Getting Bike Lanes Rolling

"Slow Roll" along Colborne Rd. Tues Apr 24/18. BlackburnNews.com photo by Josh Boyce.

About 50 bicycle enthusiasts staged a “slow roll” along Colborne Rd. on Tuesday evening in support of designated bike lanes in Sarnia.

A proposal calls for Colborne Rd. to be reduced to three lanes, with a bike lane going from Lakeshore Rd. to Capel St. in both directions.

Bike Friendly Lambton’s Jeff Burchill says there are many benefits to having a space for bikes on the road.

“There’s this notion of a ‘road diet’, which has been in the consultation with council. That basically means taking Colborne Rd. from four lanes down to three,” he says. “There are a lot of studies that prove that doing that will actually make it safer, reduce accidents, improve traffic flow, and make it safer for pedestrians.”

Burchill says it would also entice more people to use their bikes because they’ll feel safer doing so. He says now is the time to give them a try, noting there’s some senior government funding to take advantage of.

“Let’s put some paint on the roads, let’s give it a try. If it really doesn’t work, like there are maybe some people who feel it won’t work, we can always paint over it and we can change it back,” he says. “But, until we try I don’t think anybody can really say how it’s going to work. Council voted down proposed bike lanes on Cathcart Blvd. in 2015. So, we have to ask ourselves when we’re ever going to try this.”

Plans would also see a portion of Cathcart Blvd. equipped with a bike lane to get to Canatara ParkĀ and an undetermined route south of Exmouth St.

There’s also an alternative proposal which would see the installation of “sharrow” bike lanes and not eliminating lanes.

Those interested can still provide feedback at www.smartsarnia.com until Friday.

A report will be presented at Sarnia’s city council meeting on May 7.