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Bike lanes on New St? Public meeting Dec. 5

Public meeting: Thurs. Dec. 5. 7-9pm Burlington Seniors’ Centre – Auditorium, 2285 New Street

Feedback due: Jan. 6

bike lane - king road Burlington

New Street from Martha Street to Guelph Line is scheduled for resurfacing in 2015. This section of New Street is also identified in the City’s Cycling Master Plan as having “future bike lanes”.

City staff will be reviewing this section of New Street to determine whether on-road bike lanes are possible. As part of the review, City Transportation staff and I will be hosting a community workshop to get feedback on several options, including:

Option 1: Do nothing; road remains as is

Option 2: Existing lane configuration remains with enhanced sharrows painted onstreet

Option 3: Bike lane Westbound only; Existing lane configuration remains with enhanced sharrows Eastbound

Option 4: Removal of the centre turn lane; Bike lanes on both sides (not recommended)

Option 5: Widen New Street and add on-road bike lanes on both sides

Option 6: Widen New Street and add raised bike lanes on both sides

More information is available here

If you can’t attend the workshop, you can still provide feedback by Jan. 6 directly to me at marianne.meedward@burlington.ca or danijel.ozimkovic@burlington.ca.

Staff will report back to City Council in Spring 2014 with a preferred option based on the research and resident input. I will advise you of additional opportunities for input at that time.

My Take: I’m open to looking at options to support cycling, so long as the centre turn lane on New Street is not removed. (Staff have advised they do not recommend removing the centre turn lane on New St either).

Ideally, cycling infrastructure would be separated from cars entirely, for maximum safety. Along New, cyclists have that option via the Centennial Bike Path.

Widening New St to accommodate onroad or raised bike lanes is the most expensive option and would be more economical to explore when the road is slated for a major reconstruction, rather than resurfacing.

Repainting the road (adding “sharrows” for example) is economical during a resurfacing. Early reports indicate that the painted sharrows on Lakeshore Rd. have improved road safety for cyclists, causing drivers to move further to the left around cyclists.

Your Take: What options for cycling do you support for New St (if any)? Join the online conversation and see what residents are saying by viewing and leaving comments below.

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

8 Comments

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  1. For anyone doubtful of the benefits and safety of bike lanes, just take a look at this amazing Ted Talk video about how New York City successfully transformed their city by adding bike lanes and improved traffic, decreased accidents (both car & bike related) and significantly increased bike ridership. If NY could do it – why not for Burlington? http://on.ted.com/newyorkstreets

  2. I support putting in bike lanes for New St. It’s an easy commuting section and will help get folks downtown easily. Our city needs to be more future-planning minded. With our ever increasing senior demographics, we need to look at ways to attract younger generations to live and work in our city to help keep it viable and thriving. The Centennial Path is great for recreational cycling, but not for people who want to commute by bike.

  3. @christopherpaulwatts:disqus – you’re not likely to see many cyclists on New as it’s a little scary for a cyclist to be riding on it in it’s current state. I guarantee if you put bike lanes in, you’ll see a big increase in ridership. Besides, by nature of the it being cold, you won’t see many cyclists peddling around.

  4. Please not again. I just drove around Burlington for half the day, including up and down New Street. I didn’t see one bike today, not one.

    Regardless, back in the good old days, we all managed to bike to school without getting creamed. What makes this new generation of cyclists so incompetent at riding their bikes they need their own lanes ?

    As far as the Centennial Bike Path, you take it to the appropriate side street, then take the side street north towards New, cross New at the lights and Violia ! you are at the library.

    • Funny…I saw about 6 bikes out today during my 15 minute commute. We are not in the good old days any more – people percieve cycling to be a risky activity, especially with heavy car traffic behaving irresponsibly on the roads. So now most parents make the self-defeating decision to drive their kids to school, which appears safer in the short term but creates a lot of longer term issues like obesity and lack of independence. Proper infrastructure will make cycling a more viable option for more people. When you force people to take an indirect route they will just say forget it and drive instead, compounding the problems.

    • As with most issues, there are pros and cons….The Centennial path is very good as far as it goes, but there will be those cyclists who need to be encouraged to ride…..on what is perceived to be a direct route. Vehicle traffic has increased, and many motorists who are not also cyclists, seem to feel that cyclists are more of a nuisance than people actually trying to get from point A to point B without using a car….If and where it is possible to incorporate a bike lane, it would appear that a good deed will have been done, as both motorists and cyclists will have a guide to follow, and hopefully will have respect for each other….

  5. The existing Centennial Bike Path does not go to Central Park or the Library. New Street does go to these destinations.

    Right now, most people who do choose to cycle there are using the narrow sidewalks, which can make it uncomfortable for others, especially for seniors walking in the area.

    Sharrows are good for those who are cycling now, but they do little to encourage those who are not currently cycling to try it. Most families with children are not willing to ride in mixed traffic.

    If the city actually does want to encourage people to try using other modes of travel, and save millions of dollars that would otherwise be needed to accommodate ever larger numbers of cars, properly separated bike lanes would be a worthwhile investment. This would set an excellent precedent for Burlington, and help us in the ongoing competition to attract young and talented people to live in our city. With option 6, New Street (at least this small portion) would truly be a Complete Street – for everyone, without taking anything away from motorists.

What's your take?