Proposed bike lane along University Avenue (Screen Cap From City of Saint John Presentation)

Most residents taking part in a virtual Town Hall on a proposed “road diet” for University Avenue last night say it is a good start – but – some have ideas to improve the concept even more.

The proposal would see the four lane street reduced to one lane each way. Bike lanes would be added on each side of the street with 2 painted lines to outline a buffer zone between the traffic and bike lanes. Two crosswalks would have signals installed and a bus shelter would be moved further down the street from the busy intersection with Millidge Avenue.

A common theme during the feedback session focused on having the single lanes of traffic on one side of the street with bike lanes on the other side. Some suggested that would help to keep speeds down on the street and make it much safer for those on bikes. Another person thought keeping traffic on one side of the medians would allow development of a bus only lane. One bicycle enthusiast suggested plastic bollards rather than painted lines to act as a buffer between bike lanes and traffic.

University Avenue sidewalks and bike lane near Millidge Avenue intersection (Apple Maps Image)

Concerns were raised about the condition of sidewalks especially near the busy Millidge Avenue intersection and commercial development on each side of the street. One resident worried about the impact of the lane reductions on the flow of traffic from the Regional Hospital exit on University Avenue.

The City will continue to accept feedback by emailing May 07th. A copy of last night’s presentation will be posted to the City web page later today or tomorrow. The “road diet” will begin either later this year or in 2022. Major reconstruction of the street is still a few years away.