FERGUS – Township staff is recommending separated bike lanes be installed on St. David Street North (Highway 6) when infrastructure work is complete on the busy Fergus thoroughfare in 2023.
Council will discuss the matter during the committee of the whole meeting on June 21.
“Cycling lanes could be the catalyst for an inclusive multimodal transportation network within the St. David Street corridor, and connected to other on- and off-road trail networks, which considers the varied mobility needs and preferences of the community,” states the report.
This option could also include crossing improvements for pedestrians and cyclists as well as extending separated bike lanes on St. David Street North through areas that are not included in the scope of this project, the report states.
The benefits of the bike lane option, officials say, include:
- provides members of the community with multiple options for transportation, including travel by vehicle through active means such as bike or foot;
- provides opportunity to enhance the appearance of the streetscape;
- ensures that highly utilized parking spaces are maintained to the extent possible; and
- opportunity to improve cyclist and pedestrian crossing safety.
Staff presented four options to council and the public in the spring:
- replace the surface as is;
- remove on-street parking lanes and increase boulevard and sidewalk width;
- keep on-street parking from St. Andrew Street to St. Patrick Street; and
- the separated cycling lanes option.
According to the report, staff received feedback from the downtown Fergus BIA, the healthy growth advisory committee, the Elora Cataract Trailway Association, the Ministry of Transportation, the local advocacy group GreenLanes, and received more than 750 responses from the public.
Based on that feedback, staff has altered the concept slightly to include crosswalks and line painting at Garafraxa Street and St. David Street North to include a bike box, to improve safety for cyclists making a left-hand turn at that intersection.
The report states that additional changes could be made through the detailed design phase.
As well, signs for a truck bypass around Fergus are now installed, which is expected to reduce truck traffic through town.
Once council approves an option, staff can apply for funding through the provincial Connecting Links program.