Erasing Saskatoon's downtown bike lanes cost about $38K
Project was slightly over budget but still much less than estimated maintenance costs
Take what the City of Saskatoon pays a mechanic or commercial building inspector in yearly salary, cut it in half, and you have roughly what it cost the city to remove the divisive downtown bike lanes on 4th Avenue last month.
The city estimates the project cost $38,250.
That's up slightly from the prior estimate of $35,000, but is much less than what the city estimated it would cost to maintain and plow all downtown bike lanes every year ($80,000).
Workers sandblasted the 4th Avenue lanes' painted white lines over several days in June.
Guelph mayor: 'Can I have them?'
Councillor Bev Dubois fronted the motion to remove the lanes and was supported by most city councillors, after cyclists and drivers alike expressed concerns about the lanes' design.
"My motion at the April city council meeting was to have the 4th Avenue bike lanes removed by June 30," Dubois wrote on Facebook during the removal project. "Thankfully it passed. They will be gone before that! We can do better."
The lanes' demise was a hot topic on social media, sparking support, disappointment and derision.
<a href="https://twitter.com/BevDubois?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BevDubois</a> As a Saskatoon taxpayer, I'm not very impressed that City Council is wasting taxpayer $ promoting bike lane usage. There are far higher priorities, potholes, sinking roads where where water breaks were fix but poorly back filled, cracked concrete sidewalks.—@BNSim
I spent $12,000 in downtown Saskatoon because of the bike lanes. How? The opening of the 4th Avenue bike lane conveniently coincided with my kids needing braces. Of the orthodontists recommended to us, we chose <a href="https://twitter.com/drperrykurz?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@drperrykurz</a> because his office was on 4th. <a href="https://t.co/W8IBP3E3SR">https://t.co/W8IBP3E3SR</a>—@timinsaskatoon
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Saskatoon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Saskatoon</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/firemen?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#firemen</a> setting bike lane on fire. Curiously this was the premise in draft version of Fahrenheit 451, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/dystopian?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#dystopian</a> future.<a href="https://t.co/xHJeO6D0H4">https://t.co/xHJeO6D0H4</a> <a href="https://t.co/olTL4uPROa">pic.twitter.com/olTL4uPROa</a>—@BeteVulgaris
The mayor of Guelph, Ontario, even offered his cheeky take:
Can I have them?<br>Send to:<br>City of Guelph<br>C/o Mayor Cam Guthrie <br>1 Carden Street<br>Guelph, ON<br>N1H 3A1 <a href="https://t.co/p0NG6v9C2t">https://t.co/p0NG6v9C2t</a>—@CamGuthrie
Some lanes remain
The city had wanted to begin an expansion of the downtown bike lane network in 2021. Council's decision puts that timeline into question as city planners have been asked to go back to the drawing board and consult the public some more.
Another set of bike lanes that were launched downtown, along 23rd Street, remain.