Downtown Fergus bike lane project moving forward despite citizen pushback
Bike lanes are one step closer to getting installed in downtown Fergus after council voted to keep the project moving forward despite a petition from residents against it.
"I felt council had ignored that initial feedback," said Ed O'Shaughnessy, who created the petition opposing the bike lanes on St. David Street.
In the spring, Centre Wellington council put out a public survey to get feedback on reshaping the street, which included an option to add separated bike lanes.
"The survey showed that 80 per cent of people who responded had selected something other than the bike lanes," O'Shaughnessy said. "After that public survey went back to council, council chose that option."
His petition to stop the bike lanes gathered more than 1,000 signatures.
O'Shaughnessy said he doesn't think the road is safe for cyclists because of its high volume of traffic and would rather see bike lanes placed on a quieter street.
"We averaged over 2.5 hours about one truck per minute," he said.
After presenting the petition to council, they discussed a motion to reconsider its previous unanimous decision.
But on Monday, following a narrow vote, council decided to continue moving forward with the bike lanes.
"It required a two-thirds majority, which in Centre Wellington is five out of seven councillors have to agree to reconsider a decision," said Centre Wellington Mayor Kelly Linton.
He added the bike helps will improve downtown Fergus.
Cycling enthusiast John Scott said he's happy the project is going ahead.
"This is for the future citizens and for people who don't vote, like children, to have access to things in their community," he said.
O'Shaughnessy said he's going to ask the provincial government not to grant funding for the bike lanes.
"Certainly petitioning the province is a considered step," he said.