Nfld. & Labrador

Time to kick bike lanes to the curb, say 2 St. John's councillors

At least two city councillors think bicycle lanes in St. John's have been a big mistake.
Bike lanes were introduced in St. John's in 2011 as part of a new municipal plan. (CBC)

At least two city councillors think bicycle lanes in St. John's have been a big mistake. 

In 2011, lane markings were painted at a cost of $3 million, in the first phase of a 20-year bike plan for the city.

A committee was formed last year to review that plan, and it's expected to make its recommendations soon. However, at least two councillors are already calling for the removal of some lanes. 

Coun. Bruce Tilley said the bike lanes in his neighbourhood serve no purpose to most people. (CBC)
Coun. Bruce Tilley — who lives in the Cowan Heights area — described the bike lanes in his neighbourhood as very lonely places that are not being used by residents who live in the area.

"There's two gentlemen that ride their bikes to work," he said. "No one else uses it."

Tilley said people in the Frecker Drive and Canada Drive area have been complaining for years that they've lost their parking spaces because of bike lanes that virtually no one uses. 

Calling for a new strategy

Last year city council suspended plans to repaint bike lanes, and formed a committee tasked with reviewing the plan.

Coun. Art Puddister wants to see bike lanes removed as soon as possible to alleviate some of the parking problems for residents in his ward. (CBC)

Tilley said he's not necessarily against bicycles, but he thinks it's time to scrap what's there and start over again.

"Just take the lanes that are there out altogether and just come up with a new plan."

Coun. Art Puddister is also calling for at least some of the lanes to be removed, and hopes the committee's recommendations will help people who say bike lanes are a waste of valuable space.

"This is something we need to deal with sooner rather than later," he said. 

"This has impacted seriously people's property values; places on Old Topsail Road, Frecker Drive, Canada Drive and so on, whereby there's a bicycle lane and people can't park in front of their houses."

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