New Sawmill Creek bike path use complicated by entry issues
Construction tangles up southern entrance, potential fix blocked off over safety issues
Cyclists say their enjoyment of a new bike path alongside the Airport Parkway is tempered by the fact nearby construction is making it more complicated and dangerous to get there.
The Sawmill Creek Bike Path runs four kilometres from Hunt Club to Brookfield roads, giving cyclists their own version of the Airport Parkway since it opened in June.
However, they said construction at its southern Hunt Club Road entrance makes getting in and out that way scary and confusing.
"There's a bike path that goes on before Bank Street and Hunt Club and then suddenly nothing. I don't know how to merge into traffic safely, I'm not exactly sure if cars are watching for me, I'm not sure how cars are going to react… and potentially clip me," said area resident Katherine Holtz.
"People aren't super polite at that intersection, they're always trying to get to work, it's always a bit of a hassle, so they tend to run the light faster and more often," said cyclist Paul Ravenscroft.
Work is being done to build new bike lanes, which will be in place next spring.
Tunnel a potential fix and potential problem
The area community association believes there’s a fix already in place: open up a tunnel connecting the parkway, bike path and eventual Airport Parkway bridge to the South Keys transit station to allow cyclist access that way.
John Sankey is the president of the Hunt Club Community Association and said the tunnel has been ready for more than two years while construction on the bridge has suffered a number of setbacks.
"An accident from someone trying to negotiate that intersection (may happen), especially in the middle of all the construction that's supposed to make it better," he said.
Area Coun. Diane Deans said she’s received dozens of complaints about the path and tunnel, but city risk assessors consider opening the tunnel and having cyclists cross the parkway to be more dangerous.
That tunnel will open when the Airport Parkway bridge does, which is expected to be late this year.