Moncton makes costly decision to undo bike lane on Mountain Road
Published Wednesday, November 6, 2019 3:49PM AST
MONCTON -- A change that narrowed a busy Moncton highway to accommodate a centre-turning lane and a bike lane is being undone after consultants deemed it a failure.
"It's about safety, and only safety," said Moncton Coun. Bryan Butler.
Mountain Road was originally designed with four vehicle lanes. In the summer of 2018, the route was repainted to include three vehicle lanes and two bike lanes.
But shortly after work was complete, Butler brought forward a motion eliminating the bike lanes saying it just wasn't safe.
But then Coun. Pierre Boudreau suggested they wait a year and collect some data before making a decision.
A consulting firm studied the area finding safety concerns and suggested the road should be changed back.
"We counted cyclists over a 12-hour period on June 18 and July 4," said consulting engineer David Kozak.
"We conducted over the course of two or three days some field visits as well, at different times of the day."
The report showed of the 22 cyclists who used the road, 14 were still riding on the sidewalk.
"There are bike lanes on Mountain Road, but people don't feel comfortable using them," Kozak said. "So, instead the use the sidewalks to create a bit of a buffer between the fast moving traffic and themselves."
But not everyone is pleased with the decision to remove the bike lanes
"When they did change it up to go down to two lanes and a passing lane and all that, it definitely made it safer for cyclists," said bike shop owner Jim Goguen. "It definitely made it safer for cyclists and of course being a bike shop owner, I am definitely pro bike lane."
The report says the cost of reverting back to the original design could be upwards of $170,000, a price tag taxpayers would be on the hook for.
"I hope the citizens just agree that we're looking for the safety part of this," Butler said.
Butler says work is expected to begin on Mountain Road in early spring of next year.