Sudbury councillor encourages more community input on Lorne Street rehabilitation
Cycling infastructure may be added to Lorne Street project, thanks to a community campaign
A newly created community campaign is aiming to get cycling infrastructure on Lorne Street in Sudbury, Ont.
The rehabilitation of the street is a major project coming up for Sudbury. The city is still formalizing details of the work, which will run from Martindale Road to Logan Avenue.
Driving the campaign is Matt Alexander, who says residents and businesses along Lorne Street want bike lanes.
"For a lot of people who live in the area, walking or biking to the businesses on Lorne Street makes the most sense, because it's only a couple hundred metres away," he told CBC News.
"But it's very uncomfortable right now, so we want to make sure that businesses understand the advantage of having bike lanes on Lorne and that they feel like they can lend their voice to this."
Cycling on Lorne Street is unsafe, as there is no dedicated space for cyclists — and drivers don't always give a meter of space to cyclists as they pass by, Alexander said.
An electronic petition is at Sudburymoves.ca, and there are paper petitions being circulated around the community, he added.
Alexander said he is trying to collect testimonials from business owners along Lorne Street, as he claims the city didn't consult them before initial details of the project were formulated.
City staff are open to putting bike lanes into the project, Alexander added, but there are some engineering questions that need to be addressed if cycling infrastructure is added.
The city councillor for Ward 1, which includes Lorne Street, said he welcomes feedback from residents and businesses.
"If people are willing to do petitions, that just goes to show you that people are passionate about their community and they want to do something, especially Lorne Street being one of the gateways into our downtown," Mark Signoretti said.
"They want to set a precedent for other road construction in the future."
He added there is money set aside for cycling infrastructure — and the project is in the preliminary stages and nothing has been finalized.
More consultation is coming up before the project is sent out for tender, which will likely be mid-summer.
The rehabilitation work is expected to take two years to complete.
Meanwhile, Alexander said the community campaign only just started, and they are working on further advocacy.
Alexander said he feels there is currently a cycling culture in Sudbury, and with the right infrastructure, the city could help boost the number of cyclists here.
This Thursday, May 12, at Tandoori Tastes on Larch Street, there will be a Good Green Town Hall Check-In to talk about how the city is doing on liveability categories, including transportation. The event, which starts at 7 p.m., is hosted by Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury.