Sure, I bike on Wellington downtown. I don't *like* it. It's not fun to ride along a street with your knuckles whitening on the handlebars. Your hands fall asleep from all the tension and the adrenaline gets you all jittery. But I do ride down Wellington. I'm not at all surprised, though, when people ride on the sidewalks. For one thing, if you're trying to get anywhere other than just straight along Wellington - if you want to turn off the street anywhere between the Rideau Mall and, say, Lebreton Flats - then may the Force be with you. There are so many weird intersections, oddly spaced lights, double turn lanes and nasty leftward merges that I tend to give up and use pedestrian crosswalks. And even if you're just going east or west down the street, you're dodging buses (lots of them, OC Transpo and STO alike), taxis, and cars. Oh, and the buses are weaving in and out of the far right curb - you can't really pass them on the left or the right without running serious risk. No wonder people are on the (wide, spacious, built-for-postcard-pictures) sidewalks.
And if you want to get through that part of town on the riverside multi-user-path ... well, may the Force be with you then too. I've never managed to find my way through the maze of paths that run alongside the river without sooner or later winding up stranded, somewhere near the War Museum, on a sidewalk, with no clue where the next bit of the path picks up.
So when I heard about the NCC's plans for a segregated bike lane on Wellington, down near the Library and Archives, a few weeks ago, I was pretty happy. And it's all official and stuff now - it's on the news! I'm particularly heartened by the comment from Richard Daigneault, the NCC's project manager for the lane: "Up to date, we've always worked on pathways, more the recreational end of things. But now it's a matter of how to connect this network into the city."
Yes, yes, and yes. Yay.