The City of Burlington began a one-year pilot on a section of New Street between Walkers Line and Guelph Line, reducing the number of lanes from four to three with buffered bike lanes.
Staff Report on One-Year Pilot Program – Nov. 27
A staff report with findings from the one-year New Street pilot project will be presented to Burlington City Council at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Mon. Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m. A copy of the report will be available beginning Nov. 18 and can be found on the city’s webpage dedicated to the project.
Updates on the New Street Pilot Project
Throughout the one-year New Street pilot project, the city will be sharing updates and information collected. Please subscribe to the New Street One-Year Pilot project page in the top right hand corner to stay updated.
Comparison of travel times on New Street before and after the implementation of the one-year pilot:
A Closer Look at the Numbers:
|Direction||Number of Recordings*||Time Recorded||Travel Time – Before pilot||Travel Time – After pilot||Change in Travel Time|
|Westbound (from Walkers Line to Guelph Line)||7,267||Afternoon rush hour between
4 and 6 p.m.
|2 min. 27 sec.||3 min 39 sec.||1min. 12 sec.|
|23, 473||Weekday between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.||2 min. 14 sec.||2min. 30 sec.||16 sec.|
|Eastbound (from Guelph Line to Walkers Line)||3,076||Afternoon rush hour between
4 and 6 p.m.
|2 min. 10 sec.||2 min. 13 sec.||3 sec.|
|18,871||Weekday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.||2 min. 12 sec.||2 min. 13 sec.||1 sec.|
*Number of recordings: Travel time data on New Street between Walkers Line and Guelph Line was captured using BlueMAC technology. When an outbound bluetooth signal is detected from a passing mobile phone or car, the BlueMAC technology, located at New Street and Walkers Line and New Street and Guelph Line, is able to record the travel time of each vehicle.
While the number of recordings does not represent the total number of cars using New Street during the times above, it does provide a sample size that is significantly larger than one captured manually.
My Take: Residents have reported significant delays turning from side streets onto New St, increased traffic on side streets that weren’t intended to handle the volume, and delays in travelling at certain times of the day. More than 2000 people have signed a petition seeking an end to the pilot project. We need to consider the lived experience and input from residents as much as the Bluetooth data. We have yet to learn whether there has been an increase in cyclists due to the new lanes, but we know the lanes have impacted thousands of drivers. When there is an accident on the QEW or 403, there is no extra capacity to take the volume on our streets, including New, leading to significant gridlock. When people are commuting home from long work days, or meetings or errands, each extra minute in traffic is precious time away from family. Based on what I have heard and learned so far, it doesn’t make sense to continue the lane restriction.