A Thunder Bay cyclist wants the city to install a culvert to create a bike path between Winnipeg Avenue and Carrick Street.

Ken Shields is circulating a petition to get support for a new stretch of trail that would create a direct north-south route for cyclists to cross from one end of Thunder Bay to the other. The trail would also get cyclists off a busy stretch of Memorial Avenue

ken shields

Thunder Bay cyclist Ken Shields says he hopes a petition will help speed along the development of a cycling path that will re-route cyclists from a busy section of Memorial Avenue. (Supplied)

 “The city police and the city staff have told me that it's too busy, too dangerous for bicycles so I want them to get going and create this bike path,” he said.

Shields said he hopes to collect about 500 signatures on his petition, then present it to city council.

Waiting game

For 14 years Shields has been trying to commute on his bicycle, safely and efficiently from North Thunder Bay (by the Port Arthur Clinic), to his place of work, near Victoriaville Mall. He has been asking the city to provide a safe path to avoid the very busy Memorial Avenue and Fort William Road.

Shields said city police and city staff have told him bicycle riders are not comfortable riding those streets and motor vehicle drivers are challenged to safely go around cyclists

About eight years ago the City of Thunder Bay Parks and Active Transportation staff advised they were going to develop the route on the old rail bed that went to the harbourfront over Memorial Avenue, allowing bicycle traffic to bypass Memorial Avenue.

For the last three years, Shields said he has been told the culvert required to allow bicycle traffic to traverse a large deep ditch was to be installed — but it hasn't happened yet.

Shields said he hopes his petition will help speed things along. The petition can be found in the following shops: 3RIDE BMX Bikes, The Bean Fiend, Cyclepath, Fresh Air Experience, Petrie's Cycle And Sports, and Rollin' Thunder Bike & Ski.

"It's a no-brainer for people,” he said. “They have no hesitation once I've explained what's happening. They're behind it, no problem."