2013-01-14 at 23:53
Aldo Ruberto wants to accelerate the plans to build a north to south continuous bike lane.
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City council decided that they don’t want to wait anymore to start on the upgrading of the Golf Links and Junot Avenue corridor.
The city is expected to send out the contracts to tender within the week as work to expand the busy route to four lanes is expected to start soon. Current River Coun. Andrew Foulds suggested pushing back the tender in order to look at the addition of designated bike lanes.
The majority of council voted against the resolution.
Foulds said prior to the vote that dedicated bike lanes eliminate conflict between cyclists and motorists and would make sense to have multiple ways to travel down the road made available.
“I know many of you probably think the multiuse trail is good enough,” Foulds said. “There will be cyclists on that multiuse trail but they are not designed for commuting bicycle traffic. Commuting bicyclists need direct routes and ones that are efficient.”
Foulds called the upgrading the city’s flagship infrastructure project and said they need to build with a long-reaching vision.
But the request for changes wasn’t well received by some councillors.
McIntyre Coun. Trevor Giertuga voiced his frustration with the idea calling it a “last minute resolution”.
“We can’t have dedicated bike lanes on every single road,” he said. “We’ve been dealing with this for years and four days before the tender is supposed to go out and we’re getting ready for a busy construction season, we get this resolution that calls for this to be delayed.”
Darrell Matson, manager of infrastructure and operations, said a one or two week delay wouldn’t hurt the tender. The most pressing issue is making sure council knows what they want to do before going to tender, he said.
City manager Tim Commisso said the city already raised $3.5 million of the funding necessary for the $7 million project.
In other business, council passed a resolution to accelerate the construction of a north-to-south continuous bike lane. Coun. Aldo Ruberto was looking for support for the idea and initially proposed adding $250,000 to this year's budget but later dropped the dollar figure.
Matson said the bike lane wouldn’t be happening this year.
Instead of a new active transportation corridor this year, administration will now report on a continuous connection. The City will focus its attention on Balmoral Street, Memorial Avenue and Fort William Road.
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