London city council approves bike lane projects, overturning 2 committee recommendations

It’s a pedal in the right direction for cyclists in the city.

London city council decided to move forward on a pair of bike lane projects, the first of which would see a bike lane run through Old East Village.

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In February, the civic works committee recommended delaying the project — a decision staff warned against, saying it could impact other infrastructure work by a year.

“ we will run this project into other things that are going to be happening,” said Ward 4 Coun. Jesse Helmer.

“If it comes back later and the construction is pushed off, first of all, there will be no bike lanes for longer, and we’ll be running into this project happening at the same time as, say, the Adelaide Street grade separation,” he said.

“We cannot have these kind of major infrastructure projects happening on the two major arterial roads in this neighbourhood at the same time.”

Helmer added if they delayed the project it could be years before it is put in place.

City politicians voted 14-1 to go ahead with the project at Tuesday’s council meeting, overturning the committee’s recommendation.

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The second project up for debate  had to do with putting a temporary protected bike lane along a busy stretch of King Street downtown.

Councillors were a little more indecisive this time around, with many feeling the temporary fix wasn’t worth the cash.

“We’re continually scrounging to find money for our road systems in this city,” said Ward 10 Coun. Paul Van Meerbergen. “We have major arterial roads, like Southdale Road, that cannot or will not be widened for some time, yet we have this money for a temporary bike fix.”

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By a vote of 8-7, city politicians chose to move forward with a protected bike lane on the south side of King Street, overturning another committee recommendation.

– With files from Jake Jeffrey. 

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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