Saskatoon

Erasing Saskatoon's downtown bike lanes cost about $38K

The project was slightly over budget, but still much less than what the city estimated it would cost to maintain downtown lanes every year.

Project was slightly over budget but still much less than estimated maintenance costs

The work to remove the downtown bike lanes on 4th Avenue cost around $38,250, the City of Saskatoon estimates. (Dan Zakreski/CBC)

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. 

The mayor of Guelph, Ontario, even offered his cheeky take:  

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.

The sister bike lanes on 23rd Street survived the axe. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)
 

About the Author

Guy Quenneville

Reporter and web writer for CBC Saskatoon

Story tips, ideas, complaints, just want to say 'Hi'? Write me at guy.quenneville@cbc.ca

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