'Really impressed': Temporary curb lane closures give cyclists, pedestrians more space
KITCHENER -- New separated bike lanes are popping up across Waterloo Region, but there aren't any bollards or painted signage.
Instead, temporary measures are being used to give pedestrians and cyclists more space.
The region's website says that more of these lanes will be popping up over the next few weeks.
These aren't your typical bike lanes: they're basically just large orange-and-black construction pylons that separate an entire lane from vehicle traffic.
There is signage at the beginning and end of the lanes to warn people about what they're for.
Regional council passed a motion in late June to test out 24 km of additional bike lanes in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, saying it's all in a bid to allow for proper physical distancing on sidewalks.
"The project also provides an opportunity to determine whether certain four-lane roads have excess capacity, and could potentially be reduced to two-lanes on a temporary basis," the region's website says in part.
Regional Chair Karen Redman said the lanes will give people enough space to maintain proper physical distancing.
The temporary curb lane closures will remain in effect until the end of October:
- King Street/Coronation Boulevard/Dundas Street from Bishop to Beverly streets in Cambridge;
- Westmount Road from Block Line Road to University Avenue in Kitchener and Waterloo;
- Frederick Street from Weber to Lancaster streets in Kitchener;
- Erb Street from Westmount Road to Caroline Street in Waterloo;
- One lane on Erb Street from Peppler Street o Margaret Avenue in Waterloo; and
- One lane on Bridgeport Road from King Street to Margaret Avenue
Cyclists that CTV Kitchener spoke to on Friday said the temporary but quick active-transportation measures are a good move.
"For me, I think those barrels are intimidating enough to a car that I think they'll provide enough protection," said David Trueman, who was using one of the lanes on Friday morning.
"The region has done a super job on signage too, to help it be understandable for people. I'm really impressed with what they've done in such a short time."
Dem Neumann said the lanes will help cyclists feel safer on the roads.
"It provides a bit of a moment where you can catch your breath and just cruise and not have to worry about a car coming behind you," Neumann said.
The new lanes are expected to be in place until October.