Tbnewswatch Local News
Sunday July 5 2015
7:17 PM EDT
2014-06-03 at NOON

Adding bike lanes

tbnewswatch.com file photograph
By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY – New bike lanes are being added to city streets this season.

Thunder Bay city council on Monday voted to add eight kilometres of active transportation routes to the city’s existing infrastructure of nearly 40 kilometres.

With the additions, cyclists can now travel directly from Boulevard Lake to the Canada Games Complex as well as from Lakehead University to Moodie Street. New bike lanes will be designated on Grenville Avenue, Valley Street, Pioneer Drive and William Street.

As well, painted edge lines will be added to Ray, McKibbin and Duluth Streets to allow for shared cycling and parking areas.

Even though the additions were approved, one proposed temporary subtraction created a great deal of discussion.

Coun. Larry Hebert asked for the removal of bike lanes on Victoria Avenue due to scheduled construction on Arthur Street that is expected to run throughout much of the summer.

Hevert worries that more motorists will use Victoria Avenue rather than Arthur Street, creating unsafe cycling traffic.

His motion was voted against by all other councillors, with Coun. Iain Angus among those arguing that it would be a step backwards from the city’s work to promote active transportation.

Administration will monitor traffic levels on Victoria Avenue.




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Mason Bar Beenie says:
Thunder Bay is keeping up with the times despite the fogeys who can't hack change.

Great to see!!
6/4/2014 1:27:57 PM
sstarr says:
I just wanted to weigh in today. I rode my bike with my two daughters (aged 7 & 8 years) down James Street to school & then to work. I was so pleased at how respectful drivers were to my little family! Thanks everyone for taking special care on your way to work this morning! Kudos to the awesome drivers!!
6/4/2014 12:59:01 PM
ring of fire dude says:
sstarr ... I don't know you from a hole in the ground but anybody who takes their 7 & 8 year old's cycling down James Street at that time of day either is a bad parent or someone who is pushing hard for the bike lane agenda regardless of a parental conscience . Did you by any chance see people shaking their heads in disbelief as they drove by you ? Does your spouse know your cycle route ? Unbelievable .:{
6/4/2014 4:32:37 PM
Ringettemom says:
It's pretty awesome of sstar. Kids at that age aren't toddlers. James street is wide and drivers need to know they aren't the only ones on the road. At that time in the morning traffic is slow because of school buses and children crossing the road. How dare you call someone a "bad parent" parent for biking down the street just because you disagree with it. Grow up!
6/5/2014 12:12:11 PM
Seriously?? says:
Concern for the safety of drivers and cyclists is the main reason why this is such a divided conversation. Both parties see the faults of the other (just look at my previous post where I blast all the irresponsible cyclists out there :). If you have five minutes, check out this video of the "Dutch System". This makes sense, however doing something like this in Thunder Bay would require massive spending and land acquisition; however this is the way to go (see video).
6/4/2014 11:11:18 AM
Berzerker says:
great idea. We should implement a licence plate system and charge large bicycle taxes via a registry. Mandate insurance too.

then when you have enough money from that, you can build a netter system. Until then these freeloaders can get run over for all I care.
6/4/2014 5:18:38 PM
Heinicke says:
Wishing harm to people who ride bikes is pretty low, by any set of standards.
Regard for fellow human beings should be par for the course, unless of course you're the lowest of the low. Weird to know fellow citizens actually have this mentality.
6/6/2014 6:43:54 PM
commonsensesays says:
I am not sure why Ray and McKibbon Streets would be designated for bike lanes when Marlborough is a community safety zone with reduced speed due to having 2 schools and a park on it, plus it links up with the safe transportation corridor at the 3 way stop right at one of the schools. There are also less residents parking on Marlborough as there are only houses on one side of the street in the areas of the schools and park. It would seem to make sense to have bike lanes for the children biking to the schools and the park.
Additionally, McKibbon and Ray are quite congested with residential parking so I'm not sure this would be the best location for bike lanes.

I would like to know how a bike lane route is chosen as it doesn't always seem to make sense for the area it has been chosen in. Maybe there could be more study put into traffic flow and the general area it is impacting first.

6/4/2014 9:36:13 AM
bttnk says:
Reading the comments against bike lanes on this message board is more proof of the type of people commenting on this web-site and just how far behind the times this city is.

I congratulate city council for taking another step forward to joining the rest of the developed world. Bike lanes are here to stay. Automobile drivers share the road and slow down! Attempting to pass a cyclist who is in your lane is dangerous and must only be done with extreme caution. Cyclists. Follow the rules of the road! Single file, stop at red lights, signal to make your intentions clear. This is basic stuff folks.

6/4/2014 9:18:48 AM
Dave78 says:
I've tried to keep an open mind about bike lanes. Seems like they are here to stay but I can't help but feel that the more you encourage cyclists and motorists to travel so closely together, the more accidents and injuries we are going to see. Every day I see drivers talking on cell phones, speeding, needlessly switching lanes, etc. I also see aggresive cyclists who seem to be going out of their way to assert themselves on the roads. This whole thing is just asking for trouble

And where are all the cyclists in Thunder Bay to justify all the time and money being spent on bike lanes? I drive from one end of town to the other and back every day and I don't see more then 2 or 3 people on bikes.
6/4/2014 8:52:03 AM
Ozone says:
Nice to see the council's typical thoughtless processes! More wasted money and more ill constructed bike lanes.

Vote these clowns out in October Thunder Bay!
6/4/2014 7:44:19 AM
nvjgu says:
They need to use more paint to fill in the cracks at the same time.
6/4/2014 12:37:15 AM
unheard says:
and just a question for tbnewswatch... Why is it the same gentleman in every bike lane story photo?
6/3/2014 9:37:23 PM
unheard says:
Why cant we spend this money on completing the black paths, people used to ride their bikes on the street all the time if they needed to there was no need for lines. No one at my work has decided to start riding to work because there is a bike lane now and most bike racks are empty across town. But it is plain to see that the city has another back door deal helping out friends, Lets contract out painting the bike lanes they say, it will save us money they say. Paint gets washed out every year even the city uses better paint on the lines they do. Fire Timmy already, and quit hiring consultants from the south which just regurgitate the same lies I mean lines they tell every other cities council.
6/3/2014 9:35:15 PM
enos012 says:
Just because you HAVE to cylce...do you pay the taxes on your sticker renewal and drivers licence that is supposed to go towards the maintaing of the roads??? Really you need a seperate lane? Oh my! What did cyclists do before they had thier little lanes.....
6/3/2014 8:40:28 PM
jb says:
1. The majority of bicycle commuters in Thunder Bay also own vehicles.
2. City road maintenance is funded from property tax, not your drivers license fees or gas tax.
6/4/2014 10:27:40 AM
Watchmaker says:
I cycle in the summer and drive in the winter, crossing town every work day from north to south and back. I primarily use the bike paths and stay off the busy routes and when I need to, I select routes that utilize the bike lanes.

There are an equal share of bad drivers and bad cyclists on our streets. The bad cyclists are more of a threat to themselves by riding on the sidewalk, blasting through intersections, no helmets and, my particular peeve - earbuds or headphones!! What ARE you thinking? I use my ears as much as my eyes when I am on my bike.

Motorists who accelerate to make a right hand turn in front of cyclists have caused me my closest calls and there are many many drivers who do not yield enough space when passing me. These drivers need a refresher in the Highway Traffic Act!
6/3/2014 7:25:05 PM
Pandora says:
Cyclists cycle where they want. They want to be on Memorial/Fort William Rd and Algoma. The Court St. bike lane has nice new paint but no one uses it.
The bike lanes get painted and the lines in the Intercity area on Fort William Rd don't exist, you have no idea where your suppose to be driving
6/3/2014 6:52:10 PM
Sugar says:
I emailed my councillor about the new bike lanes and why they aren't painting the bike lanes plus all white lines on the roads.I have not received an answer. I agree with Mr Hebert that this a safety factor.
6/3/2014 6:31:43 PM
samps says:
Thunder Bay should have a training course for motorists who don't know what to do if there's a bike on the road.
This isn't going to go away. There are going to be more and more bike lanes and bicycles on the road, so maybe stop whining about it and drive with care. Just because you HAVE to drive doesn't mean others have to as well.
6/3/2014 5:17:01 PM
Kam River says:
Councillor Hebert is one of the few who cares about the safety of Cyclists. The rest are pushing the bike lanes hoping to get votes and to heck with public safety.
This waste of money is cost us over $100,000 per year for salaries and repainting the lanes.
Notice that the important lane marking for cars are being delayed so that they can paint the bike lane.
Time for a change in council electing people who care about all citizens not just special interest groups.
6/3/2014 5:10:11 PM
codvx87 says:
and you, jb.

I suppose you're one of those Nancys who think a bike traveling at a walkers pace is gonna hurt them? :)
6/3/2014 5:08:46 PM
jb says:
Good one. You really stuck it to me.
6/3/2014 10:24:47 PM
preston says:
Thunder Bay is like spoiled children, they want something new to look after while all their other possessions are neglected. Look at that big pot hole in the picture, maybe we can paint it.
6/3/2014 4:50:02 PM
silverado92 says:
"With the additions, cyclists can now travel directly from Boulevard Lake to the Canada Games Complex as well as from Lakehead University to Moodie Street" ... Pretty sure a cyclist could have rode this before bike lanes in place... ride down the side of the road like they have for the last 100 years!! BIKE LANES ARE A BIGGER JOKE THEN THIS CITY'S COUNCIL MEMBERS
6/3/2014 3:23:57 PM
MistakeByTheLake says:
More painted in lanes to narrow the road and make it more dangerous than it already is! maybe they should fix the bazillion or so gigantic potholes which cause as much danger to people as impaired drivers.

The only proper way to add bike lanes is to either widen the road to accommodate, or add them to LARGE boulevards the city has, but that would cost money and we all know where the City wants to waste the taxpayer money.

This is another example of the ineptness of the powers that be in this City.
6/3/2014 2:33:32 PM
lynn says:
Maybe instead develop a training program for existing cyclists to teach them how to follow the rules of the road.
6/3/2014 1:47:56 PM
Seriously?? says:
I want to refresh and continue to hit agree I like this comment so much :D.
So much time is spent ragging on the vehicle drivers, but man are there a lot of dumb and dangerous cyclists out there! Many operate like they they are above both vehicular and pedestrian laws. Just because you're in a bike lane doesn't mean you can shut your brain off and pay no attention to your surroundings. A 1000kg car will hurt or kill you in the exact same manner as it does everything else, so take your earphones out of your ears, DON'T RIDE TWO OR THREE ABROAD and FOLLOW THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS!!!!
6/3/2014 3:36:10 PM
jb says:
There are courses for cyclists in Thunder Bay. What do you propose for the majority of drivers who don't follow the rules?
6/3/2014 3:39:04 PM
enos012 says:
Totally agree! The bikers are supposed to be in the MIDDLE of thier lane and not side bu side as seen numerous of times! How many tickets have cyclists recieved for not following the rules of the road???
6/3/2014 4:27:53 PM
Rach says:
Totally agree! The bikers are supposed to be in the MIDDLE of thier lane and not side bu side as seen numerous of times! How many tickets have cyclists recieved for not following the rules of the road???

Just to let you know enos012, cyclist aren't supposed to be in the middle the road, read the ontario highway traffic act, HTA 147 - Slow moving traffic travel on right side
any vehicle moving slower than the normal traffic speed should drive in the right-hand lane, or as close as practicable to the right edge of the road except when preparing to turn left or when passing another vehicle. Set fine: $85.00

I just wish people people knew the proper way to ride on the road, and i do know there are some cyclists that do ride properly but many don't
6/4/2014 3:56:08 AM
JYDOG says:
The only problem with the city's bike lanes is they didn't go far enough. They need to be truly divided, with separate signals, signage, and dividers, with either cones or concrete.
6/3/2014 1:45:38 PM
Jimmy2 says:
Bike lanes, I got over it, but Victoria ave you can't even tell where to drive, and everyone drives where they think they should, if your goin to implement something at least maintain it
6/3/2014 1:34:26 PM
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fastball says:
Putting bike lanes on the major streets like Victoria is stupid - you're just asking for trouble. You're choking off traffic from two lanes into one - and bikes will always lose out in the inevitable meeting of the two.
I prefer to bike one street parallel to the major arteries, and then just travel the one block across to get to where I need to be.
6/3/2014 2:53:30 PM
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S Duncan says:
Perhaps the most logical comment you ever made there spitball.

I totally agree with you.

If traffic is such a major issue, there are plenty of alternative routes that allow a safer and much more enjoyable ride.

Demanding special painted lines to ride in just makes these militant cyclists look ridiculously child like.
6/3/2014 5:27:07 PM
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fastball says:
Had me going there with your first sentence - but you reverted back to form with your last.
I'm not sure how a cyclist can be "militant" - but at least the lines let them have a fighting chance in traffic - because god knows, TBay drivers made me almost soil myself on several occasions back in my cycling days.
But Victoria is a nightmare with those lanes.
I'd rather cycle up Donald or something, and take my chances.
6/4/2014 11:59:06 AM
enos012 says:
Totally agree! I almost caused an accident not once but twice because the merging of the lanes goes in reverse to what is norm.
6/3/2014 4:25:00 PM
virtualrealityczech says:
Bike lanes are a good idea. In Thunder Bay, since they are an afterthought they truly only work in theory.

The rag tag creation of the bike lanes, coupled with virtually no enforcement of parking bylaws when it comes to cars parking in the bike lanes, and walkers and runners using the bike lanes instead of the sidewalks just creates chaos.
6/3/2014 1:30:41 PM
ring of fire dude says:
The City should just purchase the CN line that runs smack-dab thru the center of town for the north -south cycle lanes .
6/3/2014 8:32:36 PM
oscarmyerweiner says:
Who comes up with this crap?
6/3/2014 1:28:57 PM
Robert Bob says:
Huron to Hudson is a disaster ready to happen or should I say another lawsuit against the City. You might as well be standing in the middle of the Woods during hunting season wearing antlers, this is just so safe of a bike lane.
6/3/2014 1:14:53 PM
spazz says:
I guess you close your eyes whenever you use a turning lane then?
6/4/2014 9:33:49 AM
NFA16 says:
How about re-painting the bike lanes they already have? I'm not even really sure where to drive on those roads lately
6/3/2014 1:12:02 PM
codvx87 says:
The next person that says "get on the road" to me while I'm slowly trotting on my bike beside a friend walking on the side walk (staying out out of the way) I'm gonna hit him. 100%. So sick of prissy losers in this town. It's always the PA junkies too.
6/3/2014 1:11:29 PM
jb says:
Nice! I look forward to meeting you.
6/3/2014 1:54:24 PM
dan dan says:
This is a terrible decision. Thunder Bay's bike lanes are an unmitigated disaster. While the concept is sound, the implementation ranges from poor to downright dangerous.

Look no further than the southbound bike lane on Huron, where there is a turning lane to Hudson. There WILL be accidents there, and likely in these new lanes, too, unless common sense is applied in their creation.
6/3/2014 12:25:01 PM
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enos012 says:
Just because you have taken a step forward with something doesn't mean it WAS a step in thr right direction....do somethign more productive and start talking about have one way streets on main roads, thus reducing lights, gas emissions, car maintance(brakes), saving people time and headaches.....
6/3/2014 12:20:56 PM
tbaynorth says:
I could not agree more with one way on Memorial and Fort William Rd. Sync the lights so that a person doing the speed limit only hits one red light the whole way! Increase safety for sure and reduce frustration and pollution!
6/3/2014 4:17:53 PM
ken1 says:
Thunder Bay needs protected bike lanes separated from traffic on major roads as illustrated at www.memoriallink.ca
That way all bike riders, from 8-88 years feel safe to access work, shopping and restaurants in the Intercity area.
Bike ridership will only increase as vehicles get more expensive to run, currently they are $10,000/year on average to buy and operate vs maybe $50/year based on a 10 year life cycle.
Then there is the health and environmental benefits.
Bikes return to our streets as a major transport alternative after 100 years is inevitable and we need to build for them as we upgrade our streets. Bikes do less damage and are cheaper for the city in the long run and should be encouraged as City Council, the Health Unit and Ecosuperior and others are doing the right thing by supporting and encouraging riders.
6/3/2014 9:57:56 PM
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