The provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure is saying no to a City proposal to install buffered bike lanes along the Viaduct and Main Street North. Both are provincially designated highways and the department must give approval to any changes in traffic patterns.
City Transportation Director Tim O’Reilly told Common Council a letter from the provincial department was received this afternoon indicating it wasn’t onboard due traffic volumes on the routes – concerns about maintenance of the two roads – and the proximity of Harbour Passage which can be used by cyclists.
Councillor Blake Armstrong questions the amount of time and energy being spent on trying to develop bike lanes. He says he’s not convinced there are that many cyclists on city streets now. Other councillors say active transportation is a progressive step adding to quality of life that will help to attract more new residents.
City Manager John Collin says the department’s response is a starting point and City staff will continue to discuss the proposal with provincial officials. Council has also approved a motion authorizing the Mayor to send “a letter the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure seeking provincial support – pending a detailed traffic safety and operational study – the conversion of one or two centre vehicle lanes on Main Street North and the Viaduct to bike lanes.”