New St bike lane pilot project to committee Nov. 27, and My Take

New Street before (left) and after the New Street Bike Lane pilot project.

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.

Individuals who would like to speak before Council as a delegation may register online or call 905-335-7600, ext. 7855. All city Council meetings are available on webcast.

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:

New Street Graphic

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.

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

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.


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  1. People in cars, people walking, people riding bikes, all coming and going about their daily business without any fuss, then there are (look at me cyclist’s!) the ones that are going somewhere for no reason whatsoever other than to get away from doing any chores at home and also trying to bully the rest of us to legitimize their hobby.

    Never got that whole thing about having a hobby, but as long as you don’t bother me with it, knock yourself out. Oh thats right its all about you isn’t it.

    • People ride bicycles for many of the same reasons people drive cars…which are as diverse as the individuals themselves. It is the height of arrogance to suggest that just because you use one mode of transport that your trips are more important or more legitimate than those of another. A large percentage of car travel is also geared towards people escaping chores, partaking in hobbies or engaging in fitness activities.

      Facilitating those trips is just as important as facilitating the commute to work, to school, shopping, visiting or any other activity that is part of modern life.

      • Thats the point though isn’t it, people going about their business, people on bikes in cars or walking are not trying to fashion an entire city around a hobby. Cyclists on the other hand have this mission in life to make other peoples lives miserable so they can feel superior in some fashion.
        It can’t be all about bicycles that is pure fanaticism lets discuss other modes of transport, the small hop on hop off autonomous buses in Vegas being trialled.
        The car will morph into a better smarter transport option for everyone.
        The Nineteenth century saw the horse as the biggest cause of pollution and disease, so much so world leaders were at a loss to solve what amounted to 60′ high mountains of manure leaching into the water table.
        The saviour was the invention of the automobile, in the twenty first century it will be something else. But I can guarantee you it won’t be a bicycle.

        • David, you are generalizing and trying to make this into an us against them thing. People who ride bicycles want the same things and often are the same people as those who drive cars. We all want to get to where we are going safely and efficiently. The 20th century was all about cars. They do good things for us, but also have a lot of downsides, especially when our communities are designed around the car instead of around people.

          The bicycle is the most efficient non-polluting method of transportation invented. A given amount of space can move more people on bicycles than it can in cars. In every place on this planet where cycling is treated as an equal and valid mode of transportation, there are many more people cycling than there are here in Burlington. Even in Canadian cities like Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton which have just started to provide facilities for cycling, it is growing exponentially. It costs far less to provide infrastructure for cycling than to expand roads for driving, or to provide autonomous buses or whatever is coming in terms of the automobile’s evolution. I don’t believe that car-based utopia is going to be our reality. The technology to safely operate self-driving cars will be expensive and will require the sacrifice of other human freedoms to make work. It may be marketed as the solution, but like today’s car commercial which never shows actual traffic, I expect it will not live up to the hype.

          The car is not and will never be the better smarter transportation option for everyone. Let people choose what is the better, smarter transportation option for them. Bicycles may not be the entire solution, but they are definitely a part of the solution and should not be dismissed.

  2. so it seems the French are embracing #FareFree #Transit #FreeTransit


  3. more big think that is germane to this thread.


    be more informed


    • Not sure how germane this link is.

      Kudos to Philadelphia that it managed to find a way to incent landowners to build vs. leave vacant property with the objective of decreasing “excessive parking in central neighborhoods” in “hot markets”. This thread however, is not about a major city managing development in its high-density core. It is simply about Marianne Meed Ward’s constituents and interested parties taking the opportunity to provide valid feedback specifically regarding the impact of the New St. road diet on their daily lives and productivity.

      Many of us have legitimate concerns and don’t deserve to be marginalized or condescended to by the directive to “read, learn, be more informed” – or per other comments earlier in the chain, wildly generalized as dooming future generations to extinction by our seeming lack of enthusiastic support for the Burlington bike lobby.

      I would suggest we stick to the matter at hand, i.e. did the New St. bike lane pilot meet its stated objectives – and by that, I mean the original objectives vs. Councillor Dennison’s subsequent reimagining, and does it have constituent support?

      • Shelley, I was just reading through the comments and noted that Erich is not even a Burlington resident but lives in Toronto. Certainly the mess created inToronto is not welcome here.

        • Phil, it has been interesting to see the passionate comments from individuals who would not seem to have a direct stake in the pilot outcome as either south Burlington constituents or New St. users. We certainly don’t want to emulate Toronto’s wall of disposable high-density condos blocking the waterfront and abysmal transit and road infrastructure planning that is inadequate to meet the needs of current residents, let alone address future population growth.

  4. Having read all the comments, I thought about the reasons I have a car, I don’t work anymore so commuting is not a problem, I also live downtown and prefer to walk for errands in good weather, other than that its mainly used for picking up stuff. My wife uses her car for shopping. So a bicycle is really not much use to either of us in any way, same goes for the bus. Cant really see us struggling with our purchases by using either of these alternate options. The cyclists I see on the roads in Burlington don’t have bags of shopping hanging from the handlebars or wire baskets full of purchases or 2x4s tied to the cross bar. So I am starting to wonder where they are all going and why they are going there and why are they are dressed like they are competing in some kind of race. Are they commuting to and from work? For exercise we either go for daily walks or use the exercise machine, so the cars stay until I can buy one of those self driving electric Google cars, now that’s the future.

    • David, your observations on bicycle use in Burlington confirm my own observations in this city.
      Bicycle use is not about transportation primarily (despite the transportation rhetoric that is being sold to us by the Cycling Lobby and local politicians), it is a recreational-hobbyist active. For this, major arterial roads should not be compromised.

  5. when this was implemented I stopped driving on New street (as I am sure many other drivers did too) so the numbers/stats reflected really aren’t the “true” picture of who used to travel this road and are now travelling different roads as New street is a nightmare with these bike paths. (as pointed out by others there are great bike paths that Burlington has had for years both north and south of New street.)

  6. The road diet increased stress and frustration. Our city must accommodate bicycles. Road Diets may not be the best approach

  7. Every time I thought about using the bike lanes they were filled with construction equipment. That is not a fair assessment of their potential.

  8. RT @MariannMeedWard: NEW ST BIKE LANE PILOT PROJECT TO COMMITTEE NOV. 27, AND MY TAKE https://t.co/tRJDxYPBbN https://t.co/JcR97hY0Tn


  10. Dumbest idea the city has ever had. I now drive on Woodward to avoid New. Second dumbest idea are all the new speed bumps. They are not needed and there is no pattern to them. Some people need be fired. End the war on the car. We are a city of families with children and seniors. Cars are a necessity.

  11. RT @EFCanning: https://t.co/7RbuiNFAho via @mariannmeedward – New St Road Diet-Worst decision made by Burl Council – bring back our much ne…

  12. https://t.co/7RbuiNFAho via @mariannmeedward – New St Road Diet-Worst decision made by Burl Council – bring back our much needed car lanes!

  13. RT @MariannMeedWard: New St bike lane pilot project to committee Nov. 27, and My Take (Ward 2 News) https://t.co/IetvTlbqzx https://t.co/XY…

  14. This must be a major disappointment to our Mayor who is determined to get everyone out of their cars asap by creating congestion throughout our City. Of course City Hall calls it “Traffic Calming” when your sitting in traffic backed up for kms on Lakeshore every day of the week. Wait until all the highrise condos they allow to built on our rare and sensitive shoreline are completed. But, in response to the additional traffic, again according to City Hall, this won’t effect it as the occupants will be coming and going at different times of the day. Really, so there is no more rush hours going to work and congestion coming home? Some say the traffic issue is caused by the over capacity QEW. This is true to a point, but no reason to build along our shoreline. Anyone that values our shoreline should look at what the American cities like Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee, even Detroit have done with theirs. Look at Milwaukee’s Art Museum a world famous architectural design that draws people to the shoreline to enjoy the parkland. Our City Hall……build a wall is the motto with “VIEWS” to the lake.

  15. I also sit in the traffic but it’s a test. I have confidence in the people I voted for to do what’s best for the city I am so proud to live in.

  16. Its oddness how cyclist find assurance riding ahead at the margin of oncoming traffic. Riding against traffic definitely empowers cyclists defensively; am sure there are other arguements.

    • Riding against traffic is a very dangerous and deadly practice.

      Cyclists are not pedestrians and the advice to walk facing traffic if you are on a rural road with no sidewalks most definitely does not apply to people cycling.

    • It’s also unlawful. A bicycle is a vehicle. To ride facing other vehicles is a very serious traffic infraction.

    • as a traveller by auto, i much prefer people travelling by bike to have their own marked lanes.

      it’s much easier to travel by auto beside.

    • Erich Nolan Bertussi It’s so much easier to travel when they is 4 lanes on a busy roadway and the cycling lane is removed to a separated track on the boulevard, parallelling the sidewalk.

    • Phillip, you understand that the suggestion you are making creates a much much expensive intersection design to ensure safety correct?

      they have separated adjacent bike lanes in Copenhagen, & the design requires separation from sidewalks and people walking, and a totally unique intersection design to ensure safety of bike users. designs that may as yet never have been implemented in Canada thus far.

      accommodating more automobiles never solves automobile congestion, you how increased capacity is never enough right? and that the term “road-diet” is explicit to the language therein used and the intent which is to reduce traffic long term.

      granted transit alternatives and adjacent work opportunities must exist.

      part of the problem is lack of cheaper faster transit.

      but many of the complaints about hwy diversion traffic congestion will not be solved by a roadway thay has a bottleneck at bronte into rebecca and at james into downtown.

      all having more lanes in between does for those that are travelling the entire distance from oakville to beyond btown is have jammed up bottle necks, so without consideration of more factors what seems obvious is a tip of an iceberg when it comes to modern considerations and outcomes.

      stand back further and take in the bigger picture and look farther into the future and anticipate and engineer outcomes and behaviour patterns.

      gaining one lane in each direction isn’t going to alleviate the great majority of the problems you and others are suggesting have been created by looking forward.

    • Erich Nolan Bertussi Yes, the $cost of doing it properly will be high but the current option, which keeps the $cost lower, imposes large costs on the residents of south Burlington and on commuters in the form of congestion, pollution, reduced safety but as a cyclist, you don’t care. What you should care about is that public policy that benefits .5% of road users at the expense of the other 99.5% of road users is politically unsaleable.

    • Erich Nolan Bertussi Reducing driving lanes doesn’t reduce the number of cars on the road, it merely creates further gridlock and ruins residential neighbourhoods by increasing vehicle traffic through them.

    • (continued) Hate to rain on your parade, but in a commuter town like Burlington, cycling will NEVER have a meaningful impact on transportation. But this has never really been a transportation issue but is being sold as one–it is strictly a recreational–hobbyist agenda as anyone who opens their eyes and sees who is using the road can easily ascertain.

    • quite the opposite Phillip, reducing driving lanes does indeed quite literally actually decrease the number of vehicles, have you read the research on this matter out of Europe from the past several decades.

      bike lanes alone will not solve abundant automobile use, increased localised employment and accommodation of commuters is also important.

      your assumptions are based upon a lack of consideration of a greater number of factors and purposes.

      i’m not going to try to further change your mind to take into a longer term planning purpose/outcome as well as inclusion one of other basic core requirements to help nudge less automotive use in Burlington, by making new street less attractive to commuters who want to divert from the qew instead of using harvester or fairview is why you want to keep new street on a #roaddiet, one purpose is indeed a desire to bug automobile users who are passing by so that the stop going down the lines like bats out of hell to jump past accidents on the qew, reducing or putting walkers, guelph, appleby on road diets south of fairview or prospect at guelph would also help contribute to frustrating drivers and helping change behviour.

      it takes time.

      humans have to learn the hard way.

      @phillip wooster

    • Erich Nolan Bertussi As I previously explained, you don’t care about the effect on the surrounding neighbourhood. Of course, you are a “true believer”.

    • lol, putting traffic calming like long moore has by pauline johnson along rexway will solve cut throughs there too, also reducing the speed limit to 30km/hr will eliminate cut throughs too.

      and yes Phillip, i do very much believe the science on road design/urban planning and post automotive culture, it’s decades deep, and there are 1000s of case studies that reflect the successes of what Burlington being a forward thinking city have completed and will continue to deploy.

      my “belief” is based upon sound science, sound research, and massive volume of data.

      if you prefer to acquiesce to automotive culture because of your personal preferences why should the rest of the population be robbed of an opportunity to live a more vital and vibrant life?

      why should we all suffer under the thumb of auto mobile makers and fossil fuel extractors?

      why shouldn’t we embrace change toward vitality and better health?

    • Erich Nolan Bertussi The rest of the population? Perhaps a referendum will show you what a very tiny minority you are!

    • Spruce can be quite heavy. Cars only slow momentarily for the bump and then speed up to make up the lost time–but it’s still faster than being stuck on New St. Don’t let the facts get in the way of your conclusions.

    • traffic calming works wonderfully. perhaps you are confusing your anecdotal based beliefs with actual scientific data.

      i’m not going to try and educate you nor change your mind. it’s obviously already made up. Phillip, it’s a shame your worship of auto culture is robbing your descendants of a sustainable liveable, viable planet that is capable of supporting animal/human life.

    • Erich Nolan Bertussi Perhaps you should stick to Toronto where apparently you live. I, ANECDOTALLY, live next to Spruce and have done for some 40 years and am a much better judge of what’s happening than someone who lives miles away.

    • Phillip, I can’t believe you’re trying to make me mansplain you.

      (sorta joking here, hopefully you can crack a smile about how ludicris that first sentence was)

      so much given that you are evidently old enough and equipped with enough knowledge to use the Internet and seek/read research and educate your self, about the deeply researched and global deployment of traffic calming technology.

      why are you so obsessed with negative aspects?

      why do you look at things with a negative spin and focus on what does not work?

      do you realise there are tonnes of traffic calming technologies and actual design practices that are proven to be extremely and 98%+ effective?

      do you not witness the differences between heights, and distances between traffic calming deployments?

    • do you not notice that Phillip, streets and streets and people are people when it comes to many behaviour patterns?

      do you think Spruce is so different from streets in other communities?

      I’ve lived the most years of life, over half of it in Burlington, i am there often due to growing up there, near appleby and new.

      most of the kms i’ve put in in automobiles has been in burlington, no doubt, as for bicycles and using them in burlington, i put somewhere between 30 000 and 50 000+ kms on two wheels in that city…

      I knew every single sewer grate and pavement seam in Burlington at certain points and times in my life, of course not in the most recent years.

      but seriously, you can’t actually be trying to tell me that bicycle lanes, and traffic calming are issues you believe are uniquely and uncommonly exception when they occur in Burlington as compared to other communities, or that other communities have different species of human that is from another planet where all behaviour patterns are unique and totally different from Burlington.

      There are more stop signs on Spruce an Longmoore than there once were, not many maybe a few or so on each since the early 80s…

      Traffic driving fast on Longmoore/spruce/rexmore/woodward/centenial and the headons/pinedale too/cavendish/tyendega/kerns, since I was a teen in Burlington and we all pretty much had access to cars, and there’s always an abundance of middle aged well-off enough bored sporting auto mobile owners, I think until some pretty serious and strict traffic calming gets put in place like on streets such as will always be a problem, I can remember being a teen in Burlington, I don’t know how much better behaved modern teens would be in the type and kind of modern auto’s we have vs family ford aerostars by Ford….

      Any way, Spruce is not a unique snowflake, and your observations of actual problems that have not been solved since the roads were made, is neither unique at all.

      preventing more transient cut through commuter traffic is possible, it can be achieved, but it’s been a problem for over 40 years.

      dig me?

    • rough spots and surface bumps/obstacles are hazardous for cyclists at point of contact or during avoidance; same for vehicle maneuvering All drivers to an extent have some sense of fuel economy. Motion, speed and idle time become more subjective when driving in traffic and marked areas. Speeding in a straight line is the best way to find efficiency, naturally.

  17. This appears to be the same information posted last fall. Is there anything new, or should we wait for the staff report and see if anything has changed ?

  18. the lanes should be extended all the way to burloak. the test run was incomplete without full east west reach and connection to north south. instead of scaling back a proper comprehensive test must be performed.

    • If City Council did that the public backlash would be severe. The public has spoken and they reject road diets. Elected “Representatives” have a duty to “represent” the will of the people or face their wrath.

    • Vince Fiorito I agree and I’m not in favour of the lane reductions. That said, I still believe the correct option is to build a cycle path, twinning the sidewalk along New Street. This will certainly meet the needs of seniors, students, and the few commuters. It will cost $$$ but the current lane reductions, while the $$ cost is relatively low, impose such significant costs of local residents and drivers as to be politically untenable. To put it another way, it is political suicide to engage in public policy that creates a tiny minority while imposing costs on a huge majority.

    • Bikes and public transit users are a tiny minority because our city is designed around cars. If our city was designed around bikes and public transit, car users would be the minority. People will choose which ever mode of transportation is the most convenient and efficient. Right now in Burlington, that’s cars… and that’s a problem which is killing our city and our planet.

      If we don’t improve city infrastructure for bikes and improve public transit service, then further intensification must stop before our city becomes completely unlivable. Road congestion will increase to the point where eventually walking across town will be faster than driving. As the city grows increasingly unlivable, those who can afford it, will start to move out of the city, including employers and wealth creators.

      I embrace urban intensification for environmental reasons. Sprawling up is far more desirable than sprawling out, paving over green space and farm land with long inefficient commute times.

      I know where we need to end up. I’m flexible on how we get there. I see now, that people won’t give up their cars, until walking, bikes and public transit are more convenient than cars. I’ve lived and worked in many cities where few people own cars, because public transit is that good.

      Imagine if these people were trying to drive to work… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6W96eedWto

    • If we continue to intensify our city without improving public transit and bike infrastructure and cars as the main way to move people, then Bangkok’s present is our future: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4oyKGxiRHc

    • Agree, Vince…at the same time we have to acknowledge that many citizens have bought in and are fully invested in that auto-centric way of life.

    • the angry mob rules in the vacuum of education and long term thinking.

      Vince, it’s easier to pursue populism instead of education.

      such a shame myopia and selfishness takes nice things and a healthier more sustainable future away from future generations due to an inability to see beyond the tip of the nose.

      such a shame…

      the angry mob is why the greater population can’t have nice things.

    • That’s why we need to educate the public about our choices. Choosing to intensify with cars and roads as the primary transportation system is a really bad idea. We are currently sleep walking in that direction. I predict the outcome will be a nightmare.

      • As noted by other writers, your idea is absolutely accurate. The reality is that this mayor and council have decided to intensify with the existing infrastructure and the timeframe is far too short to change the infrastructure in any meaningful way. To quote Alice Cooper, “Welcome to My Nightmare”.

  19. I don’t doubt that cycling is an activity with some important health benefits for multiple body systems, especially aerobic exercise. And I suspect that is why the majority of recreational cyclists–those on the Centennial Pathway and on streets like Spruce are engaging in it. It is however only one of many exercise options available and as the residents of Burlington are showing, it is no reason to impair the viability of a major east-west arterial road.

    • why is an arterial road supposed to be dedicated to automotive traffic? how did we get to the point where we demanded, no, believed that automobiles were entitled to be given relentless preferential treatment?

    • mea culpa (just hit the wrong key) less than .5% of road users (the Bicycle Lobby) believe that they are ENTITLED to preferential treatment over the other 99.5%.

    • Phillip Wooster The reason so few people bike (probably 3-4x your “statistic”) is that we have a legacy of building urban roads that are designed only for high speed car traffic. A similar percentage of the public money spent on private transportation in the past 60 years went towards making that happen. On top of that we need to reduce those speeds and spend $$ on enforcement so people can live safely in neighbourhoods. No one is asking for preferential treatment. But the low mode share is without a doubt a direct result of how we have changed society to accommodate the automobile.

    • Chris Ariens Your analysis of the situation seems to ignore the reality that Burlington is a commuter town. Most earn their living outside of Burlington and most are “time poor”. Consequently, time is a very valuable commodity to them and they will use the most time efficient method of transportation which is the car. Even within ‘Burlington, the distances between where we live, shop and play are great enough that the car is the ONLY time efficient method of transportation. To pretend that cycling will make more than the tiniest of dents in this reality is strictly a pipe-dream.

    • Chris Ariens As to” 3-4 x your statistic”, I am using existing New Street data which show approx 60 per day versus 18000 car trips although on an annualized daily basis, I suspect the number of cyclists is much lower.

    • Is it the most time-efficient mode for everyone? Better communities offer people more choices. It would not be time-efficient for me as an example, to be totally car-dependent, which would require many more hours of work for my wife and I to pay for that second car. A big waste of money to have an expensive vehicle just sitting at the GO station all day. Many short trips are just as quick on the bike as in the car – especially if you include parking. And over 50 percent of the trips taken in all of Halton Region are less than 5km – an easy cycling distance. Add in the fact that we need to increase taxes again this year to fund needed road work and the time advantages evaporate very quickly. Our system needs to accommodate more than cars. BTW 60 on New Street doesn’t include people riding bikes on the sidewalks which from my experience make up 2/3 or more of the people cycling in the city.

    • I am a cyclist but I have never used the New St route preferring the safer Centennial Pathway. With all of the sewer construction on New St since 2015 there has only been a few months of uninhibited travel. I have seen very few bicycles when I drive on the road but a steady stream of bicycles on the Pathway.The Pathway is about 15 minutes of travel time from Nelson Park to downtown. Little time would be gained on more dangerous New St.

  20. http://www.bmj.com/content/359/bmj.j4921

    the health of the citizenry is probably the most compelling argument to socially engineer a less automotive future for Burlingtonians.

  21. All these anti-bike pro-car posts are hilarious. I’m especially amused by the driver talking about how cyclists disobey the rules of the road. Have you never driven on the QEW / 401 / DVP – not to mention practically every road in town? Have you not seen 5e flagrant disregard for speed limits, use of turn signals, running of yellow (and red) lights – all far more dangerous in a two ton steel car than anything that could be caused by a 7kg bike. And as for the reported low use age rates, exactly how connected are the New Street lanes to other cycling routes? Is it a bike lane to nowhere (i.e. bookended by high volume unsafe streets?) If yes, is it any wonder then that the useage might be low?
    We all have to get along and share the roads. Right now, the bike lanes are causing an extra minute of commute time one way and virtually no difference the other way. Instead of holding on to the antiquated notion of ‘the car first’ which urban planners worldwide have identified as unsustainable, why not embrace the notion of well-planned mixed-use roadways. The success of Toronto’s Richmond, Adelaide and Sherbourne Street bike lanes are excellent examples of the look of the future. (Car commuting times have DROPPED as cycling rates have increased – also resulting in a net INCREASE in trips/capacity.)

    And anyone who says, “That won’t work in Burlington” simply lacks vision. Cities of all sizes, topography and climates have successfully implemented integrated bike plans to great success. Burlington has the space and the resources to do so. Now if it only had the will and the vision to see the right way forward. Alas, from all the shortsighted Ill-founded views expressed above, I fear the worst

    • They are almost as hilarious as the pro-bike, anti-car rants from the “true believers”. Apparently only you know the one true way!?!?! Obeying the rules of the road is a responsibility of everyone–cyclists and cars together. When I was a little boy and did something wrong, I would often say, “But he did it too”. Then I grew up and accepted personal responsibility for my actions. Using the cars violation of the law (inexcusable) as a justification for your own is hardly a mature response. BTW, check out the Cycling Lobby’s site at the Cityof Burlington website and go to Safety 101. Is that there merely for window dressing?

  22. Thank you Marianne for your rational assessment of the project. I did find the wait times published here puzzling as I’ve often travelled Westward between Walkers and Guelph Line at rush hour and believe a 2-4 minute delay is more realistic (judging by the songs on the radio 🙂
    Living in a townhouse complex on New, I agree with others that it’s become hazardous trying to exit our complex at that time…..and when returning home, since our entrance is right where the road widens before Roseland Plaza I’m always concerned about being rear ended as folks behind me are speeding up for that lane opening up just ahead of my entrance (yes I do signal well in advance).

    The council meeting should be interesting. No doubt the cycling community will be out in droves. The same group that stayed off the New St. bike lanes in droves.

  23. I was initially quite taken aback to read the seemingly minimal changes to measured travel times pre- and post-road starvation diet. This bears no similarity to my personal experience or that of anyone I talk to. Then I realized that the stats only cover trips for those who’ve successfully (after some significant delay) managed to turn onto New to make their east-west trek between the two Lines. Care to measure how many lights I now have to sit through to turn north at Walker’s between 4 and 6pm as westbound traffic clogs the intersection? Or how long it takes me to make a right turn out of my dentist office at Claridge?

    Also funnily enough, I don’t see a mention in the stats of what time of year the data was collected. Willing to bet it was during the quieter summer months or after many of us had already started to take zigzag detours through neighbourhoods north or south of New to avoid the mess altogether. Hello Rexway and Woodward! Time to end the debacle.

  24. This appears to be the same information posted last fall. Is there anything new, or should we wait for the staff report and see if anything has changed ?

  25. I look forward to new street converting back. I stopped using new street altogether in that area and have been using fairview.
    New street was stupid, you pull up to it in rush hour and its not moving. Fairview has movement and 2 lanes in each direction.

  26. It’s not the extra time it takes to navigate the stretch, it’s the difficulty side street residents have turning onto New Street. Return it to four lanes, I say.

  27. I get that the road diet was unpopular and could add a minute or two during rush hour.

    City Council deserves credit for at attempting something innovative in an effort to make the city more bike friendly.

    If our city is to become more bike friendly, we are going to have to invest in dedicated bike lanes that are separate from roads and sidewalks. That won’t be cheap.

    Every person riding a bike or using public transit means one less car adding to our traffic congestion problems.

    If we don’t solve our traffic congestion problems, Burlington will become less liveable as it grows and intensifies. I just spent a month in Shanghai. That city is designed around public transit. If Shanghai was designed around cars, like Burlington, it be completely paralyzed and unliveable. That’s our future if Burlington intensifies and continues to prioritize cars over walking, biking and public transit.

    • BTW, I predict that Burlington will not win the competition to be Amazon’s second headquarters, because of existing traffic congestion problems, poor public transit, no quick access to an international airport during rush hour and our lack of affordable housing. If Burlington is going to win opportunities like this in the future, then we have to create the winning conditions first.

    • I agree it was a credible attempt but the delivery and mangement was a disaster. Putting the lanes in then ripping them up less then 60 days later and the the traffic monitoring systems does not work and then ripping the lanes up again and then extending a pilot that was to last 1 year lasting 1 1/2 years plus – then now 1 of the councillor saying it was not about the bike lanes but traffic calming – at best a good idea that was poorlly managed and delivered

  28. I live on New st (townhouse complex) between Guelph and Walkers – on any Friday, 4 pm to 6pm, it can take
    almost 5 minutes to make a right turn onto New, why? drivers are lined up right back to Walkers waiting for light at Cumberland to turn green – I don’t blame drivers for not letting me in due to the time they have been waiting – and usually there are no bikes using the bike lanes – to make a left turn onto New at this time of day I must go up to Rexway and over to Walkers – Please get rid of the bike lanes and go back to 4 lanes for efficient movement of autos -on New st – for the bikers use the sidewalk – it is my understanding that it is not against the law to use the sidewalk in this area – also most bikers go thru the red light at Cumberland if they can, bikers do not obey the traffic laws for the most part. BW

  29. It should also be pointed out that the new apartment building being built at New and Cumberland area is right in the middle of this. Clearly a lot more cars are about to use New Street. These residents will have to take New Street to get in their own driveway. It makes no sense to reduce the roadway while increasing the cars that will need to access it. Also I believe there is a plan for a second building beside this one. That is a lot of additional cars. New Street is a main East-West road. Those main roads cannot be cut down to one lane.

    • And.if there are no bike lanes these seniors will have no choice but to take their car as it would not be safe for them to cycle –

      • Those seniors can and should ride their bikes on the existing sidewalk if separated bike lanes aren’t built – just like everyone is doing right now.

  30. I live on Delaware Ave. I can only speak for our home; but, we continue to be overwhelmed by the speed at which drivers’ move up and down the street. Our street has become a detour for those trying to escape New Street or Lakeshore density/traffic. The other day a woman was driving down the street; and a driver aggressively sped up the other way. He would not yield and forced her to yield right into another car. I worry that one day that will be a child that gets hit, not a car. With a public school around the corner, the city could do better by the residents to enforce the speeding in this neighbourhood. Perhaps money better spent than a bike lane on New street that is never used?

  31. Hilarious. The mental picture the year’s comments have painted about traffic, bicycles, and pedestrians in Burlington…

  32. I am in favour of adding bike lanes to existing roads where economically and practically feasible. My comment: If cyclists want to ‘share the road’, then they should obey the ‘rules of the road’ as well.

    I have driven on New street several times since the Pilot Project (I hate the term ‘Road Diet’) was introduced, and have seen only a handful of cyclist using the road.

    Automobile drivers must be licensed and pass a written and driving test before being allowed to use the road. Perhaps it is time for cyclist who want to ‘share the road’ be able to at least pass a written test to ensure that they are aware of the ‘rules of the road’, especially the ones that apply to cyclists. Perhaps it is also time to enforce these rules.

    I have seen too many cyclist act as if these rules don’t apply to them. I have seen them ride on the road, between lanes on the road, against the traffic flow, on the sidewalk, go from the road to the sidewalk whatever suits them, with or against ‘walk’ or ‘do not walk signs’ on crosswalks without stopping or signalling, blow through stop signs as if they weren’t there. It is often very difficult for drivers to anticipate what they are going to do.

    Ed Margueratt

    • I agree with your take on cyclists Ed, they constantly ignore stop signs, traffic lights, etc & yet are always yapping” about their rights. There again, if we had a police force that did something about unsafe cyclists maybe things would change but I never recall a cyclist being charged with anything in Burlington.

  33. People on the alternate side streets should be complaining. I have used Rexway as an alternate since this project began. I have never seen a bike in the bike lanes yet, even during non peak time. Seems that riders use the bike path.

    • I think if you look at the petition on change.org many people have complained about the impact on side streets. And keep in mind, the City was aware of this effect when they implemented the lane reductions on New–witness the multitude of speed bumps set up on these streets.

  34. I know it would have been expensive but wouldn’t an asphalt area beside the sidewalk be safer.It would not great road congestion .wouldn’t have to pay to cut grass anymore
    Room for pedestrians and bikes.I would use a path like this I won’t ride on the New Street path don’t feel safe.

    • In fact if you look at most of the cyclists who are using the New Street area, they fall into two group–1. seniors and families crossing New St. on the Centennial Pathway and 2. students using the sidewalk. There is considerable merit in dedicating one of the sidewalks (south side) for bicycle use and the other for pedestrians given the relative minor usage by both groups. Ideally, a separate track parallelling the sidewalk also makes sense but at a $cost of some$5-8 million can we afford it given other pressing needs?

    • Yes the expense is too much.However with all the work that went into New Street I wonder if it could have been incorporated at that time.Also going forward if these paths are incorporated into future roadwork.

    • Why do we even need bike lanes on New Street ? Bikes have other options that are ideal for bikes and cars

    • YES!!! It is more expensive, but separate dedicated bike lanes are what the city needs to do. I think all of the city planners should be forced to spend 3 months living in Amsterdam or Copenhagen to learn what the potential of well structured cycling infrastructure looks like. Then maybe we could create a livable city. New St. would be an excellent candidate … after they’ve done Guelph Line from Fairview to Dundas.

  35. I have said it before in a letter to Jack Dennison and our Mayor as well as a copy to you. Traffic on New Street, especially when there is an accident on the QEW or 403, is a nightmare and as New Street is a through street from Oakville to Brant it should not be narrowed for the convenience of cyclists!! Get rid of the bike lanes for once and for all!

  36. I think the City needs to understand that the cars are not going away. However “green” the leaders may be, they have never asked us if it’s convenient based on where we live or work. Our transit is not to a Toronto standard, so subways and buses don’t arrive every few minutes. ( which I totally understand).
    As citizens it does not make us happy that Lakeshore and News St are impossible at rush hour. If you want to be green, good for you, but don’t shove it down my throat, as I have no intention of riding a bike from north Burlington to downtown Burlington everyday!

    • So rather then share the road, screw the cyclists? Since you don’t ride a bike, you don’t know how dangerous it is for people on bikes on streets without bike lanes, it’s terrifying. The extra 2 minutes it takes to drive because of the bike lanes won’t make any difference to the car drivers, but makes all the difference to the cyclists.

      They aren’t shoving anything down anybody’s throats, it’s called sharing the road, and being courteous, which everyone could do more of.

  37. Also….They put bike lanes down here on the beach part of Lakeshore and bikers are still using the walking path and hitting pedestrians…

  38. I bike I like protected bike lanes without and bike paths that don’t have to weave around pedestrians and pedestrians with dogs
    Too many cars filling the core…time for more to bike and take transit-time to look further and plan for a tramway

  39. Interesting. Marianne Meed Ward have you commuted via New St. by bike – in the pilot lanes, or the hydro cut?

    • I have taken the bike lanes on New St and the Centennial Bike Path on multiple occasions. I much prefer the bike path – quieter, safer, cooler – more trees and greenspace rather than riding on hot asphalt.

    • I agree – the Centennial Bike Path is much better than the paint on New St.

      Wish we would have been “bold” enough to do something like this, rather than implement the paint.

    • Marianne Meed Ward Me too. And I never understood the choice of location for this project considering there is a bike path directly parallel to it?

  40. I stopped using New Street as a way to get to my intended destination. Thankfully there are plenty of side streets and I am not in a rush.

  41. We have neither the climate nor the room for bike lanes. Several months ago I thought I actually saw a bike using the bike lane; as I got closer I saw that the bike was actually on the sidewalk (probably for safety reasons). These lanes are grossly underused and have created massive traffic delays. It’s time to get real and restore the road. Cancel the road diet !!!!!

    • In actual fact, the delay times during rush hour are very UNDERSTATED since the lane restrictions (I still can’t stand that antiseptic, PC-BS term, “road diet”) have diverted large numbers of vehicles onto side streets. And the City knew this was going to happen–note the wholesale construction of speed bumps on streets bordering and parallel to the New Street Fiasco.

    • Sharon, in fact, the actual delays on rush hour traffic are MUCH WORSE for a second reason. Cars use these 12 months of the year (unlike cyclists who for the most part might use them 7 months) and the delays during bad weather, particularly during the winter, are much worse. Note–the City was very careful not to gather data in the winter months–think they have a pre-determined agenda?

  42. So… The stats show the time lost… Rush hour congestion is caused by the extra cars on the road not the bike lanes… Again in a QEW closure, it’s about the vehicles clogging the streets. We need to encourage drivers who commute through Burlington to stay on the highway, not make highways of our residential streets

    • The location of the trial seems to me like it was set up for failure. Between Guelph and Walkers, the trail is very closeby… It crosses New St near Guelph line, and is barely a block away at Walkers. A better stretch for a trial might be Walkers-to-Appleby, or Appleby-to-Burloak, since the trail is much further from New St at Appleby and at Burloak.

      All of the focus here seems to be on car data, as well, and none on the bicycle data. It’s almost as if this trial was a way for the city to say “gee, we tried out bike lanes on New Street but it just didn’t work; up yours cyclists!”

      “Road Diet” was always kind of a half-assed idea to begin with anyway, really. There is room on New St for bike lanes adjacent to the road, which would be safer for cyclists AND leave more room for car traffic on the street. They had those curbs torn up for the better part of a year; don’t tell me it would have been that difficult to put up pavement instead of re-planting grass.

    • I think he means everyone who has a reasonable alternative to the highway.

      The problem is too many cars and poor public transit. The solution is to make cars more expensive and inconvenient while at the same time making public transit cheaper and more convenient.

    • Or maybe just not crap up the roads with bike lanes that are not being used. There is no reason for bikes lanes on New Street. I spent my entire childhood within probably 600 meters of New Street and hardly and possibly never biked using New Street other than to cross it.
      There’s Spruce, there’s the Hydro Right of way, there is a dilapidated bike path ( that wasn’t dilapidated then) on the south side of Lakeshore.

    • As the region intensifies without viable transportation alternatives to cars, the traffic congestion on our streets and highways will grow worse. Within 10 years I predict a 4 lane New Street will be even more congested and even slower than it is today with bike lanes. Short term thinking is how we found ourselves with traffic problems and short term thinking isn’t going to solve these problems.

      I respect the will of the people to get rid of the bike lanes. At the same time, I see it as a lesson learned. The people will not tolerate the cheaper solution of adding bike lanes at the expense of car lanes. That doesn’t mean we should make our city less bike friendly and continue to neglect our public transit system. What this means to me is that we need dedicated bike lanes that are separate from sidewalks and roads that are usable all year round, which can be used by EV scooters… in other words, the solutions to our traffic congestion problems won’t be cheap.

    • Why do we need a bike lane on New Street when there is a perfectly good bike path 30 seconds to the south ?

    • //The people will not tolerate the cheaper solution of adding bike lanes at the expense of car lanes. //

      I think that is really compounded by the fact almost no one uses them. If there was a person on a bike passing us every 5 seconds in the bike lanes, maybe people would be more accepting of the bike lanes.

    • We need a network of bike paths throughout the city. Our city spends far too much on infrastructure supporting cars, and not enough on alternatives to cars. Imagine if our city was the opposite. Every road in the city was a bike path and every bike path was a road. Few people would use cars. Until our city’s bike infrastructure is the equal of car infrastructure, cars will continue to dominate. Few people use bikes because we have not crossed a tipping point, where they actually become a reasonable safe, convenient alternative to cars.

      • I agree. Do not add bike lanes at the expense of car lanes. As it is, the bike lanes right now aren’t the safest with all the construction and raised and sunken gutters and grates. Ideally, it would be great to have dedicated bike lanes but not on New St. Casual and family bikers like the Centennial / hydro right of way lanes as they have trees, are pretty and with the number of side streets, is a good way of engaging people in exercise. Serious bikers want access so that a group can ride with few stops. You do see groups of bikes on weekends as they do their training – but rarely on weekdays. Maybe some way of having weekend bike lanes only for serious bikers.

    • Vince Fiorito We don’t need bike paths because almost nobody bikes to work.
      Who is paying for their million dollar house with their retail job on Brant Street that they can bike to in a reasonable amount of time ?

      We are not Toronto or Shanghai, we for the most part leave Burlington to go to work. The last time I biked to work I was 16 and making $ 7.50 an hour sweeping in Village Square.

      In my circle of close friends out of 15 people earning proper household supporting salaries 1 of them works in Burlington and weirdly enough he lives on Hamilton Mountain so he can’t bike it either.

      • Kudos Christopher Paul Watts. You’ve managed to make many valid points throughout this comment thread and given me some good laughs at the same time. As someone characterized as “auto-centric” by the passionate and vocal minority of bike-centric commenters in this thread, I’m definitely not against improving biking infrastructure – just not at the expense of those of us who need to rely on our vehicles to commute and live our lives. Adequate vehicle capacity and improved bike and public transit infrastructure are not mutually exclusive concepts.

        The pilot failed but the conversation has morphed into a lecture about the superiority of super-high density urban centres with good public transportation and bike infrastructure. The analogy of Burlington, primarily a bedroom community to mega-cities like Shanghai, is a bit of a stretch to say the least. I’m not going to be an apologist for the urban planning decisions that led to the current urban and suburban sprawl and the inadequacies that resulted in our reliance on vehicles.

        I can say with 100% certainty that never in my lifetime will you see my ass on a bike wheeling to the GO station to catch my 6am train to my job in Toronto – or waiting for a bus that will add another 30 minutes to my already ungodly commute. Good to have a vision though.

    • As someone earning a “household supporting salary”, being a one-car family makes a huge difference in being able to support that household. The average car costs 10k after taxes to run, which means doing without is equivalent to a 15-20k a year raise. More choice for residents means more money in people’s pockets.

    • Being a one car family is great if you can live life as a one car family.
      Bout time the wife starts biking to Milton !!

    • Christopher Paul Watts Sure, not everyone can do what I do…but by having a good network of cycling routes that connect people to places makes it a viable option for many more people.

    • I am all for bike paths where they make sense.

      I would love to see the “bike path” on the south side of Lakeshore brought up to standards.
      I would continue to invest in the “Centennial Bike Path” that I have personally ridden on many times.
      I just don’t get the fixation on New Street especially considering the problems this much under utilized path is creating for motorists and local residents.
      If I was to bike from Lakeshore Road and say Belvenia, and I wanted to go to the Central Library the last route I would take would be to go up Belvenia and along New Street, for a host of reasons. ( traffic, smog, scenery, fresh air, avoid cars turning into strip malls etc)

    • Christopher Paul Watts You hit the nail on the head. While the cycling lobby continually frames the debate as a transportation issue, in Burlington it is not about transportation. This is a hobby/recreational driven agenda. For that, we don’t need to sacrifice a major east-west artery. The intelligent choice is to create a separated bike lane on the boulevard using the existing sidewalks (noted below).

    • Burlington is part of the GTA, which includes Toronto. The GTA is 6 million people and 7,100 square kilometers. Shanghai is 24 million people in 6300 square miles. Shanghai today is where we might be in the future. Cars may be fine in rural areas, but they create problems in urban areas that grow worse with intensification. At some point cars become completely useless.

      Shanghai’s city planners recognized this problem and rebuilt their city around public transit. In 1993 they opened their first metro line. Now it looks this. https://goo.gl/images/Z7twpQ

    • Vince Fiorito i honestly don’t see how it applies to us for a host of reasons.
      They have great transit in a densely packed city they all work in. Great transit is awesome.
      We are talking about bike lanes on New Street.

    • We have too many cars. They limit our ability to intensify. Bikes don’t contribute to this problem. Neither does public transit. These transportation systems continue to function as an urban area intensifies. Cars grow increasingly useless as becomes increasingly obvious to anyone driving anywhere in the GTA during rush hour. If we continue to intensify and accomodate cars to the exclusion of public transit, bikes and walking, our city will grow increasingly unliveable.

    • Vince Fiorito they are completely different than us. The Chinese have enough money to build entire massive cities no one lives in. They also have a political system that plans multiple decades out and doesn’t have to worry about public consultation or elections.

    • It was a failed attempt to move Burlingtonians in a necessary direction. It’s not that we don’t need bike lanes, so much as we need better designed bike lanes separate from cars and pedestrians. We need them to be functional year round. We need them better integrated with public transit.

    • Shanghai is an example of a functional liveable densely populated urban area. The GTA is an example of an increasingly dysfunctional and unliveable moderately populated urban area. We should learn from cities like Shanghai.

    • Nothing in China is “functional” in the sense we as North Americans would define as functional.
      Shanghai is a product of a system we want nothing to do with here.

      We should also remember Shanghai is a bit of a marketing or branding program for China, for every Shanghai there are 9 or 10 Linfen’s or Datong’s.

      We do need better public transit, transit that gets in and out of Toronto twice as fast would be a good start.
      We also need more people working from home offices and more offices locating to our town to reduce long distance commuting.

      We sure don’t need bike lanes in bad places just for the sake of having bike lanes, especially when people don’t bike to and from work.

  43. Waste of taxpayers money. Never seen cyclists using New Street. They use Lakeshore Road or Spruce Avenue or the cycle path. Canadian climate is not conducive to year round cycling. Get real!

    • Actually, Calgary voted to make their cycle track network permanent in December after an 18 month pilot. All but the most hardened opponents hailed it as a success and Edmonton followed suit this summer.

    • Not sure why this didn’t hit the FB post, so apologies for the duplication.

      Actually, Calgary voted to make their cycle track network permanent in December after an 18 month pilot. All but the most hardened opponents hailed it as a success and Edmonton followed suit starting their own network this summer.

  44. Completely agree with you and also remember there is the hydro right of way trail that can take this bike traffic and the bike trail on Lakeshore Road that should be reconditioned.

What's your take?