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March 9 Public meeting to review cycling options on New Street

new street bike lanePublic Meeting Details:

March 9, 2016

6:30 p.m. (Presentation at 7 p.m.)

City Hall, Room 247

426 Brant St., 2nd Floor

 

On the agenda for the Feb. 17 Development & Infrastructure Committee (D&I) meeting there was a staff report related to the award of a tender for road reconstruction work on New Street, from Martha to Cumberland, and including Drury, Courtland, Stinson, Tallman and Prospect Streets. At the meeting, a delegation from the Cycling Committee made a presentation asking Council to consider other options for bike lanes on New Street. The current project includes a painted bike lane on the north side of New Street and a shared bike lane (sharrows), on the south side of New Street.

Following the Cycling Committee presentation, Mayor Rick Goldring put forward a staff direction asking staff to report back on the costing of alternative bike lane options for the March 22 D&I Committee meeting. The staff direction was approved by committee, then council Feb. 29 on a 4-2 vote.

The presentation from the Cycling Committee is here:

Cycling Committee Presentation – New St Bike Lanes Feb 17 2016

Staff’s previous memo to council outlining estimated costs of cycling along New Street is here:

Capital Budget Items – New Street Bike Lanes Feb 2015

The webcast of the Feb. 17 committee meeting can be accessed from the City’s Agendas and Minutes webpage: http://www.burlington.ca/en/your-city/Agendas-and-Minutes.asp?mid=1182

The wording of the staff direction is:

“Direct the Director of Capital Works to report back to the Development and Infrastructure Committee on March 22 regarding enhanced cycling infrastructure options on New Street as discussed at the meeting on February 17, 2016 including separated cycle lanes, cycling tracks, use of the boulevard, and widening the road.”

The bike lane  options and related costs will be presented at a public meeting on March 9. You are invited to attend the meeting and provide your feedback.

City council will discuss the costs and options of cycling infrastructure at our March 22 D&I committee, and make a recommendation to be voted on at council April 11. Residents can attend both committee and council to provide input. You need to register in advance here:

Register as a Delegation

My Take: I’m a cyclist and support cycling infrastructure, but I did not support the motion (nor did Counc. Taylor) because one of the options is widening New Street. That would require tree removal and paving the green boulevard, which sacrifices greenspace for green transportation, a tradeoff I’m not willing to make. Further, the potential cost of widening, at $1.2million, would be better invested in transit, which is used by more people and not subject to weather and seasonal fluctuations. Finally, there is already cycling infrastructure in this area, including Centennial Bike Path, Caroline Street and the Lakeshore Road multi-use path.

For a more thorough analysis of this issue, as well as cycling infrastructure in general in Burlington, read my companion analysis-opinion piece “What Paul Newman and cycling on New Street have in common”

 

 

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.

3 Comments

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  1. After listening to the Brent Toderian presentation how can Council not take the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to ‘complete streets’ and a change in the ‘car culture’ mentality? If this section of New Street reconstruction is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ occurrence then do not waste the chance to make a major improvement (rather than a band-aid fix trying to patch in bike lanes later).
    Including separated bike lanes will either prove, or disprove, that the concept will benefit the community. The loss of a few trees and a boulevard between sidewalks and roadway (that no one walks on or uses) is a misleading argument against a bike lane discussion. Greenspace is more significant that these few metres represent. Besides tree-lined roadways are just another example of trying to put lipstick on the pig of ‘cars come first’. Think bigger than a small section of one Ward. Think longer than an election cycle. This has an impact on the entire city’s thinking towards safe and sustainable mobility.
    New Street is a major east-west corridor and should be shared – not just for cars. The existing bike path is a diagonal pathway that takes one away from the shopping and amenities that one wants to go to. Biking is more than a recreational activity. Besides, if I want to get anywhere off the Centennial bikepath, I still have to travel on some road, somewhere. Why not make it convenient for cyclists too?

  2. I ride my bike on the sidewalk because I can’t take the stress and danger of all those near sideswipes when riding on the road. I do not interfere with pedestrians, I slow down, move or signal because they have the right of way. Only a dedicated, protected laneway for bikes is worth making, painted lanes are an invitation to an accident, the cars are moving too fast and are way too close. I would never use those lanes on Guelph line, they are confusing to drivers. Mr. McLean’s comments are exactly right, we must invest in dedicated, protected laneways for bikes but in the case of New St. I agree with Marianne that “there is already cycling infrastructure in this area, including Centennial Bike Path, Caroline Street and the Lakeshore Road multi-use path.”

  3. This is so frustrating. It amazes me that, in spite of one of our “Sister Cities” being Apeldoorn, we have learned NOTHING from the Dutch take on bike infrastructure.
    Let me just say this, as someone who has biked from The Elizabeth Gardens Survey to down town on several occasions (and it’s not easy avoiding the cars) painting lines on the roadway is a waste of perfectly good paint. If the idea for New Street is to widen the roadway and make some sort of bike lane on the sides is all we can come up with, then we should just forget about it.
    There needs to be a separate bike roadway/carriageway/whatever in the space that is presently being taken up by (and wasted by, in my opinion) the “boulevard”.
    Now, I realise that, for many city bureaucrats, the “boulevard” is sacred ground, where we house our water mains, transformers and seldom used bus shelters, but with a little creative thinking, I’m sure we could come up with a safe area for bike users to travel the length of New Street without ever coming into conflict with a motor vehicle.
    The problem with the “paint on the road” system is, all it takes is one inattentive/texting driver, and you’re DONE. Especially with a speed limit of 60 kph.
    Stop over thinking the problem. Be creative.
    Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.

    Respectfully,

    Bob McLean.

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