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Following last weekends "Open Streets" event, the city has indicated it wants to expand the program. Is this a good idea?

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2013-01-08 at 16:41

Cross-city cycling

By Jamie Smith,
St. Joseph FoundationGrand A Day Draw tickets are now on sale. $1,000 daily draws in November. Grand Prize draw is for $10,000. License #M738339Click Here

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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Kam River says:
Let me get this straight that is $250.000 on top of the 1.5 million they already spend, for signage, road painting and staff. So that people who have lost there licence for impaired driving can ride there bike to the bar. Or the the person with a death wish riding along Water street wearing black after 6 p.m with not lights or reflect hoping to be hit so that he can sue. Court Street has bike lanes but he wants to make he point.
Please Aldo if you have some much tax payers money.Maybe try somenew by not raising our taxes This is a waste of my money. This is just a way of Aldo buy Votes from his Liberal Friends for the Next election.
1/8/2013 4:52:15 PM
drummerbob says:
Kam River: where do you get this 1.5 Million dollar nonsense? And labelling cyclists 'drunkards' and 'suicidal' is exactly why so many cyclists feel threatened, and why so many people are too scared to ride. Lies and bullying only marginalize cyclists - and this is exactly why the City is making things safer for cyclists.

The fact is, every modern city in the world realises the importance of making multiple modes of transportation safe, convenient, and fun. Cycling helps creates vibrant and active cities. Young professionals want to live like this - which is why Bay St. is booming. If we want this town to become a modern city, then we need to move beyond this regressive and retarded 'cars = good, Bikes = bad' mentality and enter the 21st century. Making a city attractive is not a 'waste of money', it is an investment and survival tool. Attracting new residents means new investment and new opportunities for Thunder Bay.


31-Year-Old Young Professional
1/8/2013 5:43:14 PM
Swirly-Q says:
If you disagree with the cost of such a venture (or with the philosophy itself), you are certainly entitled to your opinion. I may even be inclined to agree with you. Your sarcasm and gross generalisations about cyclists, though, dimish your argument to the point of irrelevence.

Try making your point in a respectful way and more people may take you seriously.
1/8/2013 7:01:53 PM
SomeGuy says:
This is probably one of the most ignorant comments I've seen on this site. Just because you ride a bike doesn't mean your a drunk who lost their license. People like you continue to hold this city back and until we change this mentality we'll always be referred to as "Blunder Bay".
1/8/2013 7:03:34 PM
Tom Sanderson says:
Oh, Oh.
Let the show begin. Lol..."Those bicycles infringe on my ability to drive across town." (sarcasm)
The people who bike and walk have rights too people. It's not rocket science. Pay attention, get off the cell phone and everyone will survive to see another day.
1/8/2013 4:55:23 PM
sky high says:
Good one Aldo, totally agree. Nice Scandinavian cross country ski beard by the way
1/8/2013 5:03:22 PM
meta says:
Nice beard.

"Carpe a brain" Aldo!!! forget the day, get a brain!

We have misdirected enough taxpayer money and ruined enough roads to this lost cause. Fix the roads, parks and other city infrastructure that is falling apart and redcue the tax burden the average poor City of Thunder Bay property owner and business owner pays.

The next election is around the corner and we need to finally get rid of these spenders and misdirected politicians!

Fed up City taxpayer
1/9/2013 8:39:32 AM
ranma says:
So when are we going to start seeing cyclist get ticketed for running red lights, running through stop signs, etc? All it takes is for one of these morons to be hit, and during the summer it almost happened a few times.

Is it a time when we need to go back to licenses for bikes? It seems the cyclists in the city, are as bad as most of the drivers!
1/8/2013 5:23:37 PM
trent says:
A friend of mine DID get pulled over on his pedal-bike for blowing a 4-way stop on Balsam St. The cop threatened demerit points on his driver's license.
1/9/2013 2:22:56 PM
jb says:
What makes you think cyclists don't get ticketed for traffic infractions? No one is interested in your speculations
1/9/2013 4:29:24 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
Just say NO, to spending money.
1/8/2013 5:28:47 PM
anon says:
I've always been a extremish mountain biker, but when I was riding through Vancouver on their paved streets, it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had on a bicycle. The bike lanes were divided from the road with either planters or posts, and I felt perfectly safe on a downtown street. Along with that, the routes went along small outlet rivers and the beautiful waterfront. Thunder Bay has everything Vancouver has, just scaled down. We should promote this healthy way of transportation, as it can not only save money, it can be very enjoyable.
1/8/2013 5:34:07 PM
issy says:
It should be mandatory to have liability insurance to ride on a street.Weather a bicycle or vehicle.Why is that not necessary???? Also licence plates etc.Then the city could use the money from plates,insurance etc to build proper bike lanes.Just a thought.
1/8/2013 5:43:08 PM
hadenough says:
weather consists of rain or sun or whatever but never bikes.

What makes you believe that revenues from insurance or licence plates gets returned to the City? Seriously this is what your suggestion is?
1/9/2013 6:10:16 PM
Tbaylifer 1 says:
New to the city Aldo? The pathway is there. It runs from the university to the college into Chapples Golf course. From there you connect to the network the city has put in recently. What, not straight enough?
1/8/2013 5:49:25 PM
ken1 says:
If you were travelling from downtown North core to downtown South core is that the route you would take?
1/9/2013 7:08:12 AM
sadbuttrue says:
There's a bike path and route from john and balmoral all the way to Walsh via ford st for north to south bike acess.
1/8/2013 6:08:01 PM
nvjgu says:
So when the bike lain painted line bends to the right and ends at the curb what does that mean , you can't go any further with your bike. These bike lains are a joke. There painting lines on roads that need to be compleatly dug up. most lines are not even visiable any more. So that means money wasted not saved, Ruberto.
1/8/2013 6:23:33 PM
hadenough says:
For the love or all things, type your rants in Word, let spell check guide you then copy and paste them here if you cannot grasp rudimentary spelling or basic grammar.

1/9/2013 6:16:44 PM
glass half full says:
I am curious? What portion of a bikes gasoline tax helps pay for road maintenance and infrastructure ?

Our city streets were not designed to have lanes put in after the fact. Great Idea but not needed.

Put money towards social programs and our crime rates.

1/8/2013 6:41:56 PM
potso says:
Yes good point because the weight of a bike sure does increase the potholes on our crap city roads.
1/8/2013 11:25:38 PM
BetterThunderBay says:
People riding bikes subsidize people who choose to drive.

You seem to think that because cyclists don't pay gas tax, they don't fund roads, that is false. You can learn about what projects are funded by the gas tax here: . Notice that it provides nowhere near the amount necessary to maintain infrastructure, and very little goes to local roads, which are what cyclists tend to use. The reality is that funding comes from the general fund. The taxes that we all pay. It's public information, go to the city website and check it out.

You also seem to think that everyone who rides a bike does no driving. This is also false.

As potso noted, bikes cause less wear and tear. So technically, cyclists are overpaying their fair share.

So before you assume, check the facts.
1/9/2013 10:15:49 AM
jb says:
thanks for posting the link
1/9/2013 4:32:21 PM
glass half full says:
thanks for the education..
1/9/2013 5:15:56 PM
tsb says:
"Our city streets were not designed to have lanes put in after the fact."

LOL it's a strip of asphalt. It doesn't matter where the paint the lanes until cars have mangled it.

None of the gasoline tax goes to pay for the city's roads. But us cyclists pay property taxes and that does pay for roads.
1/9/2013 12:21:29 PM
glass half full says:
Hey hey hey.... I asked a question, if you all read what i wrote... "I am curious? What portion of a bikes gasoline tax helps pay for road maintenance and infrastructure ?"

question vrs statement of fact..

People relax...
1/9/2013 5:20:52 PM
unheard says:
Can you guys finish the black path project that was supposed to go everywhere first
1/8/2013 6:48:34 PM
blue says:
Aldo we already have roads for crossing the city. Stop wasting tax money on this rediculous venture. You have already made a joke of some of Thunder Bays better roads.
1/8/2013 6:55:33 PM
TIC says:
No one I know agrees with or even uses these lanes and personally I do not want to see more unless they plan on widening the streets. By taking the room they have off these roads they have made them even more dangerous.
1/8/2013 7:13:09 PM
CM Punk says:
Its a good idea, in theory but the way drivers are, and we all do it, things could get a little hairy.
Love the picture, perhaps its reaction to back when he was living in Cherry Ridge and how he made his beef public on how high his property taxes were.
1/8/2013 7:20:37 PM
dad3192 says:
If we had proper bike lanes/trails there would be a heck of a lot fewer accidents. Not to mention the health benefits. Time we started thinking like a progressive city and start putting stuff like this in place!!
Anyone bother to look south to Minnesota and see the thousands of miles of bike trails, both in cities and connecting cities??
Few people realize you can ride, rollerblade, run or walk from Duluth to Minneapolis on the Munger Trail? Or from Grand Rapids to Ely on the Mesabi Trail?
We can't bike from one end of town to the other on proper bike lanes!
1/8/2013 8:22:56 PM
hardrawkin says:
About time we got this city of the dark ages and provided some alternative to all the hicks in pick up trucks. Us cyclists pay taxes too!
1/8/2013 8:50:34 PM
alrightythen says:
or, let's spend the money on an event centre... cmon... something we reeeeallly need, ya know?
1/8/2013 9:46:36 PM
downtownie says:
Since they are promoting more bicycles on roads instead of sidewalks who pays for my damage when a bicycle rider hits my vehicle.
1/8/2013 10:44:08 PM
conker2012 says:
Your insurance, Ontario has had no fault insurance for years. If you get in an accident with a car who pays for it? Your insurance company!

Now if you want to recoup increase premiums as a result of your claim then you have to follow the same path that a motorist in an accident with another vehicle, sue the other driver in small claims court.

If a cyclist leaves the sceen of an accident without providing legitimate documentation to the other driver (Government issued ID) to verify the person for the purpose of reporting, or remain on the sceen until police arrive they can be charged for leaving the sceen of an accident.
1/9/2013 8:57:04 AM
phrank says:
Bike Paths? stop living in the past, this city needs a Monorail.
1/8/2013 11:30:22 PM
truthfulsmile says:
Good idea , and evidently ranma, did you know that if you don not run the occasional red on a bike you will not get a green , and also it may save your life from some drivers who target cyclists .
1/9/2013 1:10:08 AM
oscarmyerweiner says:
What's wrong with the empty sidewalks?
1/9/2013 2:38:33 AM
bbeaucag says:
I agree with having a full bike trail system, maybe use the old track bed from the ore dock etc.
By the way hardrawkin not all people who dirve pickups are hicks, I've have one and I also have three bikes.
1/9/2013 7:09:28 AM
hardrawkin says:
Ok! There maybe a few exceptions but I am referring to the ones who blunder along in the passing lane occasionally drifting across the lines on both sides, apparently oblivious to everything else.
1/9/2013 9:23:11 PM
Watchmaker says:
I started cycling to work this summer and highly recommend it as a way to commute when the weather permits. I have to travel a bit more than 10 km from north to south and use the pathways through LU and the College and stay off the main auto routes. Any improvements to connect the bike lane routes to the existing infrastructure will be welcome. Keep at it Councillor Ruberto, you have lots of support. To you nay-saying drivers - cycling is growing as a legitimate form of urban transport and you may have to start getting used to a new reality.
1/9/2013 7:57:55 AM
SpeakingUp says:
Biking through the city should be a safe, healthy experience. The bike path from the College to the University is secluded, not the best idea for safety of single riders.
Our City needs to develop to attract young people and families. I support Aldo's idea to improve the health and well being of our residents.
1/9/2013 8:40:43 AM
Just my opinion says:
I challenge everyone who seems to be so against all the cyclists in the city to leave their vehicles at home and see what its like to try to ride across the city. Perhaps then you would be in a position to judge. People are quick to say that cyclists run red lights and disobey the rules of the road...when was the last time you saw someone in a vehicle come to a complete stop at a stop sign?
1/9/2013 8:45:32 AM
The Beaver..... says:
WE need Bike Lanes in Thunder Center ...ohh
no Sidewalks there silly me.
1/9/2013 9:08:16 AM
bttnk says:
I congratulate Aldo Ruberto for being progressive and look forward to a safe route for cyclists and people seeking a healthy lifestyle to get around our city. We may be the last city in the world to provide safe cycling routes in the city, but it is better late then never.
1/9/2013 10:01:18 AM
fastball says:
I used to cycle from Westfort to the North downtown until fairly recently. I also despaired that we didn't have a straight-shot cycling path from one side to another, without having to jump on the streets - where, literally, you take your life in your hands.
I don't know if there will EVER be a path that allows one to safely cross the Intercity area or some other major vehicular artery.
It's truly despairing to see other cities that have dedicated bike lanes/paths from one side of town to the other.
1/9/2013 10:19:51 AM
dave78 says:
Personally I'm not opposed to bike lines....provided they are designed properly to ensure everyone's safety. To me, the bike lanes in Thunder Bay are not safe for the people on bikes and confusing (at times) for the people driving cars. I'm no expert but I've always thought it made more sense to place bike lanes on streets that have less car traffic. Thunder Bay however seems to have placed our bike lanes on many of the more busy streets in town. Our cyclists are riding just inches from the other vehicles and this is an accident waiting to happen given the attitudes of many drivers/cyclists in this town. Not having bike lanes at all is better in my opinion than having bike lanes that are not safe.
1/9/2013 10:27:05 AM
Jon Powers says:
When will we see a "Propper Bicyle Licence"; So that all pay for the "Priveledge" of driving on the streets.

Aldo stop being such a Liberal and wasing Tax money.

Time to replace all of our City Council including Mayor too.

Great Story!
1/9/2013 10:28:52 AM
DGN says:
As a cyclist the bike lanes have made my life safer. As a citizen my taxes entitle me to ride on the street and bike lanes of the city.
1/9/2013 1:23:14 PM
commonsense says:
U believe a series of public meetings were held, run by the Health Unit, to find out "where" most people want to ride their bikes to.

Then, the City took over from there, and they put in bikes paths where they see fit.
I'm not a fan of the the bike lanes, I'd prefer them to be off the main roads entirely.
Even in a bike lane on a major roadway, you need to be cautious of cars turning in/out of driveways and businesses, so this is not the best option.
Let's get some Open Houses going again, evaluate the plan "so far" and see what connector routes are available.
And, if "Victoria Avenue" is an example of the City's plan, we've got a ways to go!
1/9/2013 10:52:27 AM
k94ever says:
Not so long ago Memorial Ave. was ripped up and redone. Notice the width of the boulevard to the street,quite a substantial amount of room. Also note the placement of the necessary street lighting. My brother an avid bike rider from Vancouver did. We both wondered why the city at that time(NOT SO LONG AGO) did not consider the cyclist at that point.One does not have to get a million dollar consult to avoid errors. Just ask the people who will use this, you will be amazed at the FREE great imput you will receive. Until then, dodge them poles!
1/9/2013 11:26:14 AM
MIZ says:
Maybe MORE people should cycle, too many obese people driving!!
1/9/2013 11:49:35 AM
olddog says:
Just another total waste of money, in one breath city council says they can not afford to keep open some of the ice rinks in this city, but we can afford to build more bike lanes. Get rid of all the bike lanes and the Active Transportation Coordinator and then we will be saving some money.
1/9/2013 12:25:04 PM
jb says:
Nice logic. I guess the city should just stop all current & future development because 10 or so underused outdoor rinks were shut down.
1/9/2013 4:46:54 PM
olddog says:
Potso Just think about what you said, by adding bike lanes and reducing the number of lanes for cars by half, you double the wear and tear on the road surface which reduces the road life span of the road in half. So by putting in bike lanes it will cost more for road repairs. And we all know the cost of road repair is very very expensive.
1/9/2013 12:42:25 PM
bellamente says:
In itself, the idea of bike lanes is great. But unfortunately to this point it's been executed very poorly. Taking away lane space to allow for an extra bike lane doesn't accomplish anything except compromise the safety of both drivers and cyclists. Streets need to be widened or else add additional paths to the array we already have. Victoria was a disgrace in itself and makes absolutely no sense for anyone on the road. Just adding lanes to the existing roads is a very wrong solution!
1/9/2013 2:45:12 PM
The Beaver.... says:
it really pies me off when i see City hall coming up with all these brilliant ideas.
This is the same City Hall that allowed Thunder Center to be build without sidewalks and in the process created the City's most dangerous intersection(in to Home depot) and without even one Tree being planted.I would say come on give your Head a shake.
1/9/2013 3:02:59 PM
ALK says:
If this is actually going to get done, please do it properly and safely. No more painting on the streets, put in a real bike path, off the road. I would love to bike to work, it would be a straight ride if I could take FW rd, all the way up to BLVD lake. Biking is a great idea but I don't really agree with putting bikes on the roads with cars and trucks.
1/9/2013 3:57:57 PM
MIZ says:
Actually, its the driveers of the vehicles who are the ones you need to be worried about, not the cyclists.
1/9/2013 5:43:36 PM
dank says:
I sincerely hope Aldo and his cast of characters don't plan on turning a busy and fairly efficient north/south route such as Balmoral Ave into another Victoria Avenue- noting recent city decisions, I wouldnt be surprised. The route from the bottom of Ford st, up through the college and university would be a good start and most of it is already bike path- much safer.
1/9/2013 9:10:44 PM
live from victoria says:
the bike lanes on Victoria are the dumbest thing i've seen EVER ..hopefully new lanes will be planned out better in the future
1/10/2013 9:38:05 AM
citywkr says:
Hey KamRiver... I am not a drunk and my bike costs more than your car... stuff it troglodyte.
1/10/2013 9:54:22 AM
Vanity says:
I had written to the city when they were doing Fort William Rd and asked for bike lanes along the lakeside from Intercity to the Waterfront. There are very few driveways on the lake side of the road and would have [provided a safe route. The city did not listen. The city rarely listens. Have an open forum and discuss with the cyclists which would be the best routes.
1/10/2013 5:03:25 PM
glass half full says:
I simply love to read the "my taxes" comment.

1- Once you stroke the check to the city for 'YOUR' taxes that money is not yours. It belongs to the city.

2- Using your arguments. I pay taxes and I don't agree, by the way I ride my bike daily, I feel safe I don use the bike lanes all the time, I follow the rules of the road.

Again my opinion is spend the city money raised by collecting tax dollars for social needs at this point in time. If and when the city can afford to indulge in extra projects that make sense then by all means go for it.

When I purchased my home on Shunia Street, I had on street parking (calendar in winter) I have a small one care drive way and could park my second on the street. Now I can not. In my opinion my home has lost value to prospective buyers. Can some city dollars please come my way to make up the difference? The reply is no. I do not want repayment of losses. just adding a point here.
Bike lanes = Glass half empty.
1/10/2013 8:29:21 PM
sprintfan says:
No end to this guy's spending of our tax dollars! Hey Aldo,we already have the highest taxes in Ontario!
1/11/2013 5:22:19 PM
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