Yellowknife city councillors question bike lanes

Some councillors want to put the brakes on plans to create bike lanes on 52nd Ave., 44th Street and the Frame Lake trail because the project might not be relevant to residents.

Councillors want to nix plans for bike lanes on 52nd Ave., 44th Street, Frame Lake trail

Yellowknife city councillors are questioning if bike lanes are the best way to spend taxpayers money. 

At a municipal committee meeting Monday, some city councillors suggested putting the brakes on the project because it might not be relevant to residents.
Councillor Cory Vanthuyne says he's never had cyclists come to him asking for bike lanes. (CBC)

"I do not feel as a city of 20,000 people we are anywhere near knowing and understanding the effects these proposed projects for bike lanes are going to have on our city," said councillor Cory Vanthuyne.

"I have never had anybody who is a cyclist bring attention to me with regard to a need to spend taxpayers dollars on infrastructure that supports bike lanes."

Last fall Yellowknife city council proposed a five-year bike lane plan to the public.

The first phase includes putting two one-way bike lanes on 52nd Ave. and painting bike lanes on two sections of 44th Street. It also suggests widening and painting lines on the Frame Lake trail.

The city held an open house and walks of the possible routes. One hundred and fifty three people responded to an online survey.

'Maybe we made a bigger deal than we need to and public consultation told us that,"- Yellowknife city councillor Niels Konge

Results show close to 70 per cent wanted to physically separate cyclists from vehicle traffic. Some respondents were against the bike lanes all together. 

"I think that the fact that 153 responded tells us its not really a pressing matter at all. Maybe we made a bigger deal than we need to and public consultation told us that," said councillor Niels Konge. 

Other councillors raised concerns about whether bike lanes will reduce the amount of parking, interfere with snow clearing, or affect properties and trees along the proposed routes. 

Mayor Mark Heyck says council will discuss bike lanes again next week.


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