Too many sidewalks? Manitou Drive business owners say one is enough
Published Monday, August 18, 2014 3:52PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 18, 2014 6:30PM EDT
A main connector for vehicles travelling between downtown Kitchener and the Doon neighbourhood is about to get a facelift.
Regional councillors will vote Wednesday night on whether to go ahead with the planned reconstruction of Manitou Drive.
Planned as part of the reconstruction are sidewalks and bicycle lanes, which, separated from the rest of the road via a small curb, will be the region’s first “segregated” bike lanes.
Coun. Tom Galloway says he’s heard from Doon residents asking for clearer paths for pedestrians and cyclists to get downtown.
“With this project, we’re finally going to be able to provide that to them,” he said Monday.
But not everyone is happy with the region’s $5.7-million-plus proposal.
Brian Kroetsch is the owner of Quality Car Sales, located on the west side of Manitou.
He says he’s worried the curb won’t provide enough protection for cyclists riding alongside large vehicles, and expects the region will eventually have to revisit its design.
“It’s going to be a two-stage problem if they create deaths on this road,” he said.
What Kroetsch would rather see is a trail for cyclists and pedestrians built on the east side of Manitou, farther from the road.
He and some of his employees are among the more than 50 people who have signed a petition against putting bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides of Manitou.
Ed Bloos, president of Bloos Wood Products, is another. He says he rarely sees pedestrians or cyclists in the area.
“I understand there’s a need for it, but the volume that is currently here and I see in the future wouldn’t warrant the expense to put something on both sides,” he said.
Others who have signed the petition question whether hydro poles will have to be moved to make room for the west-side sidewalk and bike lane, and where snow will be piled to keep them clear in wintertime.
Galloway says he’s heard from business owners in favour of putting sidewalks and bicycle lanes on both sides on Manitou.