Reevely: Ottawa looks to save builders (and buyers) millions on new subdivisions
Ottawa Citizen

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By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen, May 5, 2017

We can save millions of dollars on new suburban roads by building bike tracks next to them instead of painting bike lanes on them, the city has realized.

It’s part of a big package of ideas for making Ottawa’s new subdivisions cheaper to construct that planners and developers have been working on for years, and probably the most obviously smart.

Roads for cars and trucks are paved atop layer after layer of stabilizing foundation; they have to withstand years of pressure from thousands of pounds of rubber and glass and metal. A cyclist weighs a couple of hundred pounds at most, and there’s no point, the city has realized, in building a road extra wide only to reserve a metre on either side of it for bikes. Cycle tracks next to sidewalks, on beds built to the lighter sidewalk standards, are good enough.