Temporary bike lines installed during COVID-19 pandemic coming to an end
KITCHENER -- A temporary pilot project installing bike lanes in Waterloo Region is coming to an end.
The project had mixed reviews from residents.
The lines are marked with large construction barrels sectioning off traffic lanes throughout the region.
Adam Dixon said he used the lanes on Westmount Road in Kitchener six days a week.
"I can avoid potholes and not swerve into traffic and risk getting clipped by a car," Dixon said. "In a car-cyclist situation, the cyclist always loses."
A recent staff report on the temporary lanes showed they were well-used.
"It is about a 41 per cent increase in cyclist use since they were installed," said Steve van de Keere, director of transportation for the Region of Waterloo.
The lanes don't have any painted signage or bollards, just signs showing where they begin and end.
They've led to mixed reviews from some drivers and even some confusion.
Regional staff received more than 300 emails about the lanes, and 96 per cent of those emails were negative responses.
"Mostly from drivers who were unhappy about changes to the roads and how it affects their commutes," van de Keere said.
Staff also said trying out the temporary lanes couldn't have come at a better time, since traffic volume was 27 per cent lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pilot project had a price tag of about $470,000.
"To install, monitor and remove the barrels," van de Keere said.
The barrels will be removed by the end of October, or earlier, depending on the weather.
Information on the report will be presented to regional council on Tuesday, and a full report is expected near the end of the year. That final report will have information on whether or not bike lanes will be permanent.
A map of the lanes can be found here.