Thunder Bay council spins wheels on bike lanes
Work likely won't get started until August on Thunder Bay bike lanes
Thunder Bay city council's decision to delay a vote on proposed new bike lanes by a week could set the project back by a month.
And even if council gives the go-ahead next week, the vote likely won't be ratified until mid-July because fewer meetings are held during the summer months.
All this didn't sit well with cyclist Michael Sobota.
"It's very frustrating," he said. "As a cyclist, the designated lanes provide both a safer road for me, and a safer road for drivers. I want to see those lanes."
Mayor Keith Hobbs asked for the deferral at council’s Monday night meeting, saying city staff hadn't given council the necessary documents soon enough. A slim majority of council agreed with him.
Several residents waited about three hours to speak at the meeting — but never received the opportunity to do so.
"I am totally embarrassed that this is what we're doing as a council," said Coun. Rebecca Johnson.
"I just want to let you know that … and I very much apologize to all of you."
Thunder Bay engineering manager Pat Mauro said, after council gives the OK, work on painting the new lanes could begin in early August. If council heard the issue at its June 17 meeting, the bike lane decision could have been ratified at its June 24 meeting. If that happened, work on the lanes could have started in early July, Mauro said.
"It is council's decision, and we take their direction," he said.
"Obviously this is a very important issue, and they needed sufficient time to review the additional information."