Pylons marking temporary bike lines coming down
KITCHENER -- The pylons marking temporary bike lanes on some Waterloo Region roads are coming down.
The lanes became a hot topic this summer, especially when council received mostly negative feedback from the public.
They were in driving lanes, cut off from vehicles by pylons. They were in place for several months as part of the pilot project.
The region's Director of Transportation Steve van de Keere said they're coming down ahead of schedule.
"They are intended to come down no later than Oct. 31 of this year, so we provided some flexibility to the contractor," he said. "To accommodate their schedule, in which they are very busy doing other construction work for the region, they have decided to start early."
All the pylons should be down by the end of the week.
Regional staff received around 300 emails about the lanes and said 96 per cent of them were against the lanes and had negative comments from drivers.
Several cyclists told CTV News earlier this year that they were using the lanes and enjoyed them.
The pilot project is under review. Staff will put together a report, including statistics and feedback to present to council.
Regional council will then decide whether or not to renew the project next summer.
Kitchener council is one step closer to approving permanent bike lanes after more than 4,000 residents participated in a public survey.
"What that feedback demonstrated was that we need a downtown cycling grid," Kitchener transportation director Barry Cronkite said.
Cronkite said the downtown streets are compact and close to trails, making them cyclist-friendly.
"The downtown is chaining and the pandemic really brought out the need to facilitate transportation and make cycling safe for everyone," he said.
New renderings are available here and show permanent infrastructure changes like raised pavement, separating four- and two-wheel traffic on common routes like Water and Joseph Streets, along with Margaret Avenue and Duke Street. Some streets may need to be one-way to accommodate the lanes.
Online open houses are scheduled for next month to allow the public to provide their input.
Designs will likely be put forward to council by the end of the year and construction could start in early 2021.