger and bus volumes in the city outside of transit corridors and downtown, but it is also identified as a spine route in the Ottawa Cycling Plan.

City studies found that traffic delays were present on Hunt Club Road, with three major intersections (Airport Parkway, Bridle Path Drive/Dazé Street, and Bank Street) operating at capacity during peak times. Traffic queues at these intersections sometimes exceed the available space and spill back from one intersection to the next causing further traffic delays.

Byers said the challenge traffic-wise comes when people are traveling to and from work. Most area residents use the Hunt Club Road and Airport Parkway as this provides the shortest route to and from the downtown core. The large volumes of traffic end up queuing and creating an accordion effect on both roads. Byers said ultimately, the proposed roadway modifications will help reduce congestion-related delays especially to transit

buses and their customers. The new bus and bicycle lanes will to allow for continuous mixed-use travel lanes which should reduce the level of congestion on this section of Hunt Club Road.

“It’s anticipated the new bus and bicycle lanes will help ease the traffic back-ups by making alternative modes of transportation more attractive,” he said. “For longer trips downtown, it should encourage people to use transit, as we’re helping the buses get through the queued traffic.”

In the same vein, OC Transpo is also revising bus pad locations, moving them to more convenient use areas, and adding esthetically-pleasing shelters.

While improving the transit experience was a top priority for the project, providing a safer and more comfortable travel environment for cyclists was also a primary objective. Byers said that is being accomplished by removing a critical gap in the existing bike lane network.

He said cycling lanes already exist on Hunt Club Road immediately to the west, and this project will extend these bicycle lanes to Bank Street. “Bikes use the road as well and we’re extending lanes through to improve that corridor,” Byers said.

The final piece of the massive improvement effort is ramping up intersection safety at the Hunt Club Road and Bridle Path/Dazé Street intersection. Byers said this includes adding ‘Smart’ right turn channels to improve sightlines, realigning Bridle Path Drive to provide a triple left turn, a turn lane reserved for buses and cyclists, traffic signage upgrades, and updated signals and to make navigation of the intersection easier for pedestrians.

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