Bike lanes on 40th Ave to go

More changes are ahead for Red Deer’s controversial bike lane pilot.

More changes are ahead for Red Deer’s controversial bike lane pilot.

On Monday, Red Deer city council approved on-street adjustments to the pilot lane network that includes removing bike lanes, re-configuring streets and marking bike routes.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling said council put a lot of thought into the changes after hearing from the community and going to a recent workshop.

“I think it’s really important for council to respond to what we’re hearing in the community,” said Flewwelling. “Is everybody going to be 100 per cent? I guess not. But I think we’ve brought it to middle ground. I think that’s important.”

In all the bike lanes will be removed on 40th Avenue between 39th Street and 52nd Street and at the intersection of 40th Avenue and 39th Street (up to 38A Avenue). A bike route will be marked on 59th Avenue, north of Holt Street (from Holt Street to 70 Street) and the 59th Avenue and 67th Street intersection will be restored to its original configuration.

The other six existing bike lane locations will stay.

Coun. Chris Stephan, who has strongly opposed the bike lanes, was unsuccessful in his motion to scrap the bike lanes in areas where on-street parking was lost and there was traffic congestion.

“We moved in the right direction and I think we’re coming to a better outcome for the community,” said Stephan. “The unfortunate thing is the amount of money we wasted to get there. I think it is something that council will learn from the future. When you do this type of planning we need to do really good public consultation up front.”

The repainting and adjustments will get underway next month and will be completed by June at the latest. A survey on the bicycle infrastructure will be available until Aug. 15 on the city’s website. The pilot will wrap up in the fall with a final report to council on Sept. 30.

The survey will be active on the city’s website once the adjustments are completed.

The Commuter Bike Lane Pilot has been ongoing since 2011, with the bulk of the painted road markings and signage implemented last year. The report was before council on Monday as previously directed for pilot evaluation and to make any necessary changes.

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