New Street road diet extended to the fall

Report to Committee of the Whole Oct. 30, 2017

The one-year pilot project to narrow New Street for on-road bike lanes from Guelph Line to Walkers Line commenced on August 23, 2016. The pilot consisted of reducing the existing 4-lane cross section to 3-lanes (eliminating one vehicle lane in each direction), introducing a centre two-way left-turn lane, as well as provision of buffered on-road bike lanes on both sides of New Street.

The plan was to test the new lane configuration for one year allowing staff to determine the impacts and then follow-up with the scheduled resurfacing of New Street in this area that was proceeding in parallel. A report would have come to committee and council in September (there are no meetings in August when residents are on holiday).

As a result of changes in construction scheduling as well as the desire to collect complete data, staff propose that the report summarizing pilot results and public feedback be considered by Committee of the Whole on October 30, 2017 (roughly one month later than planned).

A summary of activities on this pilot project since it commenced last August is below.

Since early August, staff have been collecting traffic (vehicular volume, classification, speed and travel times) along both New Street and the parallel residential roads. Additionally, staff have been in receipt of extensive feedback from residents and have been actively documenting and responding to all comments, questions and concerns in regards to the pilot project.

However, staff weren’t able to collect vehicle travel times on New Street towards the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017, because the equipment used to collect travel times was solar powered and the batteries weren’t recharging properly. The equipment in place now is working properly and staff are currently collecting travel times, vehicle traffic, bike traffic and will continue to do so until the end of this pilot project.

Additionally, this spring and summer, staff will once again collect traffic on local roads such as Spruce/Rexway/Woodward. Staff will also find out how long it takes people to enter New Street from local streets and also get data on air quality for New Street. Discussions are currently underway with the Region of Halton’s health department since they have that equipment.

The existing contract currently underway for the New Street Reconstruction Project also included watermain and sanitary sewer replacements as part of the resurfacing works. With the reconstruction work on New Street proceeding ahead of schedule, the contractor was able to employ multiple crews at the end of 2016 to accelerate the watermain works between Guelph Line and Dynes Road and reduce the tendered construction schedule from 8 months to 3.5 months. While this work was originally scheduled for the Spring of 2017, staff were supportive of this as it would reduce the construction period and help minimize the impact and inconvenience to the public. This also allowed for the pilot data to be gathered uninterrupted for the majority of 2017 (May to Oct) as opposed to only Aug to Oct.

The works required to complete the remainder of the watermain installation between Dynes Road and Cumberland Avenue is projected to be complete by May 2017 (dependent upon weather conditions). To date, staff have not been able to collect data that represents the desired intent of the complete street pilot project – New Street without vehicle or bike lane closures. Given that the collection of accurate and representative data is of paramount importance to the outcome of this study, staff propose that the report summarizing pilot results and public feedback be considered by Committee of the Whole on October 30, 2017.This revised timeline would permit staff to continue to collect traffic data into the fall of 2017 under non-construction conditions in order to fully assess the pilot project. While this timing window is not ideal for construction, it should allow for an opportunity to complete the resurfacing project in the Fall of 2017 depending on contractor availability and weather conditions.

My Take:

There will be continued pressure in the city to add on-road bike lanes; the results of the pilot will put to rest whether or not these are successful, so we can move on to other priorities. From what I have heard so far from residents, there has been minimal increase in cycling (and many continue to ride on the sidewalk), the pilot has negatively impacted travel times, and added significant traffic on side streets where it was never intended to be. We will have some data in the fall to verify all this, but I give significant consideration to the real experiences as reported by residents, as well as the petition to end the pilot project. In making our decisions, we need to consider and balance the needs of all of our residents.
To date, I am inclined to agree the pilot has been a failure, and will be voting accordingly once we see all the feedback and results from the pilot in the fall.

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.


Leave a Reply
  1. Please take this as constructive criticism

    Our burlington road planning team whether it be for calming lanes ,road diets or cycling lanes need help because they are struggling.
    The idea should be to move traffic smoothly not lose 15 minutes each weekday driving through traffic jams in the early evening or dicing with collision where parking is allowed on roads that are not wide enough

    I know this not New Street but it is where the overflow ends up

  2. I think this ‘cycle’ project was poor timing considering all the road work, water main work and now the construction of the new Maranatha building that has happened particularly in our area east of Guelph Line. Who would want to ride their bike on the designated cycle path with all that is going on.

  3. You are right this has been a failure and terrible disruption. Burlington is very congested and will become more so soon with the projects underway right now. I think when we think about cycling we have to remember the weather. Sure Sydney has many cyclists but never any snow. Cars and bicycles should be separated.

    • This experiment never made sense.

      Cyclists should be kept separate from cardrivers wherever possible.
      Cyclists should use the multi-use path or sidewalks.
      Cyclist must have and use a bell.

  4. I think there is more pressure not to add bike lanes then there is to add them
    the New St diet is working, no bikes use it

  5. Why was this section of New Street chosen for the pilot project to begin with if there was scheduled water main work which would tear up the road for several months.

    • Great question Eva. The thinking was to tie the bike lane project into road work to save costs; when a road is repaired the lines need to be repainted so you have the option to repaint under the existing configuration or try what has happened with a narrowing. It seemed like a good idea, but seeing it in action, makes much less sense in practise.

  6. Cycling should be the way of our future as it has in many great cities. In Sidney, Australia, pedestrians and cyclists use shared and wide off-road pathways so that they can actually use bikes for transportation, not just recreation. People bike to work safely. The pathways are built up and over busy traffic as bridges. It is marvelous to see how people are moving around in the great cities of the world and at the same time helping to solve pollution problems.
    Areas in Burllngton that are are promising are the multi-use and wide pathways along our lakefront. They are popular because they are safely away from cars.
    There is land available beside our sidewalks away from cars. These could be made into extra wide multi-use and two-directional pathways From my observations, there are more cyclists than pedestrians.

    Mistakes in Burlington are the new sidewalks downtown that slant downwards on driveways. This is a slip and fall hazard. This makes it dangerous for pedestrians in bad weather. The new sidewalks are designed for cars, not pedestrians. The sidewalks should be level all the way along with a sharper slant closer to the road at the end of the driveways. As a pedestrian, I walk on the roads where I can, because I do not want to slip.

    • Agreed. Cyclists and pedestrians should share the sidewalks. and muilti-use paths.
      Cyclists and cars should be separated.
      It is unfortunate that the Council does not see things this way.

    • Could not agree more. As it is no one’s needs are being met. If this had been the approach from the beginning on New Street we would not have thousands of names on the petition have saved $210,000.00 and a lot of frustration.

  7. Wow. Actual meaningful conversation between a councillor and constituents, regardless of Ward division. Bravo! I’ve rarely seen this happen here in Ward 6 (aka The-Land-That-Burlington-Forgot).

    • True discussion about things that matter to the citizens and delivered by one of the councillors …in this case, the New St. bike lanes. Lately all we get here in the north are notifications on bus schedule changes and power outages in public spaces.

  8. I passed an EBike using the eastbound lane this morning…clearly the intent of the bike lanes creation ??‍♀️

    • And can you imagine if the mayor & council decide to make this egregious mistake permanent–these lanes will be extended all the way to Burloak?!?”!?

  9. I agree with you Casey Cosgrove, i don’t blame the City for trying it, but i do blame the City for a poorly timed trial with zero forethought, when it was likely known there would be watermain construction not long after its implementation. I will further blame the City for extending the project knowing that there will be increased construction at Cumberland due to the new condos being built there. How can the data even be useful? But i will be perceived as someone, by virtue of complaining, as not supporting the City’s plan for a greener Burlington. I wish the projet was a success, but it was doomed from the beginning with poor timing and planning. Flow of traffic regardless of the mode, is essential to the success of any city. The City should listen to its residents and not add insult to injury.

    • This is so interesting to me from a professional point of view. It’s my job to design and implement infrastructure that encourages modal shift from car to bike. Are these protected bike lanes (segregated by kerbing or bollards?).

      • These are not protected bike lanes. There is a painted line separating bikes from cars. Speed limit for cars is 60 km.

    • No Janis, they are not protected, but even if they were the timing and planning was poor, making it a complete waste of money. You can’t collect data for a project if it is impossible to use.

    • Janis Malone And how much more money will this cost to benefit a very small minority???? This project is clearly the “mistake by the lake” Part II.

  10. Marianne, I am an avid cyclist. I also live on New st. We don’t need a road diet. The traffic has increased substantially. Walkers line to guelph line.. steady stream. Trying to enter is horrible. Traffic is now being diverted into neighboring side streets.. where more kids are present. We have a bike path just meters away to the north of New st. bring back the 4 lanes.. no need to wait.

  11. I don’t blame the City for trying it. I don’t blame any councillor for voting for it. Who voted for/ against is irrelevant now. There are situations where ongoing, irrefutable, obvious experience of residents completely trumps any interpretation of data. It’s not complicated. We did a couple shows on this topic , and they were easily the most one- sided issues we have seen. This was a mistake. Leaders make mistakes. Leaders change course when it becomes obvious. Waiting the year for data is acceptable. Extending the timeline for collection of data when almost everyone already knew very early this was a mistake birders on insulting. The ‘poster’ who said that residents dont have a voice could not have picked a better example to show that sadly , when it comes to a real issue, this is true.

  12. Based on what? The overwhelming lack of complaints you’ve received, or is it the overwhelming amount of bikes using it?

    • All those “in favor responses” are obviously from silly bikers who are too lazy to go 500 feet to use the East West bike path which is much much safer than any road or street.

  13. I own a bike but I will only ride on bike trails or on city side walks. Transit is ruined in my neighbourhood as is access to the Lake. I save up my errands so only use the car once a week. I’ve tried car pooling but most live in other parts of the city so not my home direction.

  14. Wanting us all to ride bikes is a valiant idea but i first need a job in Burlington that will afford me the opportunity to pay my mortgage and hydro bill . This city is drastically falling short on good jobs that is why we all get in cars and drive to other cities , that attract Good jobs. I can’t pay a Burlington mortgage working at some big box store for minimum wage and i can’t be riding my bike to Milton or mississauga for work.

    • There are a few good employers in Burlington. If I were to ride my bicycle to work I would take the path from Martha to Appleby rather than risk my life on New St,, bike lane or not. i know there are people who get annoyed calling the path a bike path, but multi use includes bikes and it’s safer, far less stressful and as close to the road diet as it could be. Bonkers!

    • I don’t live in area. But once upon a time a decade or so ago I would cycle across burlington, using spruce…

  15. I’m pleased to see city staff responding to many of the concerns that have been raised by rigorously collecting data. Is there more traffic on Spruce and Woodward? It’s being measured. Does it really take 15 mins to make a left turn from Pine Cove? It’s being measured. Is traffic significantly worse than it was before? Being measured. Is the street safer than before? Number of collisions is also being measured. We can swap anecdotes all day, or we can get the hard data and make an informed decision. If that takes an extra month, I’m all for it.

      • Of course… I live around there and drive on New street daily to the Y, downtown etc… since the city started this I have seen maybe 10 cyclists using new street… really now is this serious expenditures??… why don’t we pave it properly in the meantime; my car is falling apart with all the bumps, cracks etc…

    • If there is an agenda, the city will find a way to make the numbers match what they want. For those of us that do drive that section, we already know what it is like. Ask those who are fighting about closing central high the numbers the district is coming up with to match their agenda.

    • Rigorously collecting data but again no mention of the missing data for November, December and all but a couple of days in January. This will never be collected unless the data will continue into January 2018 . Three critical winter months, half of the pilot so far.

    • Dusty Miner James–a member of the Cycling Committee certainly has an agenda of wanting to ignore the “anecdotes”–the roughly 2800 people who have signed the petition. Of course, if the Cycling Committee and the City had an integrity they would demand a full cost-benefit analysis of this fiasco.

      • And they (bikers & Cycling Committee) should have payed for the cost of these bike lanes.. if I use Go trains, I pay for it.. if I want to use city busses, I pay for it… our city taxes pay for our police, firefighters, roads etc, not to please a few bikers!!

    • I haven’t done a study on the increase in traffic on streets like Spruce and Woodward. I live on New St west of Guelph Line. I take either Woodward or Spruce home from work every day between Walkers to Guelph Line rather than deal with the westbound insanity on New St at afternoon rush hour. Both roads are busier than they should be but far better than the road diet gong show. Thanks a bunch council for listening to residents. You will never get accurate data under these conditions.

    • Fair concern, Dusty. There will certainly be some debate over the interpretation of the results, e.g. how much of a delay is too much? But if we collect the data we can at least have a rational discussion based on the facts — not hyperbolic statements like waiting 15 minutes to make a left turn.

      If there’s concern that the data itself is cooked, I’m happy to spend an hour with you or Phillip or anyone and collect our own data. I’ll bring the coffee, lawn chairs and a stop watch and we can count cars or time left turns or whatever.

      (FWIW, I do live in the area and drive the section frequently. I have a pretty good sense of what it’s like.)

    • I’m in a bit of a different situation than most as I live at walkers and new, run my business at Guelph and new. Just going back and forth to work and home5 or 6 times a day, on top of that, part of my business we pick up kids everyday after school from their school, I have 5 vans running up and down new street between 2:45 and 4:15, plus all the parents that have to fight through the congestion to pick up their kids, so I can say I have a pretty good perspective on that section of road. Today for example, trying to turn left onto cumberland, you have to wait for a full cycle of the green light to go because the stream of cars never ends. One car gets to turn left every 2-3 minutes. If there are 4 cars in front of you, well, do the math. So when someone says it can take 15 minutes to turn left off of pinecove, intend to believe them as they don’t even have the luxury of a light. There was no public consult before attempting this project, that tells me there is more to it than most of us know, so I am not very trusting with any of the city councillors, especially jack dennison.

      • Agree, Jack is a self serving individual and a biker if you don’t know… he pushed the freeking bike lanes on Lakeshore ’cause Mr. wanted to ride his bike to work… clown

    • Good observation about the turn onto Cumberland. An advance left turn signal (even for a few seconds per light cycle) might help with that. Have you given this feedback to the city? I made two round-trips today. Both times I made a left turn from Guildwood onto New. At 12:30pm, I waited about 30 seconds for a gap. At 4pm I was able to turn immediately into the centre turn lane and then waited about 10 seconds for a gap to merge into the westbound lane. So this is where I’m coming from when I cast doubt on the 15 minute wait to make a turn.

      BTW there were two public consultations. One at city hall and one at Robert Bateman. The one at city hall was very well attended (completely packed room). Marianne has also done a great job of covering it on her blog, and you’ll find no shortage of public feedback in the comments if you read back through her posts. It was by no means a slam dunk decision to get this pilot off the ground.

    • If there was public consultation, I wasn’t in the loop and that falls on me. I get most of my city goings on from Marianne, she is definitely one of the better councillors when it comes to using social media to provide information. I may have missed the initial consult, but I have been one of the voices pushing against it since I did here of it. I know Marianne has said that Part of her voice on this will be feedback she has been getting on social media, and I have squawked long and loud.

    • James Schofield The first consultation at City Hall was indeed that where options were presented and the ideas discussed, although the overwhelmingly attendees were cyclists. The Cycling Committee/Lobby originally presented their ideas in February to city officials–of course, no members of the public were present. The second meeting which I also attended at Robert Bateman was not consultation in my opinion–it was pure window-dressing to present a fait accompli.

  16. I’m glad I don’t live in this area anymore. I think I might have a coronary trying drive this section of road to and from work…

  17. I ride my bike with my family on new Street never on the road especially not on a road full of gridlock and angry drivers, and now i think the city needs to addresses the fact that Claridge rd traffic is way worse now with speeding cars avoiding traffic mess

    • You have an interesting point, it can’t be fun being a lone cyclist during rush hour passing 30 or so frustrated drivers. Not your fault.

    • With your family no less… why on earth don’t you use the well paved path away from the traffic ??

  18. For anyone interested in the petition i referenced earlier: https://www.change.org/p/city-of-burlington-council-stop-the-new-street-road-diet-in-burlington-ontario?recruiter=688588565&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive

  19. Jackie Lodder do not fear. It’s not cyclists these people are mad at, it’s politicians who don’t listen to their constituents. If I could ride a bike I would, but there are many more folks in Burlington like me than like you and making the lives of the majority more difficult is not good public policy.

  20. I appreciate that this project is extended for the collection of accurate data. I do most of my errands on my bike , though the amount of rage that is expressed by drivers in these conversations makes me fear for my life

    • Jackie I’m happy to hear you can and do most of your errands on your bike. I guess as for the rest of the residents of south east Burlington trying to get to work in Mississauga or Toronto and cycling is not an option, let them eat cake.

  21. Unbelievable. There is a petition going around with over 2800 signatures stating how everyone feels about this. The city feels they need more time to study this? Right here is a perfect example of not listening to local residents.

    • But Dusty, didn’t you see the plaques the city erected proclaiming their commitment to public engagement. Of course, as my grandfather used to preach, “I may doubt what you say but I believe what you do.”

    • They do what they want especially Jack Dennison, after all he loves biking and the paths aren’t good enough for him!

  22. As I understand it, the measurement is aimed primarily at determining what is the impact to motorists using the street. That is the factor that will determine how this project works and what the right solution is for Burlington.

    When I’m in my car and I have to go slower than I think is normal, every second feels like a minute, and every minute feels like 15. That is why getting real measurements instead of relying on what we feel is so important. What we percieve when we are behind the windshield is often very different from what we perceive when we are outside. 60 kph feels like nothing in a car, almost too slow. Being on a bike right beside the road or a pedestrian waiting to cross, having someone pass a couple of feet away at that speed is terrifying.

    Also we need to consider many other factors. How much safer is the road? Has speeding been reduced?
    Have accidents been reduced? Has the street become a more pleasant place to be for people on foot?
    Has traffic actually increased on the parallel streets? Does it take longer for residents to get onto New from side streets? Do the light timings need to be adjusted in recognition of the new configuration? What is the impact on transit?

    Collecting and reporting on all that data takes time and effort. That is happening. Much better that the city take the time necessary to do it right, so it only has to be done once. If it requires an extra month so be it.

    The number of cyclists is a much less important factor. There is not much of a network in Burlington, so increasing the number of people riding their bikes will take time. The path is a nice place to ride and it’s great for many trips, but if you’re going somewhere that isn’t on the path, what options do you have?

    Ultimately having more choices about how we get around our city benefits all of us, even if we never plan to hop on a bicycle ourselves. This pilot lets us see if we can manage to provide that in Burlington with the space that already exists, or if it will require more capital investment (e.g. in off-road facilities) if we wish to to provide that. It is a critical step in the way forward for our city.

    As citizens, we owe it to ourselves to shed the myopic view from behind the windshield or as a “cyclist” and consider how this affects us from different perspectives.

    • Chris you say data is being collected and reported on. There is no data for November,December or most of January. Three critical winter months. This fact is not reported. The batteries on the equipment would not recharge due to the short days of winter.

      Is New Street safer and has speed been reduced.
      Slower undoubtedly but drivers say they are speeding once they are out of this stretch of road to make up for lost time so the problem of speeding is just moving down the road.

      Ask the driver in the through traffic lane being cut off from the short merge lane if there is any problem here. I for one think this is a major problem.

      I have also asked for stats on the number of accidents on this portion of New Street before the diet and for the past 6 months. I have not had a reply.

      • If the project is resulting in considerable gridlock, the inability to capture travel time data for Nov-Jan will not be of much consequence. We will see the same thing in May-October. They won’t be able to capture much data from March to April either as the road will be torn up with watermain construction.

        By no means has this been a perfect execution but the data is being collected and the traffic infraction & accident stats likely will have to be obtained from the police. Drivers using the complete street project as an excuse to speed elsewhere are just being irresponsible and making excuses for their actions.

        For the “short merge lane”, there is definitely an opportunity to reduce conflicts (with better markings / signage at intersections). This happens in the old pinch point west of Guelph line too, and that intersection is also heavily used by pedestrians.

        • Why then extend the pilot to the end of October if three months of missing data and perhaps more wil not make a significant difference. Also if there was to be water main work on this section of New Street why have the pilot here in the first place.

          • Eva…were the timeline to be moved up, there would be very little data at all other than that which was collected in the fall of 2016. All of the below ground work needs to be complete and decision made before the final asphalt surface is laid down and lines repainted.

            This segment of road is not the best place to pilot bike lanes, I’ll agree. But it is the road that was tendered for a major reconstruction project and it is a critical part of our city’s transportation network so its importance to our future growth as a city cannot be overstated. Travel has been disrupted, and will be disrupted regardless of whether there is a bike lane pilot or not. Conditions are not ideal for any users right now. Of course all this makes it harder to visualize the road working well in future.

            The alternative would have been to accept the city’s proposal of sharrow markings (painted pictures of bikes on the road like those recently installed on Fairview) for the full extent of New Street, which are not appropriate for 4 lane roads where cars travel at high speeds. Or to spend $5 million+ on a cycle track without knowing if a less costly option was feasible. The road diet has worked in countless other cities in North America. Traffic levels on New Street are well below the 19,000 vehicles per day threshold that have proven to work everywhere else with only minimal delays.

  23. It is truly sad that Councillor Dennision in Ward 4 can not divorce himself from his love of cycling and sound, practical public policy. He tried to have the same setup on Lakeshore in the Downtown area a few years ago but we delegated before the decision at Council and won.
    In my opinion he should take the lead and stop this insanity!!!

    • Dennison is so “in the pocket of the cycling lobby” that he didn’t even consult the residents of his ward before the decision was made–and they are the ones who are bearing the cost of the New Street Fiasco. Remember this in November, 2018!

  24. Hi Marianne

    You should table a motion at Council to terminate the New St Road Diet immediately. It has been a failure and does not meet the needs of the vast majority of the citizens of Burlington.

  25. Sad. Sad. Sad. I’m wondering the stats that are being collected….is anyone doing this to check out how many bikes are traveling, vs. exhaust fumes from sitting, vs. increased cars down Spruce in neighborhoods to get around the slowdown? I would guess that the negatives far out way the one bike that travels on it that I spotted yesterday night. In my view, the lane can be used only a select number of months (non-ice, non-rain) for safety with the way it was created and let’s say it again….there is a bike path right beside New Street. If my children needed to bike down New Street that is what they would use and what I would use. This is NOT a “build it and they will come” issue. And with the HDSB wanting to close down schools rest assured that regardless of the outcome traffic (bus/car) will increase across the city as WALKABILITY and BIKEABILITY is taken away.

  26. Don’t worry Jerri…….four or five more stoplights between Guelph and Walkers will fix that. Won’t slow the serious bikers down though.

  27. Try getting onto New St.,from Pinecove — while waiting a minimum of 15 minutes you take your life in your hands as most of the time you have to go like an idiot to get onto New St. — sooooo ridiculous!!

  28. Granted it’s winter, but as a daily user and resident living on that Walker’s/Guelph line corridor my conservative estimate is a 200-1 ratio of cars to bikes. And as Susan Lawson above points out, the majority by far are on the sidewalk. That’s where I ride….I like the buffer from the road and I suspect, seeing families on bikes on the sidewalks that they feel the same. I know there are concerns with sharing the sidewalks with pedestrians but the sidewalk’s not congested with those either. To skew Winston Churchill’s famous phrase…”Never have so many suffered for so few.” 😉

  29. First if my math is correct August 23, 2016 to October 31, 2017 is over 14 months so the 1 year pilot is extended by over two months or was it never a 1 year pilot? My take is the closer the decision is to the next election the better so all will still be steamed about this bad idea and vote out those that suppported it. The residential areas are like thruways now an accident waiting to happen once kids get outise in spring and summer. Admit failure and kill it now must have some useful data after 6 months. This has been an incredibly good winter and still NO bikes. Sad commentary for sure on elected officials.

  30. Wouldn’t mind quite so much if I ever saw a cyclist using the lanes….I only ever see them on the sidewalk. Mind you I don’t blame them…I certainly wouldn’t let my kids ride on that road. I wonder if we’re not trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. Are we pretending that you can get around Burlington without a car? What about the demographic in this area of town? Most residents are not of the age to be cycling anywhere let alone on one of the busiest east/west routes in the city.

  31. I thought this was an early April fools joke, but I reached the end of the article. I now fear I was wrong.

  32. Marianne , what is “your take ” on this subject, particularity in light of the work Eva Amos and others have done gathering citizens feedback?

    • Joe Lamb MY Take: (article updated with this information)There will be continued pressure in the city to add on-road bike lanes; the results of the pilot will put to rest whether or not these are successful, so we can move on to other priorities. From what I have heard so far from residents, there has been minimal increase in cycling (and many continue to ride on the sidewalk), the pilot has negatively impacted travel times, and added significant traffic on side streets where it was never intended to be. We will have some data in the fall to verify all this, but I give significant consideration to the real experiences as reported by residents, as well as the petition to end the pilot project. In making our decisions, we need to consider and balance the needs of all of our residents.

      To date, I am inclined to agree the pilot has been a failure, and will be voting accordingly once we see all the feedback and results from the pilot in the fall.

      • Hi Marianne

        I respect that you are trying your best on behalf of the citizens of Burlington but it is very clear to me, based on driving that section of New Street several times a day, that the inconvenience to the many should outweigh the theoretical benefits to a few cyclists.
        Cycling on the sidewalk or on the multi-use path seem much better options.
        Please propose to Council that the road diet test be cancelled immediately.
        I foresee that this topic could b an election issue in 2018.

      • Marianne, you are to be applauded for at least listening to the many residents and users of New Street who have been so negatively impacted by the New Street Fiasco. You are the only member of council who “walks the talk” about public engagement. Thank you.

    • Marianne Meed Ward Continue pressure from a very vocal minority and a Cycling Committee that that had gone from advisory to dictating city policy.

    • Thanks Marianne. I am sure this unfortunately will be an election issue. I hope the others on Council get it.

    • Thank you Marianne, refreshing to see a politician that will listen to the majority, not dictated by the minority.

    • Tim Salisbury I think moving toward a cycling infrastructure is important for cities with growing populations. A mix of public transit and cycling options can allow more people to ditch their car, as myself and many young people would. This could change the culture for future generations as many people glued to their car may not want to switch now out of comfort.

      That said, we need to make sure that the cycling infrastructure makes sense in the grand scheme of the city. The biggest problem with the cycling infrastructure is a lack of money to put in proper bike lanes, so we end up with half measures. Making it so one day cycling tracks are as normal as sidewalks is a goal we should all strive toward. A road built without a sidewalk would hear a public outcry, and I don’t see why the same shouldn’t happen for cycling options.

    • As I have experienced from living in a city with a great cycling infrastructure I think the spirit of the bike lanes was well intentioned. The bike lanes on New St. however have only served to frustrate those who may not be on board with a cycling city. We need to have lanes that people can actually use – the bike path (hydro lines) already in place is a great place to start we should expand on this. Bike lanes need to connect, they need to be protected from cars for safety and looking forward have access to a city-wide biking program – as in Citi Bike.

    • Allison Bourne-Cook I agree. A network is key to cycling success. The problem becomes how do you do that in a city like Burlington that is already built up, and lacks the density and budget to properly fund bike lanes. I think that it could be a mix of cycling lanes leading to main transit hubs, and focusing on cycling infrastructure on roads that clearly have a ton of people using their bicycle on it. Streets like Upper Middle and Brant Street are the first that come to mind, especially since getting across Upper Middle can be much faster by bike or even walking than taking the bus.

      I’m hardly an expert however, and I think we must look to other cities like ours to see what they’ve have done. I think we need goals in place for what we want our cycling infrastructure to look like. Certain speeds on roads should require a specific type of road/cycling relationship. If that cannot be achieve then the cycling infrastructure money should be saved for sections of road that are shorter to start building a proper network.

  33. Save your money and time on collecting data and reopen New St the way it was. I drive up and down New St several times a week and have yet to see a cyclist using the bike lanes!!! It is the most ridiculous project I have seen in Burlington!!!

    • I was surprised that they picked this stretch of road. I love to bike and we already have a nice multi use path that already does mostly the same thing… Something that transverses the QEW would have been much nicer!

  34. Council wonders why residents feel they have no voice. There is no money or desire to improve public transit, but money available for bicycle lanes and money to spend on determining how many bicycles actually use them while inconveniencing and causing traffic issues for the motorists who use the road.

  35. My take is that New Street does not need bike lanes or a “road diet”. All the city would have to do is take into consideration what happens to our east/west roads when there is an accident on the QEW (in the past few weeks) and the QEW is closed. New Street was so jammed up that folks had to turn to residential areas, ie South Drive, etc. As I have said before in another comment, there is a perfectly good east/west bike/walking path on the north side of New Street that extends from, I believe, Burloak all the way to downtown and then picks up on the other side of Lakeshore.

  36. If you would like first hand feedback on at least one resident personal impact. I drive around town all day as part of my job and now use Rexway and Woodward (which goes through a school zone) to go East West in that part of the city and have only seen cyclists on the preexisting multiuse pathways as it is faster. So if the intent was to increase traffic through residential zones, well done.

  37. Can we please not pretend this wasn’t a colossal failure and distruption? If the city was only planning on collecting 3 months of data anyways (Aug-Oct), why not push the decision up instead of out? Collect May, June and July and spend August restoring the integrity and functionality of our roads before another school year begins in September.

What's your take?