I’ve heard from many residents upset about the lane narrowing on New Street for bike lanes, and asking why I supported the pilot project. Here’s My Take – but know that I am listening to all the feedback and if the project proves a nightmare for drivers without increasing cycling, I’ll be voting to change it back.
Please continue to share your feedback with me.
You can learn more about the project and submit comments directly to the city on the webpage dedicated to the New Street road narrowing.
My Take: We’ve been going around and around on the issue of bike lanes, and it was time to put it to the test and collect some data on whether bike lanes increase cycling, and the impact on drivers. This pilot will allow us to collect this data, and inform decisions not just on New Street but any street in Burlington. This is not going to be the last time that road diets will be proposed. Better we understand its impact before we add more.
Further, I could not defend the expense of up to $5 million for the alternative being proposed of a bike path beside the New Street sidewalk (supported by the mayor and Councillor Sharman). This path would require ripping up the existing sidewalk to put down two new sidewalks – a waste of taxpayers money and infrastructure. Residents can already ride on existing sidewalks in Burlington.
Residents have asked why we’d impact up to 20,000 drivers daily for 60 cyclists, even if the latter number goes up. It’s a great point, and one I will consider in my decision-making. Generally, I try to make decisions based on the greatest benefit for the greatest number.
I also believe we should be investing in transit before cycling, because of the distances people travel, weather, and mobility issues for some of our residents. If we’re going to invest substantial dollars in alternative-to-car transportation, I would prioritize transit first.
Burlington Cycling C0mmittee:
The city has a number of citizen advisory committees that provide advice to council, including a Cycling Committee. Their meetings are public as are agendas and minutes. A resident suggested adding the link so you could find out more (thanks for the suggestion).
Here’s the link: