Notes from City Council

2 big issues tonight:

First off, the addition of bike lanes was commented on, discussed and finally deferred when Councillor Secord pointed out (quite rightly) that the city policy regarding bike lanes is a little heavy handed, and doesn’t take into account the views of residents along the corridors where the lanes are proposed.  I couldn’t agree more, and found myself specifically agreeing with him when he said there was no need for bike lanes to be put everywhere.

That was my point when I wrote this – we need to find routes through the city where the addition of bike lanes won’t create a major disruption to existing traffic flow.  Not every north-south and east-west corridor needs bike lanes, but cyclists do have a right to the ability to get from one end of the city to the other.

The second big issue related to traffic calming, and the end result of that debate was Council endorsing a plan where city staff would create a policy to combat a problem their own report said didn’t exist.  Councillors also chose to delete any reference to how much adopting the policy would cost, but staff estimated anywhere from $100,000-$250,000.

I guess my big issue with that one revolves around the fact that there is no actual widespread problem with traffic speeds or dangerous driving in the city.  A blanket policy to begin ‘traffic calming’ on local streets is kind of expensive when there is no problem to begin with.  A far better way to deal with traffic issues would be to let Ward councillors bring concerns to Council so that they can be dealt with individually, when intervention is warranted.  I have to think that would cost considerably less than a quarter of a million dollars a year.

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