Stephan calls for halt on bike-lane spending

The bike lane battle barrels on.

The bike lane battle barrels on.

The city’s bike lane pilot project is due for a full-fledged evaluation this fall, but Coun. Chris Stephan does not want to wait for the leaves to change colour to examine the merits of the controversial initiative.

At Monday’s council meeting, Stephan introduced a notice of motion to discontinue the pilot project immediately. Citing citizen dissatisfaction and the initiative’s cost, the councillor proposed to “direct administration to prepare a plan for the removal of bike lanes, which have resulted in loss of on street parking and motor vehicle lanes.”

He also called for council to not spend any more taxpayer dollars on bike lanes. On Monday, he said the motion does not call for the removal of all lanes, but to remove the lanes in certain areas.

Last September, council voted to remove bike lanes on 55th Street, 40th Avenue (north of 52nd Street) and 59th Avenue (north of 70th Street) in response to public concerns.

Ryan Handley, who organized a petition last year for the removal of bike lanes, applauded the move. He said public outcry in regards to the project is enough evidence to gauge the project’s effectiveness, or lack thereof.

“I think it’s been such a thorn in most people’s sides, there’s no reason to wait.

“The whole idea of the council is that they are to make decisions on behalf of the majority of citizens and if you get a petition with 3,000 people in 10 days, that’s pretty good feedback,” said Handley.

Still irritated with the way the project was first implemented, Handley said he would like to see bike lanes incorporated in future developments. In the meantime, though, he wants an immediate end to the project and the lanes removed from 39th Avenue and 40th Avenue.

Coun. Paul Harris has a number of issues with Stephan’s motion, and said this spring and summer are crucial to the pilot project.

“We finished putting the lanes in last fall, so the pilot really is just beginning and it was intended to run the whole of this coming season so we could see how it would be.

“We haven’t even had a full season with the entire bike lane network, so to say that we’ve run a pilot and it’s been unsuccessful is absolutely ludicrous,” stated Harris.

He expects city administration will be coming forward with recommendations regarding the bike lanes in the spring, information with which council can make tweaks. While bike lane detractors have been vocal in their opposition, Harris said he believes the majority of Red Deerians are in favour of the project’s goals.

“We’ve got to find ways to make improvements to this system that accommodates everybody and that’s what the whole point of the pilot is to start with,” he said.

Council is scheduled to discuss the motion on April 2.

mfish@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

More than 120,000 Albertans have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the first two days of appointment bookings. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta Health Services apologizes after seniors struggle to book vaccine appointments

The CEO and president of Alberta Health Services is apologizing after seniors… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Kyle Moore, 26, will be a houseguest on Season 9 of Big Brother Canada. (Photo courtesy Big Brother Canada)
Red Deer man will be a houseguest on Big Brother Canada

A Red Deer man will be a houseguest on the upcoming season… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mason Ward battles with a Medicine Hat Tigers’ forward during the WHL Central Division season opener. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers come back to spoil Red Deer Rebels home opener

It’s been nearly 345 days since the Red Deer Rebels last played… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews (34) falls on his knees as he skates around Ottawa Senators defenceman Artem Zub (2) during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Thursday, February 18, 2021. The Maple Leafs will be without star centre Auston Matthews when they take on the Edmonton Oilers Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Toronto star Auston Matthews won’t play as Leafs face Oilers

EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs will be without star centre Auston Matthews… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Wetaskiwin RCMP say a Maskwacis man died after he was struck by a vehicle. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Clare’s Law in Saskatchewan used handful of times; Mounties review their role

REGINA — A first-of-its-kind law in Canada meant to warn those at… Continue reading

The Magpie river in Quebec is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Boreal River MANDATORY CREDIT
Quebec river granted legal rights as part of global ‘personhood’ movement

MONTREAL — With its kilometres of rapids and deep blue waters winding… Continue reading

Thorough sanding of a table top is usually the first step to renewing a finish. Wax contaminants can sometimes still remain on a surface like this after sanding. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a rag gets rid of these contaminants without leaving a residue behind. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: Fixing wood finishes

Q: How can I stop polyurethane from beading up on a mahogany… Continue reading

Most Read