Should New Street be a major bicycle thoroughfare? Is it a road that is going to be truly shared? And if it is shared - will be be safe?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 20, 20016


Bikes, bicycles – call them what you want – they are an issue.

Burlington has a very active cycling community. The city talks of a commitment to cycling but struggles a little bit when it comes to allocating the dollar and struggles quite a bit more when it comes to actually sharing the road.

During the lengthy discussion Tuesday evening on what was possible in terms of cycling lanes along New Street Mayor Goldring glanced at the clock and said he could now announce that Burlington was now the holder of a silver award from the Ontario Bicycling Summit that was meeting in Toronto. Burlington previously held a bronze level award.

That didn’t’ do much to help council agree on just what they wanted to do with bike lanes on New Street which is currently undergoing huge water and waste pipes upgrades that has the road torn open for significant stretches.

New looking east

New Street is being torn up for the installation of new waste and water pipes. The job is going to make the street a less desirable route through to September.

The current phase, from Guelph Line to Martha is going as smoothly as these things can go. The Region must surely owe everyone along this stretch of road a car wash – dust galore.

The debate Tuesday was over what would be done with New Street between Guelph Line and Burloak.

We are going to have to wait until July before there is a clear answer – the issue got bounced back to the city manage and his team to come back with detailed recommendations and attach costs to them.

Council was in a bit of a giddy move most of Tuesday. Councillor Craven who Chairs the Development and Infrastructure Standing Committee has decided more attention needs to be paid to the Rules and Procedures bylaw and has begun to crack down on members of council who habitually flout the rules. The two worst offenders are the members of council who have been there the longest – Taylor of ward 3 and Dennison of ward 4.

Cycling for Dennison is a way of life, Councillor is also an avid cyclist – the Mayor has been known to ride a bike as well. Councillor Taylor hasn’t seen the seat of a bike in ten years. For Taylor it is a safety issue – and New Street is a major thoroughfare.

There are several types of cyclists – some use their bike as their man form of transportation – throughout the year they ride their bikes to and from work.

New street - as far as they eye can see

While the city debates the use of bicycles on New Street the Region really disrupts traffic while new waste and water pipes are installed. Progress.

Others will use their bikes for short trips – but the majority of people in Burlington tend to use their bikes on the weekends or in the evening when they are out with friends.
The enthusiast would like us to use our bikes more often – they want cycling to be a large share of the model split – a phrase many people don’t even understand. Some seem to feel that cycling is going to be a large part of solving our reliance on cars – expecting Burlington to become another Amsterdam where the majority use their bikes is to misread the people of the city.

The focus needs to be on better transit – imagine what could happen if city council spent as much time looking for transit based solutions to the way we move people around? But we aren’t there yet – nor is the laying down of new waste and water pipes on New Street.

The standing Committee recommendations on the cycling issue were almost as muddy as New Street – they will come back to a city council meeting May 9th – we will see then what they decide to do.

On Monday the dust was pretty thick – water trucks were brought in to keep the dust down – we got a nice layer of mud but no dust.

New Street construction schedule


Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 comment to Should New Street be a major bicycle thoroughfare? Is it a road that is going to be truly shared? And if it is shared – will be be safe?