The city will close one lane to traffic on part of Cannon Street to establish bicycle lanes going in both directions.
After a lengthy discussion Thursday, councillors voted to separate one lane from Sherman to Bay Street — likely with planters, green paint and some sort of barrier — so bicycles can travel in both directions on the lower-city street.
The decision came after a campaign from a community group called Yes We Cannon. The three-year pilot project will likely cost taxpayers about $600,000 to implement, said Gerry Davis, general manager of public works. He'll come back to a future general issues committee meeting with details, including design, cost and whether the lane will be on the north or south side of the street.
Council passed the decision unanimously, saying it was a sign of a new emphasis on pedestrian and bicycle-friendly streets.
"This will generate not just transportation benefits but health benefits," said city manager Chris Murray. "There's a change in thinking and attitude, and we're happy to work arm-in-arm with citizens and make things happen."
The change came from the three-person group, which used signs, T-shirts and social media to gain support for the movement. They also distributed a petition.
Justin Jones, a member of the group, was elated by the decision.
"This is exactly what we wanted," he said. "We wanted to see a motion for bi-directional segregated bike lanes on Cannon. We just have to see what it's going to look like. We're thrilled."
The staff report will include possible bike lanes extending to Queen Street. The project will be funded in part by area rating capital reserves for Ward 1, 2 and 3.
Coun. Jason Farr from Ward 2 moved the motion. Coun. Brad Clark of Stoney Creek said he'd like to see it in other areas too.
"If we're going to start going down this road for this type of planning for cycles, should be something that permeates across the entire city."
The decision will go to city council for final approval on Sept. 11.