Regional council cancels bike lane pilot in Cambridge
CAMBRIDGE -- It is the end of the road for a series of temporary bike lanes in Cambridge, with regional councillors voting to end the pilot project in the city.
In a meeting on Tuesday, council voted to get rid of the lanes, which run from King Street to Coronation Boulevard, and from Dundas Street to Bishop and Beverly streets.
Some residents complained that the orange and black pylons that are set up only allow for one lane of traffic in each direction, and some say this is also impacting access to Cambridge Memorial Hospital.
“It was very poorly planned, very poorly executed” said resident Carol Thorman. “It can’t stay the way it is. Somebody will get hurt.
“It isn’t safe for cyclists or vehicular traffic. This is our only route to the hospital.”
Thorman started the Facebook group “Happy Trails Cambridge” in response to the temporary bike lanes in the region.
She says the structure built out of pylons across from the hospital, called ‘Monty Pylon’, was a way for them to bring levity to the serious situation.
The region rolled out 26 kilometres of temporary bike lanes in Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge as a way to give pedestrians and cyclists more space during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Riding down Coronation without a bike lane on the road feels really dangerous,” said Aaron Holmes of Grand River Cycle. “Once you have an isolation space it’s going to definitely feel safer.”
Thorman says there isn’t enough space to pull over on Coronation when an ambulance drives by.
“Commercial vehicles pulling trailers don’t have enough space between the pylons to safely move over,” she said. “Seconds count when you’re in an ambulance or when an ambulance is on its way to you.
“We’ve been fortunate there hasn’t been an accident yet. I don’t think we should press our luck.”
Thorman adds that active transportation and bike lanes are important, but the one on Coronation missed the mark, and hopes the region removes it before the pilot project ends in October.
In a statement, Cambridge Memorial Hospital says their operations have not been disrupted since the bike lanes were put in place.
Region of Waterloo Paramedic Services adds that they have also found no delays or additional response times.
During the meeting, Councillor Michael Harris also attempted to have the bike lanes in a section of Kitchener’s Westmount Road cancelled, but not enough councillors supported the motion.
Those lanes, along with the additional temporary bike lanes in Kitchener and Waterloo, will stay for the time being.