Disappointing news today from City Hall.
On Monday, February 20th, the final report of the Bike Task Force will be put forth to Council.
There are some positive points:
- That the City commit to developing safe, comfortable and convenient cycling infrastructure, policies and programs
- That the City establish an ongoing Bicycle Advisory Commitee
- That the City approve $125k to hire a consultant to assist with the preparation of a Comprehensive Bicycle Strategy and Master Plan
- That the City approve up to $50k in the 2017 budget for the completion of the following "Quick Win" projects:
A. That the City upgrade the T'Railway with signage, repairs and automated usage monitoring equipment
B. That the City create a "Car Free Sunday Event" in partnership with community groups
C. That the City create a Cycling Education Event
D. That the City develop a bike rack design competition in support of the local arts community.
There are several problems with the above, but in general those suggestions are moving in the right direction.
But there is one glaring failure:
- "until such a time that a Comprehensive Bicycle Strategy and Master Plan is in place, the bike lane parking ban [on most streets] will NOT be enforced"
I have replied to Garrett Donaher with the following statement from Avalon Cycling:
Thanks very much for your update on the matter.
While there are some positives to draw from the recommendations, I'm very disappointed that the parking ban will be indefinitely lifted as indicated.
These cycle lanes are the only viable paved surfaces for cyclists to ride unhindered by aggressive and entitled motorists.
I will be encouraging all members of Avalon Cycling, the St. John's Cycling Club, and Bicycle Newfoundland and Labrador to contact their councillors immediately.
Unfortunately, you sent me this message last thing on a Friday afternoon, all but guaranteeing that these councillors will not be able to hear their constituents before the motion is presented at Monday's meeting.
Furthermore, as far as I understand council procedure, attaching the Parking Ban Amendment to the Task Force Proposal as a singular vote is unfair.
It means that should councillors wish to vote against the Parking Ban Amendment, they will also be defeating the other elements of the Proposal, leading to more delays and costs in developing a useful cycling strategy.
This outcome has led me to see the entire project as disingenuous. I will reiterate that I, on behalf of the entire cycling community, am sorely disappointed.
In this motion, which will be put to council in three days, they will once again deliberate on eventual action, while doing absolutely nothing to protect cyclists already on the road.
In fact, they are making it MORE HAZARDOUS AND DIFFICULT to ride by allowing cars to pike in the only safe bike lanes that currently exist.
This is not acceptable.
I encourage you all, if you care about cycling in this city, to call, email and even visit your councillors, MHAs, MPs and members of the media.
The time to act is now. We have three days.
Contact information for city council:
Full text of the meeting agenda and supporting documents:
www.stjohns.ca/sites/default/files/files/agenda/Regular%20Meeting%20Agenda%20February%2020%2C%202... ... See MoreSee Less