Thunder Bay

Memorial Ave. bike lane petition headed to city council

A group pushing for a separated bike lane along Memorial Avenue in Thunder Bay will present its case to city council on Monday.

Group says it has over 1,500 signatures supporting separated right-of-way for cyclists

Dean Stamler, campaign organizer for the Memorial Avenue bike lane, says a trip to Europe showed him the importance of designing cities for people — not cars. (Adam Burns/CBC)

A group pushing for a separated bike lane along Memorial Avenue in Thunder Bay will present its case to city council on Monday.

The proposed lane, dubbed the Memorial Link, would run from John Street in the north to Miles Street in the south, a distance of about five kilometres. It would be located between the road and the sidewalk, keeping bicycles separate from cars and pedestrians.

The city has already done some preliminary work to see if the project is feasible — and they determined it is, said Dean Stamler, campaign organizer for the Memorial Link.

"It's not the cheapest option in terms of being a north-south corridor, but the reason why my group is promoting it is because it's the option which does the most to cater to both existing and new people riding bicycles," Stamler said.

The proposed bike route will run along Memorial Avenue from John Street in Thunder Bay's north end, to Miles Street in the south end. (Facebook)

His group will present a petition supporting the bike lane to city council Monday night. 

Stamler said they've collected about 850 signatures on the paper petition he brought to the city clerk's office last week, and another 800 online. 

"A significant portion of the people that I've spoke to in my campaigning are not traditionally into the idea of bike lanes," he said. "But when they hear that 'Hey, we want to provide physical separation for bicycles along this corridor,' they're like, 'Yeah, I'll sign that in a heartbeat.' " 

He's been campaigning for the bike lane for a number of years and says it would make it safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians travelling across town.

Last year, Thunder Bay's Active Transportatioin Co-ordinator said it's good to see engaged citizens, but the city already has an active transportation plan — one that doesn't include bike lanes on Memorial.

"The Memorial Link is a great idea," Adam Krupper said in April 2014. "But how does it fit into other initiatives the city's trying to do?"

Cities around the world have various kinds of separate bike lanes, including this one in Hamilton, Ont., which opened last fall. (Adam Carter/CBC)
An experimental bike lane recently opened in Banff, Alta., and is getting good early reviews from some users. (Tim Devlin/CBC)


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