Speedvale Ave will be Four Lanes #Guelph

Well, maybe.


After a marathon committee meeting from 5 till 9pm tonight, committee passed a motion, the recommended staff motions, to keep Speedvale Ave four lanes.

It now goes to council of the whole, with all of council to ratify (or amend, or not approve) on the 20th of July.

I’ll update more later, but I’d like to thank all of you for speaking up on this issue. I drove three hours from my family vacation to vote on this issue and am now driving all the way back.


27 responses to “Speedvale Ave will be Four Lanes #Guelph”

  1. Chuck Castillo Avatar
    Chuck Castillo

    I’m very disappointed with our politicians and newspapers for making this into a decisive bikes vs cars issue. There is a 3rd option calling for 4 lanes + bike lanes that no one is paying any attention to – I’ve only heard reference to it as being the most expensive. By how much? How do the costs of all options compare? What about the construction timelines?
    As mayor, Cam, I would expect you to present all of the options fairly instead of rallying your base to your preferred option while disparaging “the other group”. Do I really have to re-read the staff report and then maybe send out a few emails to get some answers?

    1. Cam Guthrie Avatar
      Cam Guthrie

      It’s too bad Chuck that you weren’t at the last committee meeting about this issue. I 2nd a motion for debate on the exact 3rd option you refrence in your comment. I said publicly that I would await more info to consider this option before it comes to council on the 20th.

      1. Chuck Castillo Avatar
        Chuck Castillo

        Thanks, I appreciate that.
        And yes, getting out to these things would be a lot better than online commenting.

  2. Chris Avatar

    Thanks for your efforts Cam!! You can’t please everyone but at least rational thought wins here!
    its too bad some of these cyclists can’t see past their handlebars to notice reducing lanes in this locatation is a bad idea because cars don’t have the option to just hop onto the sidewalk when there’s a traffic jam or red light to stop for!!

  3. steve Avatar

    “A better Guelph” man you sure fooled people with that slogan.

  4. Evan Shields Avatar
    Evan Shields

    How about changing Stevenson, College Ave, Silvercreek and countless other roads back to four lanes now! Wtf is up with this city?Bike lanes where possible should be put on all the wasted space that are currently boulevards.

  5. Greg Smith Avatar
    Greg Smith

    The problem with the Emma and earl solution is that it is out of the way. It’s not far but when you are on your bike you shouldn’t be the one that is diverting yourself out of the way. Plus when you are in a rush and trying to get somewhere you may not take it. Ultimately we need to make hard decisions to prioritize bike lanes on major arteries. Creating communities that are centred around prople walking and biking is the only long term solution! Our planet, kids, health necessitate it. It sounds cheesy but it’s true. We can’t be a car centred city or world any more. What are we going to do in 20 years? We need visionary leadership that makes hard decisions for the best for everyone!

  6. Jerry Avatar

    If gas was $5/liter, I think comments here would be pro cycling. Not to mention the health benefits. Guelph is not a very cycle friendly city. Pitty.

    1. Sam Avatar

      and yet we have those “Bicycle-Friendly Guelph” signs pasted to the back of our city buses…I guess it is “Bicycle-Friendly” for those people that have their bikes on racks on the back of their vehicle so they can get past that stretch of Speedvale.

      1. Cam Guthrie Avatar
        Cam Guthrie

        An alternative bike route to go east/west was also approved off of Speedvale on Emma/Earl street with a bridge going over the Speed River. So we’re getting traffic flow and we’re getting a bike network. Seems reasonable to me and also safe.

      2. Chuck Castillo Avatar
        Chuck Castillo

        Seems impractical. Sure it could complete the network, but a network that forces people to zig zag to get where they need to go is pretty low quality. Also I question the cost of this solution.
        It requires building another bridge which isn’t cheap.
        And it forces westbound cyclists to make 2 left turns across 4 lanes of car traffic.
        How will that be handles safely? Will there be bike boxes at the intersection(s)? Will cyclists have good signage and more bike boxes to make an indirect left? Or will they be forced to make a decision to either merge into the leftmost lane or get off their bike and cross 2 ways at an intersection?
        I’d be surprised if this actually worked out well for people on bikes if this goes through. Instead what we’ll end up with is Speedvale: a road with bike lanes everywhere except for a few hundred metres, and people will just merge into the car lanes rather than divert onto the network proper. That’s what I’m sure I’ll end up doing. Time = money.

  7. jessybellsmith Avatar

    RE: “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.”

    This is blatant hate mongering towards cyclists, and those that depend on cycling as their main mode of transportation, regardless of how many vintage bikes you own. The next time have to bike up Speedvale, will a car swerve into me, under your impression, that I am trying to pick a fight? This is very dangerous language and points only to encourage animosity in this city. You have made a clear distinction in your choice of words. Because I don’t drive a car, and I not included in who you consider to be “You and me” ?

    1. samtmac Avatar

      Hi Jessybellsmith… where was that quote from? I don’t see it anywhere here. I’m just wondering whether it was deleted. It is rather divisive. It really isn’t anything to do with cars vs bicyclists, it’s about safety…especially for children.

      1. Chuck Castillo Avatar
        Chuck Castillo

        It’s from the previous blog post.

  8. Jeff Avatar

    So you DROVE six hours to vote against bike lanes? Too bad. This does not need to be a car vs. bikes issue. This is a safety issue for children and adults who want to live in a community that cares more about people than anything. I have a car. I have a bike. Who cares? If this part of speedvale is not safe for both, can’t we fix that problem? For both? The bike vs car rhetoric is silly and DIVISIVE! Like saying people against big box stores just don’t want anyone to have a job …. Or that libraries are just outdated repositories for DVDs. Compromise is key. So, is there a plan going forward that is inclusive?

    1. Cam Guthrie Avatar
      Cam Guthrie

      Yes Jeff there is. I put a motion back to look at a bridge over the speed river for an alternative bike route for east/west. And I drove six hours the day before to vote on Urbacon and a tax formula too. Thanks for asking and letting me state that I did think of this as an inclusive issue.

      1. samtmac Avatar

        Sounds like there should be a system in place for proxy voting so you don’t have to drive so far for every vote. Thank goodness you didn’t take your bike.
        So is there a new bridge being built?…or is it just a future proposal?
        I don’t know whether the bike lane on Speedvale would have been the right answer but I do think that a “Bicycle-Friendly” city should be implementing solutions not just discussing them.

      2. Cam Guthrie Avatar
        Cam Guthrie

        I asked but no can do on skyping in a vote either! Ha! I said during the election that I’m pro bike network and pro traffic flow. This solution on Speedvale is exactly that. The environmental assessment is being requested for the bridge for pedestrians and cyclists, that is what was put in the motion last night to make sure we’re addressing the cycling needs in the community. The detailed design work for the road will take place over a couple of years with capital funds being set aside for the work. This will be in concert with the other bike network bridge over the Speed River. Hope this helps a bit for you! Thanks!

  9. Nancy Avatar

    Thank goodness for a smart decision! We totally missed the meeting. We are so glad to hear Speedvale will remain 4 lanes. Wonder if the council can explore a shared walk/ bike sidewalk like Georgetown has in their new subdivisions….. saves land but also gives a safe place to travel by others walking and biking. …

    1. Cam Guthrie Avatar
      Cam Guthrie

      I absolutely agree! Great idea! Thanks for commenting!

  10. Jesse Merrill Avatar
    Jesse Merrill

    Thanks Cam. I haven’t been able to have a family vacation yet, just a working dad, you know. But I did take a two-hour bike ride to Guelph Lake and back with my kids. We all had the willies scared right out of us walking our bikes on the narrow sidewalk on the Speedvale bridge and my 5-year-old was just inches from tripping off the high curb. I can’t tell you how much this scares me, but perhaps you have had similar experiences, maybe even on this bridge.

    I don’t care about bicycle activism, about who wants what and who votes whatever way. Four lanes, three lanes, new bridge, two bridges: I don’t care! I just want to know for certain sure that my mayor and council will do everything in their power to make it safe, easy and enjoyable for my kids to get to Riverside Park and Guelph Lake, so they can start the habit of a healthy lifestyle nice and early. I want the safety and welfare of all Guelph kids to trump commute times and traffic backlogs. Please do something on Speedvale that really works.


    Jesse Merrill

    1. Cam Guthrie Avatar
      Cam Guthrie

      We also approved an amended bike route that addresses your concerns in your comment so bicyclists have an east/west network that is safe. Thanks for commenting!

      1. Jesse Merrill Avatar
        Jesse Merrill

        I’d love to hear more about this amended bike route. I am personally more concerned about the north-south route. We ride the Trans-Canada Trail until it ends abruptly at Speedvale. Have you really come up with a safe, easy way to get my kids from here to Riverside Park? Kudos if that has been solved. In my view, one of your primary jobs as mayor is to keep the children of Guelph safe and healthy, even if that costs a minute or two out of anybody’s commute time. I hope that has been uppermost in your thinking and voting on this issue.

    2. Carolyn Avatar

      I ride my bike to work down Speedvale every day. I live 3.5km from work and refuse to have our family buy a second car because I can’t ride my bike the 10-15 min it takes to get there. I generally will ride on the sidewalk (which is against the law) because I don’t really want to endanger my life anymore. I think Speedvale is too narrow as it is – so I think other solutions should be examined, not just what’s on the table. I don’t even like driving on Speedvale because of how narrow it is. There must be another solution.

      1. Cam Guthrie Avatar
        Cam Guthrie

        The road will be widened for sure Carolyn. And an alternative bike route with a pedestrian bridge over the speed River is proposed now to accommodate bicyclists!

  11. Joe Public Avatar
    Joe Public

    Well it think making it one lane would have really bogged down that rush hour traffic. So glad it will be 4 lanes. the section between stevenson and woolwich needs work though it is kinda narrow

  12. Barry Avatar

    That’s dedication and I hope the rest of Guelph appreciates it!!

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