Cabana Road bike lanes approved at cost of $4.8M

Bike lanes will be installed on Cabana and Division roads in Windsor, but they won't be entirely separated from automobile traffic as originally planned.
Paint on the road, not a physical barrier, will be used to keep cars from bikes on Cabana Road. (File Photo)

Bike lanes will be installed on Cabana and Division roads in Windsor, but they won't be entirely separated from automobile traffic as originally planned.

City council on Monday night approved spending $4.8 million to widen the Cabana, between Huron Church and Walker Roads, a stretch of road nearly six kilometres in length.

The initial plan to use flex bollards, a pylon-type barrier to separate bikes from cars, was dropped last August. Instead, paint stripes 50 cm in width, will divide vehicle traffic from the bike lanes.

Chris Waters of the city's bicycling committee was pushing for a safer barrier.

"We move on, but I do hope that physical separation will be something that we consider for future projects," Waters said. "Cycling is growing in popularity in Windsor. It's a great place to cycle. We do need to do more in terms of infrastructure, changing the cycling culture.

"I'm at least satisfied that there is going to be more provision for cyclists on Cabana than there was yesterday, which was a very harrowing experience."

Waters says there are many other streets around the city, like Cabana, where cyclists feel unsafe.

Klaus Dohring with the Windsor Bicycling Committee thinks there is space for a solution that's safer than paint lines.

"We could have a complete physical separation, with a completely separate bicycle lane," Dohring said.

A stretch of road between Howard and Dougall avenues will have a raised bike lane, known as a cycle track.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit last year urged Windsor residents to support segregated bike lanes on Cabana Road.

"Cycling is a healthy, safe, and efficient way to get around the city," the health unit said in statement at that time. "[Cabana Road] is a major thoroughfare and deserves the additional safety of separated bike lanes."

The city estimates it would cost an additional $8,000 a year to keep segregated bike lanes clear of snow

The City of Ottawa installed some segregated bike lanes in 2011.

The city said in a news release in 2013 that the concrete curbs keeping cyclists and drivers apart has resulted in fewer collisions and near-collisions while tripling the number of cyclists travelling along the Laurier Avenue route to more than 716,000.