‘It’s not great’: Cyclists discover surprise hydro pole obstacle along Ottawa bike path

OTTAWA — A bike path south of the Chaudiere Bridge has an unusual addition – a hydro pole.

It’s located on Booth St, roughly three-storey’s high, and even has a name, dubbed “Joel LePole.”

“It’s not great,” laughed Amy Thompson, an avid cyclist.

“If someone didn’t have a light on, they’re not going to see that and there are a lot of people who drive around with no lights on.”

Barbara Greenberg, a board member with Bike Ottawa, said there is both humour and concern with the situation.

“Confusion, to joke, to the wider issue: why are we being asked to deal with the hazard when you could have planned this differently?”

Zibi, a community development straddling Ottawa and Gatineau, is behind the bike path. The oddly placed pole is a side effect of ongoing transformation.

Ottawa, Gatineau, the National Capital Commission and the Federal Government are also involved in the project.

A Zibi spokesperson said the pole is an existing one from the historic utility system on site and it will be removed in December. 

“The decision was made that it would be better to have a paved and almost completed cycle track and sidewalk,” said Annie Boucher, explaining why the hydro pole remains in the middle of the path.

“Rather than keeping it gravel until the pole could be removed.”

Greenberg said as silly as this issue may appear, it is symbolic.

“High praise for the cycle track, can’t wait until it’s done. But the question is, in what order are we building our infrastructure?”

Riders agree several obstacles have been removed to make this a great cycling city, there’s just one more.

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