Making Ottawa a Great Biking City

Written by Denise Deby.

Laurier Bike Lane photo by David Chernushenko, courtesy
Laurier Bike Lane photo by David Chernushenko

Our city has some superb recreational paths, a growing number of bike lanes and other infrastructure improvements. We’ve got plenty of cycling groups and initiatives , bike rentals and bike shares (e.g. Bixi, RightBike) and good cyclist role models around town. The City of Ottawa has been putting more resources into cycling, and there’s more attention in the city to “complete streets” that accommodate cyclists, pedestrians and public transit as well as cars.

(Citizens for Safe Cycling has a great overview of cycling achievements and challenges in its 2012 Ottawa Report on Bicycling at

Still, significant obstacles—safety concerns, logistical challenges—remain to getting more people on bikes. As of 2011, only around 2 percent of us were commuting to work by bike.

What will it take to make Ottawa a great cycling city?

That’s the question that David Chernushenko asks—and answers—in a new documentary called Bike City, Great City. The film looks at what it would take to move Ottawa from a “Silver” Bicycle Friendly Community (awarded by the League of American Bicyclists and Share the Road Cycling Coalition in 2011) to a “Gold.” It examines Ottawa and other cities to see what makes cycling a viable option. The 40-minute film is produced by Terry Kimmel and Tucker House Renewal Centre.

Bike City, Great City is showing at the Mayfair Theatre on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 7 p.m., followed by a Q & A with the director and producers, and again on Wednesday, July 10 at 7 p.m., with a panel on Sharing the Road that includes Citizens for Safe Cycling, the Canadian Automobile Association and EnviroCentre.

David Chernushenko is the Ottawa city councillor for Capital Ward and has directed and produced two previous films through his Living Lightly Project.

For more information:

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