July 17th, 2024

Questions need to be asked about the decision to create bike lanes


By Lethbridge Herald on December 30, 2023.

Editor:

I have some questions for the City: 

1). Was there research, due diligence and public consultation undertaken prior to the decision to create what seems to be a traffic and congestion hazard downtown with the now, almost complete bicycle lanes?

If the answer to question 1) is yes, then there should be answers to the following questions:

2). What is the current and projected ratio of motor vehicles to bicycles in the downtown core?

3). What is the bicycle traffic count (a) in summer and (b) in winter and is it increasing and if so at what rate?

4).  What is the incidence of traffic mishaps with motor vehicles involved with bicycles and what is the trend over the past 5 years?

5). What is the end-game for these lanes.  Are they to  (a) increase safety  (b) to increase bicycle use, or (c) to discourage vehicle use downtown and how will this be measured?

6).  What are the estimated losses to downtown business owners during the construction disruption and will they be compensated by the City (taxpayer)?

7). With the petty crime rate, drug use, homelessness and personal safety concerns in the downtown core are bicycle lanes a top priority of taxpayers and city council?

8). What is the total cost to the taxpayer of installing/maintaining these bicycle lanes?

9). What is the estimated cost of removing the bicycle lanes if and when the measurements in question 5 have determined this experiment is a failure?

I’m sure this isn’t just a feel-good, “green” decision made by council without the proper analysis and consultation and I’m sure all these questions have been answered (see question 1).  I know I and many of my fellow taxpayers will be interested in the answers. 

Allan Caldwell 

Lethbridge

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SophieR

https://www.lethbridge.ca/media/q5gpotfo/cycling-master-plan.pdf

It’s important to get involved in the process in a timely way (i.e., before the paint dries).

Ben Matlock

Indeed! And as any first year law student knows, one should never ask a question in an open forum unless one knows the answer. This applies even more when the question is framed in passive aggressive terms.

Montreal13

Especially with this city hall staff structure.

R.U.Serious

One can only ponder! I doubt everything was taken into account.
I have gone to the annual Enmax sessions, and posed a few of those inquiries and was informed that a study of traffic flow on third road between thirteenth street and Mayor Magrath Drive was performed and is showed that the traffic stream would permit lessening the traffic lanes from 4 to 2 and placing in more stop lights and pedestrian crossings wouldn’t impede traffic. They stated how it functioned well elsewhere and didn’t actually have a number on exactly the number of cyclists that would utilize them in the colder time of year. The highest number of cyclists I observe downtown are the drug dealers and addicts and they will not use them, so in winter months I would estimate possibly 10 or less cyclists will actually make use of them.
I have parked and observed traffic flow on third avenue and found every one of the 4 lanes were being utilized with high progressions of traffic, and lessening the paths would create congestion. Third avenue is the only east west thoroughfare that isn’t residential on our south side, yet in their brilliance, they selected it for their experiment! 
The walkways are doublewide on this avenue and could have been divided, and utilized for a bicycle path, however I ask, would you like to mix kids on bikes with their family and Lethbridge traffic, where you as of now must be extremely, cautious strolling across a marked crosswalks? Kids often do not listen to their parents and are unaware of the dangers.
How much will it cost to clear the ice and snow from those newly constructed bike lanes? Plows cannot now push snow to the side or in the middle thanks to the planned turning lanes and the bike lanes. They will require small snowplows to clean the bicycle paths. Why clean the bicycle paths? Since different urban areas have been sued by cyclists who were injured from falling due to the ice and snow, not wiped off their paths.
They have reduced traffic flow both on third avenue and fourth avenue downtown, creating more congestion on lanes used by emergency services for responding to emergencies.
I’m am tired of attempting to maintain a business downtown, while getting hit endlessly, time again by this administration’s poor and whimsical planning. Just brilliant, are they not?
Different urban areas have had the bicycle paths eliminated from both business and public objections! Be that as it may, this administration is known for blowing millions on 100-150 member special interest groups. The addicts and the SCS being one fine example! ‘The tail wags the dog’ again!
A significant number of us downtown are tired of the constant briliant plans that blow millions of our tax dollars and often fail. The $662,000 playground in Galt Gardens being another fine example. Many of these brilliant minds have moved here from other provinces or cities and fail to understand this city.
They see plans work in other centers, but fail to understand all the variables and sell these brilliant plans to the city, and the taxpayer is stuck with the failure! Should I bring up the exhibition faisco? Too soon maybe!

Montreal13

Again we keep electing too many spineless council members. Look out if Mrs. Lethbridge decides to run for mayor someday. Her ruling class of supporters will get her in and look out.

Kal Itea

More bike lanes means more safety, means more people riding. More older people riding ebikes, too. 40,803 households in Lethbridge makes for an enormous number of bikes. Means a healthier community, ask Nederlands, ask Europe.
Get a bike and quit complaining.

Say What . . .

This isn’t the Nederlands or Europe. A common mistake made is that it works there and will work here!
The people of very much different! I see very few people on 7 avenue south, the designated bike avenue on a warm sunny day, let alone seniors. If you have ridden a bicycle in this city you may have a better understanding of the issues at hand.
One must consider where we are and what type of people are living here!
But, just as the 7th avenue bike avenue was rarely used, these bike lanes will also follow suit and millions will have been blown for implementing them and then removing them!
News flash – – – vehicles are not just going to disappear or be replaced with bicycles. They are here for decades to come and removing major roadways and creating more start and stop traffic does dramatically increase emissions.

Elohssa Gib

Well, you’re right on one thing, Lethbridge is not Vienna.

Older-Than-Old-School

Comments such as those expressed in this letter have obviously come from the file labelled: “Just because many other cities are doing <insert innovation you want to whinge about here>, it doesn’t mean we should.”

rockergurl

The larger agenda being Lethbridge took the money to make us a smart city years ago. You can read up on smart cities. They have to use the money given as they are told. For the future they want no owned cars. Ride bikes or public transport, hence making main traffic routes smaller, hoping to frustrate people out of driving. You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy….

R.U.Serious

Oh my!
We are many years from your modern thoughts, part of which plan on building new concept areas, not obliterating current major thoroughfares which transport trucks need to deliver products and people need to move around. Almost everything in your home has been transported by truck, even the chemicals in your tap water. Or are you going to levitate those products to the stores?
There are no plans to eliminate vehicles. By 2035, new vehicles powered by fossil fuels will be phased out. All new vehicles will be electric or hydrogen, however some new method of propelling vehicles might arise.
https://www.forbes.com/wheels/news/automaker-ev-plans/