Given The Go-Ahead On A New Kitchener Cycling Master Plan

August 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm Leave a comment

Kitchener councillors have approved in principle new planning steps that will make consideration of cyclists’ needs on city roads policy rather than an afterthought. The Cycling Master Plan will see the construction of a network of 114 kilometres of segregated bike lanes, local bicycle streets and multi-use trails with the aim of significantly increasing cycling traffic in the city. The plan would be implemented over two decades and will cost the city about $6.1 million.

It replaces the city’s 1998 Bikeway Study that had become obsolete because of changes in programming, policy and infrastructure. Much of the new cycling network will comprise so-called bicycle priority streets, or traffic-calmed areas that will make it easy for cyclists to navigate existing roadways. The improvements will include signage indicating routes to major destinations and changes to major crossings that would give cyclists priority. The plan also calls for eight kilometres of separated cycle lanes that can safely accommodate cyclists past driveways and intersections. The remainder of the network will be made up of typical bike lanes and marked areas on shared roadways.

The idea is to make Kitchener a “bicycle-friendly city” and encourage people to use their bikes more for commuting, short outings and leisure. While the plan takes into consideration the views of those already sold on cycling, the idea is really to reach out to the majority of residents who are typically “interested but concerned” about cycling on city streets.

The new polices also require engineering staff to automatically consider the needs of cyclists on any future road projects.

There are several road projects coming up in city planning, including reconstruction projects on Huron and Block Line roads, where separated cycling lanes will be looked at. Councillors also agreed to look at the creation of a halftime transportation co-ordinator position to oversee the implementation of the master plan. A decision on that will be made during the 2011 budget review.

The full Cycling Master Plan will be available on the city’s website in the next few days.



Entry filed under: Kitchener, Waterloo Region. Tags: , , .

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