Last night, around 12:30am, council voted 7-5 in favour of the staff recommendation to keep Speedvale 4 lanes. There will not be a road diet.
I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone involved with this debate. There were many – from our staff, to the community and my colleagues on council that thought outside the box on this. What started out as a few options to choose from, became at least 10 options to choose from because of all the input received. And choice is good.
Something I have consistently heard for many years, is that there seems to be a select few number of people who are the continual “watch-dogs” and delegates of council and city hall. The perception is that this small, but vocal minority, seemed to somewhat overpower the silent majority.
This was not the case for this issue. The silent majority didn’t remain silent. You made a difference.
But what about bike lanes?
Council also directed staff to explore separated bike/sidewalk infrastructure along a stretch of Speedvale during the detailed design phase. This does not mean it will happen, it only means staff will explore it. There is no direction for this to come back to council but we’ve sent a message to staff that we still value a direct route for bicyclists but we dont’ want to see it on Speedvale, it needs to be separated.
Even if this exploration does not create the separated bike/sidewalks, we still passed a motion to move forward with the Emma/Earl bridge over the Speed River.
Last year during one of the election debates I stated that I wouldn’t remove any existing bike lanes, but a “balanced approach” is needed between the safety of cyclists and the need for car traffic to flow efficiently.
In other words, it’s time we are pro traffic-flow & pro bicycle-network.
The final decision made last night was just that.