Aldo Ruberto wants to speed up the active transportation plan.
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THUNDER BAY -- A city councillor wants to see active transportation kicked into high gear.
Coun. Aldo Ruberto is looking to bring a resolution to council Monday night that would give the active transportation department an extra $250,000 in order to get a north-south cycling corridor moving.
“There are bits and pieces all over the city but there’s no north-south corridor,” Ruberto said. “Let’s create a way for someone to get from one side of the city to the other side of the city. It’s happening anyway.”
Right now 84 per cent of cycling collisions happen on city sidewalks. And more than 20 per cent of those happen along the May-Memorial-Algoma corridor. Getting people across the city safely needs to be a priority Ruberto said.
Those streets, along with Balmoral or Fort William Road, which could also be possible routes, are busy but something needs to be done.
“What’s the alternative? Continue the way you rare and people risk their lives? Let’s at least start the process of putting those bike lanes in where they should go and have some safety for people.”
Getting the lanes installed while other road work is being could also save money Ruberto said.
“We either do it now or we do it later. If we do it now it’s going to save us money.”
Active transportation coordinator Adam Krupper said engineering is looking at alternatives as the city reconstructs roads like Balmoral in the coming years.
While there was controversy when the city installed bike lanes on Victoria Avenue, which reduced lanes for drivers, Krupper said higher-traffic areas would see other ideas implemented.
Some Canadian cities use a grade-separated bike lane that could be a viable option for roads like Memorial Avenue.
“There certainly won’t be any talk of lane conversions on that road because the traffic volumes and speeds are far too high,” he said.
Krupper said it’s welcome news to see a councillor thinking ahead when it comes to active transportation. As for what the money would be used for, that’s up to council.
“How would this happen in real life? That’s the question that needs to be fleshed out,” he said.
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