On track with trails

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Josh Pennell
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St. John’s city council learning what it did right and wrong so far with cycling plan

St. John’s city council is pleased with how its cycling master plan is coming along, but it wanted to put the training wheels back on for a short spell to make sure it was on the right track.

That’s why it asked Community Services to have a look at how things were progressing.

“They advised council that we got Phase 1 done. Phase 2, we’re about $780,000 into the phase,” says Coun. Bernard Davis. “It’s at this point that we’re going to try and evaluate based on some complaints that we’ve been having based on some of the bike lanes.”

Some of the lanes in certain areas of town were found to be unpopular with cyclists. In addition to not being used much, the lanes create a parking issue where people lose a place in front of their house due to the lane having to be kept free.

“There’s a few bike lanes that are not ideal spots based on parking and traffic regimes and things like that. So we’re looking at that to see where we go on those particular areas. But the overall cycling master plan is a good plan. We’re not looking to throw the baby out with the bathwater because there’s a couple of areas that have some issues,” Davis says.

Now a little more than halfway through Phase 2 of the three-phase bike plan, council is also asking Planning, Development and Engineering to look at the next steps to be taken and estimate their costs. As Davis says, the cost estimates made in 2009 will now be different and have to be reanalyzed. Phase 3 will involve more trails and connectivity to the Concourse trail system.

“The ultimate goal in my mind, and this is me personally, for the safety of bikers I think it should be a complete integration,” he says.

As they move into the latter part of the second phase and onto the final one, council is looking to ensure St. John’s is a very-bike friendly city, with new neighbourhoods having reasonable access to the trail system that will continue to grow.

josh.pennell@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Community Services

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