Despite concerns brought up by community members, City Council approved in a 10-1 vote to go ahead with the construction of bike lanes on Pine St. and Willow Ave.
Concerns brought up by residents living on both Pine and Willow included the removal of on-street parking, cyclist safety, speeding vehicles and convenience when getting in and out of their driveways.
The addition of these lanes is part of the Master Plan and the Active Transportation Plan for the city, Mayor Provenzano pointed out to council, showing his support for the lanes and talking about the need to start living out these plans for the city and not just talking about doing so.
“The cycling community has pointed out that they are on the road,” he said. “With more and more health and environmental challenges, we’re going to see more people turning to cycling.
“We want to make it safe and encourage this as a safe activity.”
Provenzano acknowledged and apologized for any inconvenience this may cause to residents living on these streets, also stating that Council “has a responsibility to make decisions based on the larger community.”
Coun. Hollingsworth was the only one in opposition to this motion, but thanked everyone for coming out and showing their concerns for the safety of their fellow Saultites.
“No one is against cycling,” she said. “People are concerned for safety of fellow citizens, and hoping we hold off and take into consideration more suggestions.”
Coun. Vezeau-Allen showed her support for the motion, talking about the benefit bike lanes would have for the “enormous amount of students in that area.”
“Being a more active-friendly city, we might see more students ride their bikes,” she said.
“Bike lanes (could also lead to) more families being apt to having their children ride bikes to school. Bike lanes reduce speed and make people more aware of cyclists, who are on road anyways.”
Council also approved a resolution to allow an unopened road allowance for the 2020 budget, running from the east limit of Northern Avenue southerly through Panoramic Drive to Princeton Drive; alleviating traffic flow at at Pine Street and Pleasant Drive.