Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bike lanes eyed for west-end road

Cyclists soon could be able to ride a lot more safely along Colonization Road West thanks to proposed bike lanes on either side of that street.
Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft said during yesterday’s Police Services Board meeting that he was approached by a local resident who lives on that road and whose children ride their bikes to J.W. Walker School.

She is very concerned about their safety riding on Colonization Road West, where it is not uncommon to see vehicles travelling 70 km/h (even though the posted speed limit is 50 km/h).
Coun. Wiedenhoeft said he’s directed the resident to work with Elaine Fischer, physical activity health promoter at the Northwestern Health Unit here, and write a letter to town council asking it amend the pertinent bylaw to allow for the bikes lanes.
This will include changing the bylaw so that parking will be restricted during certain hours during the school year, specifically when children would be biking to and from school.
Coun. Wiedenhoeft said he doesn’t feel the change in parking will cause too many problems, as vehicles usually only park on the road there for special occasions like garage sales and large social gatherings.
He also noted the health unit has some money earmarked for such a traffic safety initiative, which, for the most part, just includes painting lines on either side of the road to designate a bike lane.
Coun. Wiedenhoeft added the proposed idea also ties into the town’s active transportation plan, which was completed by a consultant in 2008.
“Ideally, we’d like an off-road sidewalk bike path but that’s just too much money,” he remarked.
“So what we’re looking at is an on-road bike path running on both sides of Colonization Road West.”
Coun. Wiedenhoeft hopes council refers the proposal to the appropriate executive committees, and then approves the project before the new school year starts in the fall.

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