Bike lanes, police paid duty come to committee
Two controversial topics will come before the city’s public works committee on Thursday: a pilot project for separated bike lanes on Richmond and Adelaide streets and the elimination of paid duty police officers at construction sites located near quiet intersections.
The proposed bike lanes would run from Bathurst to Sherbourne streets and require the removal of at least one curb lane on both Richmond and Adelaide. The bike lanes would be separated from vehicle traffic by a curb.
Adding the lanes in both directions has a projected cost of $1.2 million, while unidirectional lanes would cost considerably less.
The public works committee will also consider a plan to eliminate the current bylaw which requires paid duty police officers at all construction sites located within 30 metres of an intersection.
Police are paid $65 an hour for paid-duty work, a rate about double their normal pay. While working at construction sites, police direct traffic and ensure pedestrians keep a safe distance from the work.
The money only comes from city coffers if the work is done at city work sites; otherwise private developers cover the cost.
City auditor general Jeffrey Griffiths has recommended removing the requirement for paid duty officers near intersections with little traffic.
He estimated the city paid Toronto police officers $7.8 million in paid-duty work in 2009 and has said removing the requirement for paid duty officers near all intersections could save the city $1.3 million a year.