Work on King St. bike lane in London begins Monday
The temporary bike lane will remove some parking spots but create a safer cycling route
Work crews with the City of London will begin construction on the temporary King St. bike lane Monday. The route will travel from west of Ridout St. to Colborne St., while maintaining two lanes of vehicle traffic.
While the work is underway, the city is recommending anyone using King St. travel with care and pay attention to construction signs directing traffic. Motorists are also being encouraged to stay alert and give cyclists their space.
There will be detours at times along Dufferin Ave.
London Transit will still be running buses along the route, although some stops may be relocated for the construction work.
Ben Cowie, owner of the London Bicycle Cafe, is happy to see the addition of the bike lane.
"A bus crosses the painted bike lane about every 45 seconds on King St. and that's too often," he said. "Buses and bikes don't mix."
Some businesses on King St. are concerned about losing street parking. But, that debate was held before council voted to move ahead with the project.
"We're trying to direct alternative places to park such as the parking garage under Covent Garden Market or the street parking that's available north and south of King Street," said Jim Yanchula, manager of downtown projects and business relations for the City of London.
Drivers are also being asked not to park in the construction zone. Parking meters that have a bag over them are not to be used.
Cowie hopes businesses along the stretch will keep an open mind about the bike lane.
"What you're actually gaining from having a protected bike lane is the opportunity for families and people of all ages and abilities to access your business," he said. "So think about the opportunity and give it a chance to see how it goes."
No end date
Yanchula said the temporary bike lane will likely stay in place until the city decides the future of King St. with respect to the traffic management and rapid transit proposal.
"This is a temporary project that council approved," he said. "I don't think that there's been a shelf life attached to this project."
Cowie is just looking forward to a safer bike trip into work every day.
"King St. is my usual way into work every morning and I'm just really happy to have it safe and protected," he said.