I’m Voting NO to Speedvale Ave Becoming 1 Lane #Guelph

speedvale2

I don’t like long blog posts. Yet this issue deserves a lengthy one so please stay with me.

I’ll start with what I’m hearing from the public:

1. When Silvercreek went down to one lane in each direction – It was a mistake.

2. When Woodlawn Rd became one lane in each direction from Victoria to Country Club Dr – It was a huge mistake.

3. If Speedvale Ave between Stevenson and Woolwich becomes one lane – This city will go livid.

We have a section of Speedvale that is in dire need of underground infrastructure replacement. The city is not ripping up roads for months at end to only repaint the surface. This is all about fixing what we have in the ground. And we need a fix on this section of Speedvale badly. Why? Because the pipes are old. Very old. The existing infrastructure was constructed in approximately 1950. As well, the installation of a transmission water main is required. The bridge just before Woolwich, over the Speed River, was constructed in 1950 and widened in 1974.

It’s time to redo them. Nobody debates this.

The debate, is how do we put it back together? The same? Four lanes with bike lanes? Four lanes with no bike lanes? Two through lanes and a dedicated turning lane? With bike lanes as well? Wider sidewalks or not?

Fair enough, so our staff went to the public for two years to get feedback. That’s right, you read that last sentence right, two years. They presented them with many options.

Speedvale

Here’s the Staff Recommended Option:

“The recommended option is a combination of Options 1 and 2. Option 1 is recommended from Woolwich Street to Riverview Drive and Option 2 is recommended from Riverview Drive to Manhattan Court. This approach includes four vehicle lanes and sidewalks on both sides of Speedvale Avenue. Bicycle lanes would be installed from Woolwich St. to Riverside Park only. Left turn lanes would be installed at Delhi St. and Metcalfe St. The bridge at the Speed River would be replaced with a four lane structure that includes bicycle lanes and wider sidewalks”.

Now enter “the diet”:

To accomplish the above recommendation, staff acknowledge that the city would have to deviate from a 2009 and 2012 bicycle policy that recommends putting bicycle lanes on roads when these type of infrastructure improvements occur.

This has upset many cycling activists and many who in my opinion feel called to change society’s behaviour through creating forced driving discomfort – on purpose – to people like you and me who drive cars.

Council has now had two public meetings within the last 3 weeks about this issue and we’ve had only delgates speak in favour of bike lanes with a proposed road diet. Yet this would mean only one lane of through traffic with a dedicated middle turning lane and bicycle lanes.

What I think is important, is the need to look at this issue through an engineering lens and through engineering princples. The data does NOT support putting Speedvale on a road diet. You cannot look at other roads in our city that may have become a diet and imply that doing the same thing on Speedvale is no big deal. Our projected transit routes will be heavily impacted as well.

Can you imagine the back up of traffic?

traffic

The staff report says this:

“Based upon the three lane section, the maximum traffic volume on Speedvale Avenue occurs during the afternoon rush hour in the eastbound direction. The 2013 traffic volume was 1,059 vehicles per hour (vph) and the traffic model projects that the volume will grow to 1,292 vph by 2023. The maximum traffic volume for the westbound direction was in the morning rush hour and the 2013 traffic volume was 866 vehicles per hour (vph) and the traffic model projects that the volume will grow to 1,057 vph by 2023. The estimated length of the traffic queue on Speedvale Avenue based upon the three lane section option was also analysed. In the eastbound direction on Speedvale Avenue, the traffic queue would extend from Delhi Street 330m toward Woolwich Street based upon 2013 traffic volumes. This would extend past the existing fire station at the corner of Riverview Drive and Speedvale Avenue. In 2023, the traffic queue would extend 630m which would be to the west side of the Woolwich street/Speedvale Avenue intersection. Both the existing and future queue lengths would cause significant operational issues for Emergency Services in their ability to respond to emergencies east of the fire station. The future queue length would also cause operational problems at the intersection at Woolwich Street/Speedvale Avenue as the queue on Speedvale Avenue would extend past the intersection. Also, the proposed design would include the installation underground utilities to allow for the future traffic signals at Metcalfe Street. If traffic signals were installed at Metcalfe Street, there would be similar queuing (as compared with the queuing at Delhi Street) occurring at this location. Upon review, the three lane option was not recommended due to the anticipated traffic congestion and operational issues for Emergency Services.”

What can you do?

Speak up. Become a delegate on this issue, write an email or call into your councillors. (by the way you can speak up in favour of the bike lanes and a road diet too. All are welcome to get involved.)

We have a comittee meeting on this issue on July 7th at 5pm. Email clerks here: clerks@guelph.ca to sign up or have an email become part of the public record.

The full report from staff is HERE.

P.S – Anyone who accuses me of being anti-bike can just stop while you’re ahead. I’m pro traffic-flow and pro bicycle network. This doesn’t mean we default to roads everytime where it will impede traffic-flow. I worked at a bike store for 5 years. I collect vintage bicycles and commute to work and appointments on my bike often. In fact, as I write this last sentence, here’s what’s beside my desk:

bike

58 Comments on “I’m Voting NO to Speedvale Ave Becoming 1 Lane #Guelph

  1. Thank you for the information. I have emailed my Councillor, Mark MacKinnon with my concerns about Woodlawn Road and Speedvale Avenue.

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  2. Cudos Cam and couldn’t agree more. Went to Ottawa for a week’s visit and returned to the Woodlawn nightmare of repainting and I can just imagine Speedvale in the morning rush with the same paint job. If I were on council my vote would be against and with you and I hope my two Ward 4 councillors agree with you.

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    • Sometimes impeding traffic flow encourages residents to find a better way of commuting, e.g. bus, bicycle, walk.

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      • Impeding traffic flow was clearly not the intent of this road redesign.. what a comment.

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      • Ahhhh Maggie, I have yet to see you traverse the city on a day of shopping. What a sight to see you with a helmet on, bags fully loaded and riding from Walmart to Stone road for your next stop! Likely in my lifetime I won’t see it ..the bike lanes in Guelph are ridiculous.

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  3. Ok I live in the speedvale to riverview area and if speedvale goes down to one lane that is going to be horrible. I am responsible for getting children to school in the morning in the south end (don’t ask long story) and I don’t have time to sit in bumper to bumper traffic every morning. Speedvale is bad enough already with 4 lanes.. Could u imagine it going down to 2? Yes what they did on woodlawn was rediculous, but if they do it to speedvale The city is just asking for trouble and I give it about 6 months before the community is breathing down the cities neck and will cost the city more to re do the work to put it back to 4 lanes. Cyclists don’t need to use speedvale, Emma street runs all the way to Stevenson and same with riverview and waverley. Those should be designated bike routes. Less traffic and more safe for the biker. Just my opinion.

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  4. I agree with you Cam, 100%. While I can also see the side of the cyclists and their issues, I cannot help but wonder what an absolute nightmare it would be if Speedvale was reduced to 3 lanes at any location! We all know how many accidents per week happen on Silvercreek since 3 lanes were implemented there, can’t imagine how many on Woodlawn since that change was made. Just think of the numerous accidents that will happen at any time during the day, not to even mention when the emergency vehicles try to exit the station at Speedvale and Riverside, or an ambulance trying to get to Delhi St to the hospital. The information above states that the numbers come from a 2013 study. Well, this city has grown since then, and will continue to grow, so the numbers in the “model plan” do not add up. Speedvale is a major East-West artery, linking vehicles to Highway 24, Highway 6 north and Highway 7 to the west. To reduce this street to anything less than it is right now is absurd. It will divert traffic to Woodlawn which is congested enough as it is. Ever try to turn left at Woodlawn, north onto Woolwich (Hwy 6) at 5pm, never mind on a weekend? That lineup of traffic has been quite often all the way back to Nicklin Road. It is well known that other roads/highways that at one time were reduced to 3 lanes were quickly changed back to 4 after becoming nothing more than “death traps” for motorists and yes cyclists. Highway 6 south of Morriston, Highway 22 north of London, Highway 4 near Talbotville were all 3 lane roads that were re-designed to become 4 lanes again due to the increase of accidents, Due to the Speed River running through our city, we really do not have many true East-West arteries, and to reduce what we do have will cause nothing short of mayhem.

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  5. I completely agree. It would be a nightmare to change the road from the way it was designed for originally. Smooth traffic flow

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    • Smooth traffic flow?? A bicycle is a vehicle, as designated by the Highway Traffic Act, and, as such, deserves “smooth traffic flow” just as much as cars do, perhaps more, in these days day of climate change. Speedvale Avenue was designed and paved in the late 1950s. That is more than 60 years ago! Do you really think nothing has changed since then, and that a 1950s road design is suitable for the 21st century??

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      • Yes Maggie and they also deserve tickets as you don’t see cars driving on pedestrian sidewalks do you. Get real for today.

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      • To B. Smith. Could it be that a few, and only a few, cyclists ride on the sidewalks because they are too afraid to ride in traffic without bike lanes??
        Get real for today? Exactly, and for tomorrow and for the future, when the private automobile is not king of the road!

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      • Why would you wish a slow commute on anyone, cars or bicyclists? I certainly hope that everyone gets around our city quickly. It sounds like Cam was searching for the best option for both groups, and has suggested two alternative (and much safer bike routes, especially since you mentioned not everyone is brave enough to bike on the street with cars) vs. Speedvale.

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      • Maybe this conversation would go in a different direction if you all realized that YOU, ok, WE ARE the traffic jam. It is not a “thing” out there that the government can change, it is US who constitute the traffic jams and create slow traffic. Stop pretending it is this thing “out there”

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  6. We don’t have to have bike lanes on every single road in this city. Has anyone actually counted how many bikes are on Speedvale during a day. Leave it alone. Let’s consider the majority for a change. Yes cyclists are a minority compared to vehicle traffic. Cyclists don’t ride in the winter cars do. 3 lanes on Speedvale is a recipe for disaster

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  7. Im voting No, and whoever is coming up with these ridiculous ideas is not thinking very clearly obviously. Livid Guelpite

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  8. Thank you Mayor Guthrie for thinking of us. When Speedvale was down to one lane due to repaving, it would take me upwards of 20 minutes to get from Delhi St. to Woolwich St. If the city made this a permanent thing, it would cause such gridlock at all times, and not just rush hour. We need four lanes for traffic and there just isn’t enough space for four lanes and bicycle lanes. Please continue your campaign to keep this the same before our other do gooders on our city council think it is best for our environment to put bicycle lanes in. It’s not going to cut down the traffic and the pollution would be worse from the traffic jams the fewer lanes would cause. We don’t need bicycle lanes on every street.

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  9. Did anyone notice the traffic backup recently when they paved the area by Speedvale and Woolwich? Traffic in the morning was backed up from Woolwich almost to Metcalfe, People living in Exhibition Park area were turning off Speedvale at Marlborough and Delhi to drive (quickly) in a hospital zone and a neighbourhood street then down Eramosa and along Woolwich from the east. This is the stupidest idea I have ever heard, Why don’t we count the number of bikes vs. cars, give our heads a shake and rethink this stupidity. I have a bicycle too. Also if were so environmentally conscious in this city why on earth are we content with automobiles sitting and sitting and sitting all the time idling waiting at our intersections? (see Paisley and Norfolk as a poor example of (social) engineering. I agree RECIPE FOR DISASTER.

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    • Let’s face it, a resurfaced Speedvale Ave. will be a dream come true with or without bike lanes. As a cyclist the reason I avoid it is because the road is marred with potholes within 6 feet of the curb. As it is, it is basically only a two lane road way. I’m all for keeping traffic flowing and not idling. I’m also all for our municipal government keeping their promises and not excluding the “minority” My issue is the disregard, generalization, and demonizing tone in the mayor’s message.

      “This has upset many cycling activists and many who in my opinion feel called to change society’s behaviour through creating forced driving discomfort – on purpose – to people like you and me who drive cars.”

      Please remember Mayor Guthrie, cyclists and advocates are also motorists and they also vote in municipal elections.

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    • I am voting no , we do not need any more restricted lanes here in Guelph. With the additional people the government wants us to have in Guelph in the next few years, the traffic even on four lane roads will be heavy
      Gordon Curl

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  10. I vote no we do not need to go anymore than what it is yes i would go home in the morning from work and its been a headache when they were doing a section on Speedvale and the line up was unbearable i can image what the drivers were feeling

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  11. When Silvercreek was changed to 2 lanes with a turn lane, it caused gridlock, confusion, fender benders, etc. It was not well thought out in my opinion.
    However, if anyone thought Silvercreek was a bad plan, Woodlawn is worse. Not only is there gridlock on one of the only major roads to run across town East and West, but the turn lane for Country Club and Fairway Lane converge at the top of a hill. The potential for head on collisions is huge! I live off of Woodlawn and the amount of near misses I’ve witnessed has been unreal.
    Whoever engineered this plan, clearly didn’t think it through.
    I completely understand the need for bike lanes but I also think the congestion and accidents now become a hazard for cyclists. So are we really improving anything?!?
    Sorry for the long post.

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    • Woodlawn had indeed become slower, but nothing serious. The big issue in my view is the left turning lane right after the golf club and the hill make it a bit hard. Slower traffic, I am all for it! Life is too short to rush through…

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  12. Two years ago our family travelled to Stockholm and Helsinki. Both of these cities were very bicycle friendly and it looked like a wonderful way to get around. The difference was that the bicycle lanes were beside the sidewalks which kept them away from the cars allowing both to travel safely. As a walker, it was a little confusing at first, but we quickly got used to looking down to make sure that we were in a walking lane. I thought it was an excellent way for cars and bicycles to co-exist and to keep traffic flowing.

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  13. Although I completely respect the need for bike lanes and insuring the Saftey of bikers, I agree that if adding bike lanes would impede traffic flow they are not needed.
    Say 300 cars a day travel that road, out of that 300 there might be 1 bike that day!! Why would we as a city dedicate a bike lane for that 1 bike when it would cause severe distraction of traffic flow??
    This has nothing to do with respecting or not respecting cyclists, this is about traffic flow and unfortunately there are a significant amount more drivers the cyciliats.
    I hate to say that I agree with our Mayor but in this I actually do.

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  14. Not true that Woodlawn has turned into a nightmare. They finished the paint job yesterday! We are starting to adjust. Give it some time.

    Doesn’t mean we need to do the same for Speedvale, a busier throughway. Speedvale should not be impossible for bicycles and impossible for cars – they should both be safe and convenient. It is not one against the other. But it is high time for cyclists to have their space and not fear for their lives.

    Most car drivers do not know that bicyclists are legally entitled to take up an entire traffic lane. Just knowing that would make cycling safer (less angry drivers who cut off vulnerable cyclists).

    Maybe the activists are trying to save the city money by thinking bike lanes. There are more costly options that accommodate both. Like separated bike lanes and adding bike lanes to the sidewalks. Those are wonderful options, too.

    Imposing detours on bicycles is not a fair solution. Make it convenient and fast for them, they put enough sweat into their transportation to add extra miles.

    Honour the modern needs for alternative transportation AND for traffic flow. We can have our cake and eat it too. That’s what modern cities do.

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  15. As a cyclist and a driver in the city, I defiantly see Mayor Guthrie’s side on this issue, and why he would vote to keep it 4 driving lanes. But what he didn’t touch on is the negative impacts to cyclists and the cycling network if it goes back to 4 lanes w/o bike lanes. As other people pointed out, this is a main East/West route, but it also it also is for bikes, and asking us to go out of our way to avoid the road is ridiculous, as it would be to tell drivers to do the same. I live around Silvercreek, and I think it works great as a 3 lane road w/ bike lanes (maybe it’s busy as other times of the day) and Silvercreek is mostly commercial. Speedvale on the other hand is all residential on that stretch, maybe we should look at diverting traffic. Also cyclists are not trying to “create forced driving discomfort – on purpose” we only want a good cycling network, and as it gets stronger, more people will get out of their cars and onto their bikes, which is good for traffic, community, and the individual themselves.

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  16. Please, please, please … STOP bottle necking our traffic arteries. It’s impossible to navigate this city as it is. It doesn’t need to be made any worse! And yes, my main mode of transportation is a bicycle. If we would like road rage to reach epidemic proportions in Guelph, then yes, you are making the right choices by narrowing the streets that you address. STOP IT!

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  17. Just one of the reasons why I voted Cam for mayor. We live off of Speedvale and do not need any further delays…especially permanent ones. We too ride bicycles, but do not expect to ride at the cost of traffic flow. Defer to the experts.

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  18. Well, the good news is that the work on Silverscreek and Woodlawn is reversable as it was only paint that was used to rearrange the roads. I’m not anti cycling either, but I would like to see the cycling data and how it holds up against the vehicle data, pre-bike lanes and post bike lanes. Does it even come close to the 1000+ cars per hour in peak times? My guess is that it wouldn’t even be 10 bikes per hour, even after the addition of the lanes. We can’t force bikes on everyone. Using a sports analogy, you can’t make a play that isn’t there.

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  19. And regards to the work on Woodlawn which makes it even look even more ridiculous, is that roughly half of the distance that the left hand turn lane takes up, a left hand turn isn’t even an option! No homes, no businesses, no streets! Where are we even turning too?

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  20. I live at Woodlawn and Victoria area, while I agree the new configuration has slowed traffic in this area, it has slowed it to a rate that is more safe for pedestrians especially the high volume of elementary school aged children in this area. The usual 90 km an hour I used to see in this location has ceased. While there are now bike lanes present, people seem to predominately ride their bikes on the sidewalk anyway, even though they now have beautiful wide lanes to ride on. I just spent an evening commute traveling on the proposed area of Speedvale and it would be an absolute nightmare to have it cut down to 1 lane with turning lanes. When it takes you three waits to get through a set of lights, condensing it further seems ridiculous. If anything, these lanes could be wider than they are, come winter its nearly impossible to travel 2 cars abreast in one direction. Thank you for your concern for our citizens Mayor Guthrie, I’ve lived here going on 15 years and I have yet to see a mayor so involved as you in communicating with the citizens! Keep up the good work!

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  21. I agree with the mayor. I live off of Woodlawn – a very busy route taken from 4 lanes to 2. I turn left onto Inverness on a yellow because of the string of cars in the single lane heading west – every time (and it’s only been 2 lanes for a couple of days!). With my two kiddies in the car, that is not how I prefer to drive. I will also be emailing my councillors.

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  22. As a resident on Silvercreek, the decision to go 1 lane with a turning lane was the right decision, I wish the bottom of Silvercreek was the same to make it safe for cyclists. I agree that not all streets need to have bike lanes, but we need more arterial lanes. Cyclist should have to zig zag all over town to go from east to west or north to south. I’m a driver and a cyclist, make our roads functional for both. Thank you.

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  23. Where is my post from yesterday??? Has it been “moderated” out of existence?

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    • WordPress app crashed last week and an update to fix the software was done today. All comments posted.

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  24. I live off of Speedvale and consider this stretch of road one of the busiest in Guelph. There was a reason the city many years ago made this road four lanes. And people want to go backwards for bikes that travel only 6 months of the year? I wonder if the road diet and bike supporters would still wish for bike lanes if they owned property along this stretch. These poor residents are going to lose so much land that they may have to put their garbage bins on the bike lanes. Let’s me smart and progressive when making a decision in regards to Speedvale Ave. I am so glad we have Cam as Mayor!!!

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    • Where did you get the idea that cyclists only travel 6 months of the year?? Most travel at least 9 months, and an increasing number, including me, travel year round – and no I am not an athlete just a 65-year old resident with environmental concerns!

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      • You are a minority group Ms. Laidlaw. It is not an “idea” rather a fact that winter weather prevents many from safely riding their bikes. I think many would agree that there are not too many bikes out on a snowy day. I applaud you for your 9 month of the year use of your bike, along with your environmental concern. With that being said, my lack of support of bike lanes on Speedvale Ave does not reflect a lack of environmental concern on my part. I just feel that Speedvale Ave is not the best route for safety and traffic flow. What I do appreciate from this new council is their ability to listen to the tax payers and majority versus a the same minority. The mayor’s blogs and open mindedness to many different ideas is refreshing! Discussion is a great start.

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      • Winter does not prevent many from safely riding their bikes. Poor maintenance does, and the city does a terrible job of maintaining bike lanes in the winter.

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  25. I live in the south end, and when I travel on Speedvale, Woolwich and Woodlawn area it is almost as bad as Gordon, Stone and the Clair Rd area. As a progressive city and if we want to attract substantial business good traffic flow is essential. Bike lanes should be combined with sidewalks, a very popular option in Florida. I hope our aldermen in the south end (ward 6) will learn from the disaster we have in the south end..

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  26. Speedvale Ave. is almost impossible to widen. If you want to see what happens when you go that route of 3 lanes, come to Woodlawn Rd. between 4 and 6 and see the back up of traffic. Regarding bicycle lanes several people are not using them, instead, they are riding on the sidewalks. Often they don’t even have any regard for the people walking on the sidewalks. Please keep the 4 lanes and forget about the bicycle lanes.

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  27. Why are staff are recommending that bike lanes not be included between Manhattan Court and Riverside Drive? If Speedvale Avenue is considered an arterial road why not make every effort to make it wide enough to accommodate motorized traffic and bicycles?

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  28. I read this blog post this morning and have been thinking about it a bit during the day. A few thoughts:

    1. I firmly believe that it is the role of policy makers to make policy that will help the well being if their constituents. Topics like smoking in bars and restaurants and seat belt laws come to mind. While including bike lanes in a complete streets ideology might not be 100% popular with everyone, I believe that encouraging active transportation is not only an important goal to strive for, but one that has implications well beyond traffic concerns.

    2. There was obviously a reason that the bike lane policy was adopted in Guelph to begin with. One concern that I have for not including bike lanes in this project is that it shows that the city has the choice to “opt out” of previously adopted policies at it’s convenience. What does this mean for other policies?

    3. Cam, if you are a bike advocate, it makes me even more frustrated that you are so opposed to this. As someone who understands the value of bicycle transportation, can you not see why using street design to encourage more cycling is such an amazing thing? I myself am not an avid cyclist, but I’m trying to become one and as someone who has tried to cross the city by bike, it can be very scary!

    Thanks for taking the time to read and respond if you can.

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  29. I have been driving cab in this city for 26 years. Being on the road 50 – 60 hours a week, I see and deal with much.
    Norfolk is my favourite beef because of lane reductions and should be renamed Bottleneck Boulevard.
    I commented for a long time that Silvercreek needed a centre turning lane, but I sure wasn’t prepared for what it became. It is not just a mistake, it is a disaster squeezing all that traffic into one lane each way, making near impossible to get out of the mall or businesses on the west side of the street.
    I actually saw someone who had no idea what the centre lane was for and had the northbound traffic at a stand still while they waited for a break in the single lane of southbound traffic. Horns were blazing and people were swearing. It is a good indicator of what we can expect on Speedvale if it goes that way.
    For a city that prides itself on being green and clean, I do not understand the recent propensity for turning thoroughfares into parking lots with hundreds of idling cars.
    What really amazes me, though, is no Option 4! Go with Option 1 and have shared trails on either side for bikes and pedestrians. There are shared trails all over the city and I have not heard of any major conflicts there. At least if there is an accident, the weight and speed differential is not that great and the possibility of a fatalities involving pedestrians and cyclists are greatly reduced.
    In the grand scheme of things, bike lanes and side walks are underutilized in comparison to roads. This would just be safer for everyone.

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  30. I feel more bike lanes will cause more traffic issues, and feel that it will cause gridlock Speedvale and Woodlawn are always busy and I feel it will cause a lot of issues with long line ups at lights

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  31. I don’t understand why not go with option 1, to have 4 lanes and 2 bike lanes? Both options 1 and 2 require taking the same amount of space away from private property.
    So it must be cost. It can’t cost that much to apply some extra paint.
    Or is it that the vehicle lane widths would be reduced?
    What are the major differences?

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  32. Definitely keep 4 lanes for motorized vehicles on Speedvale Ave, suggest bike traffic lanes safer attached to side walks, (have you noticed sidewalks seldom in use, citywide)
    Plus I am not in favour of temporarily island on Macdonnell St…mixing pedestrians into roadways,is an accident waiting to happen.

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  33. The Speedvale Road solution requires a “NO” vote. For those who may not travel along Speedvale, it is a four lane roadway from Eramosa in the east, to Elmira St in the west, across the top of the city. Taking a small portion of Speedvale and reducing it to a “diet solution” makes no practical sense and will severely impede traffic flow. The portion of road under debate is also frequented daily by emergency vehicles that should not be delayed in their response time.

    The portion of Speedvale from Woolwich to Westwood was recently resurfaced. This work caused long delays and bike lanes were not added, why? Perhaps because the number of cyclists is extremely low and does not warrant the high cost.

    I request Council vote against the bike lanes here. A bike lane policy does not mean all streets must have lanes. Let’s be smart in the application of the policy within Guelph.

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  34. Hi, I’d like some clarification on the comment “This has upset many cycling activists and many who in my opinion feel called to change society’s behaviour through creating forced driving discomfort – on purpose – to people like you and me who drive cars.”, Specifically, “people like you and me who drive cars”. I’m a little confused as to what that insinuates about people who don’t drive cars for any of various reasons (eg: people who are too young, too old, are disabled, or who choose other modes of transportation for environmental reasons). I understand that this specific situation may not be the best fit for bike lanes, based on traffic, but to hope that the topic will not become a “bikes vs. cars” dispute after a comment like that which flat out separates those who aren’t “people like you and me who drive cars”, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

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  35. First people need to stop making this about bikes vs cars. It is only 1 small component. Read up on what Road Diets are and do for cities of ALL sizes (http://www.citylab.com/design/2014/09/so-what-exactly-is-a-road-diet/379975/)

    Most drivers base their travel speed on what feels comfortable given the street design. The wider the road, the faster people tend to drive and, the faster the car, the more severe the injuries resulting from a crash.

    Research suggests that injuries from vehicle crashes rise as the width of a road increases.

    To protect both pedestrians and drivers, many communities are putting their roads on “diets“ by reducing street widths and vehicle lanes. The gained space is being
    reallocated toward other ways of getting around — such as walking, bicycling and public transit.

    The most common road diet involves converting an undivided four-lane road into three vehicle lanes (one lane in each direction and a center two-way left-turn lane).

    The remaining fourth lane space can be used to create such features as bicycle lanes, pedestrian crossing islands, bus stops, sidewalks and on-street parking.

    Road diets work best on streets that have daily traffic volumes of 8,000 to 20,000 vehicles. When done properly, a road diet improves the performance and efficiency of
    the street and makes it safer for all users.

    For instance, by enabling pedestrians to cross only one lane of traffic at a time — rather than up to four or more lanes — a road diet reduces the risk of crashes and serious
    injuries. At the same time, motorists experience a shorter delay while waiting at traffic lights and other crossings.

    A road diet can help a neighborhood become a more desirable place to live, work and shop, which in turn can be a boost to businesses and property values.

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    • This could also help reduce crashes at Speedvale/Woolwich, the number 1 crash intersection in the latest Police report if I remember correctly.
      I’m sure the intersection design is a more important factor, but would a road diet a) set the pace and mentality of motorists, and b) be a factor in how that intersection is designed?

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    • I asked that too Claire. Still don’t have enough room with new hydro and lights. Although staff have been directed to consider the bike/sidewalk infrastructure during the design phase just invade there’s a last ditch effort to see if they can make something work. This would all be separated from the road though.

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  36. Hello,

    I’ve tried to comment a number of times and am becoming very frustrated, as the comment has yet to be posted. I’m just wondering if you know why!?

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      • I’ve tried a number of times, on many different days to post the same comment, and site seems to just refresh, and my comment disappears! I’ll try once more, and see if it goes through..

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