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