Council to relook at 39th St. bike lane next spring

  • Sep. 18, 2013 4:20 p.m.

Bike lanes along 39th St. in Red Deer will get another look next spring as council moved forward with the Commuter Bike Pilot Project.

Red Deer City council accepted the Commuter Bike Pilot Project Report as information and Councillor Frank Wong introduced a motion to further investigate the bike lanes along 39th St. east of 40th Ave. as he said that is where most of the negative comments he is hearing are coming from.

“I think we need to take a look at this area and think about removing the bike lanes on 39th St.,” said Wong.

In a presentation to council on Monday, Michael Williston, transportation engineer, said one of the common themes they have heard from the public is that they don’t see cyclists using the bike lanes.

“On any given day there are about 400 people using the bike lanes,” he said.

Councillor Chris Stephan said the bike lane pilot was “a disaster” for the City.

“I think we really missed the mark with this pilot project. Why don’t we just archive this in the City’s history as being a terrible decision, admit that we were wrong and let’s go back and fix the problems we have created,” he said. “Let’s move on and get rid of the bike lanes.”

Councillor Lynne Mulder disagreed.

“I think bike lanes are coming. They’re being put in in every city that I know. I think it would be very shortsighted of us to say no to bike lanes,” she said. “I agree totally with Councillor Stephan that we made some mistakes but on that note I don’t think we should throw the bike lanes out. I think we need to show positive leadership in moving forward to looking at different modalities in the future.”

Councillor Tara Veer said she believes council needs to wrap up the issue because the pilot project is now finished.

“We told the public that this would be a two-year pilot project. This council, I think, needs to complete the debate on this,” she said. “This ultimately extends this and dishonours our word to the public.”

The motion to take another look at 39th St. passed with a vote of 7-2 with Stephan and Veer opposed.