Watermain work begins in same area as New St bike lane pilot

Road work begins March 7; bike lane report in October

This just in: Watermain work with Halton Region will begin on Tuesday, March 7 and continue till May on New Street between Dynes Road and Cumberland Avenue. This is in the same area that is currently part of the on-road bike lane pilot project that began in August 2016.

The construction will result in lane closures and scheduled water service shutdowns. Nearby residents will receive a letter by March 3 to let them know about the watermain work and construction and parking options for New Street. Residents and businesses will be given 48 hours’ notice for scheduled water service shutdowns. Watermain installation will include the replacement of curbs, gutters and the boulevard to restore any damage from the watermain works.

The installation of a new watermain between Guelph Line and Dynes Road took place in October and November 2016. The work to install the rest of the watermain between Dynes Road and Cumberland Avenue will start earlier than scheduled due to mild weather.

Completing the watermain installation in May will reduce the disruption to New Street into two shorter, two-month intervals rather than one six-month construction period originally planned for the spring and summer of 2017. This will allow for longer, uninterrupted traffic data collection for the New Street pilot project.

The city is collecting data, and will continue to collect data after the watermain work is done and until the fall to ensure the city has the data needed to assess the pilot project. That information, along with travel times on nearby residential roads that run parallel to New Street, will be included in a recommendation report to Burlington City Council in October. For more information on the technology used for data collection, see below.

To stay up to date on the pilot, visit the city’s webpage dedicated to this project: Construction information is available at

My Take:

Though it may seem counterintuitive, it appears from the information above that this road work starting a little early and ahead of schedule will allow for better collection of data, via a longer period of uninterrupted results in more bike-friendly weather. That said, the technological data will be only one aspect of my decision making on this project when it comes back to Council for a final decision in October. I am also listening to residents’ lived experience and first hand observations, and will consider the best way to balance the various transportation needs of all road users.

Technology used for New Street one-year pilot project

Bluetooth technology

• The city is collecting data for travel times on New Street using Bluetooth technology and will continue to collect this data until the end of the pilot project.
• There are six Bluetooth devices along New Street between Walkers Line and Guelph Line. This form of data collection has been collected before the pilot project, during the pilot and during watermain construction in fall 2016.
• Bluetooth technology is tracking vehicle speed between the two main intersections and travel time along that stretch of road.


ATR (Automatic Traffic Recorders, or black) tubes

• Automatic Traffic Recorders (ATRs, or black tubes) will be installed this spring on parallel roads to New Street after the watermain work is done. This will give the city vehicle and bike counts for these parallel roads. The city collected the same data last fall.

• In the fall of 2016, there were two ATR tubes on Spruce Avenue, one on Rexway Drive and one on Woodward Avenue. These were in place to collect data before the pilot, during the start of the pilot and during the watermain work last fall.
• ATRs use pneumatic tubes that measure the direction of flow, traffic speed, vehicle classification and other variables. The City of Burlington often uses these tubes to collect traffic information.

• The city collected data in response to comments from the community that there appears to be increased vehicle traffic on those streets. The ATR tubes were temporarily removed for the winter months to prevent damage from snow plows. The same tubes will be installed again in the spring to collect more data on these parallel roads to New Street.

Traffic camera

• The city has installed a traffic camera at the intersection of Cumberland Avenue and New Street. This equipment is collecting vehicle and bike volumes on New Street 24/7 and will continue to collect traffic data until the end of pilot project.

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made.

As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington.

The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful.

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  1. There are too many biased city councilors making decisions on bike lanes. If the data is only a small part of it why collect the data.
    It is so easy to notice that there are few people around using bikes for liesure rather than commuting. How many city councilors actually cycled to work last week or last month?
    Are we making expensive bike lanes for fair weather cyclists or liseure time cyclists.
    Money should be spent on improving transit and leisure biking pathways. We have many. Just imagine how they could all be linked up and integrated for entertainment and enjoyment. Then the cyclists will come.

  2. The same kind of bike lane insanity is happening in Metro Vancouver, BC, too. There is an agenda to appease the aggressive cyclist lobby is all I really know. The numbers of bike riders is not going to rise in an aging population… Drivers still far outnumber cyclists. Our bike-loving North Vancouver District Mayor wrote to a citizen that traffic jams in our city were caused by (I kid you not, folks): “Seniors going to and fro” and “mothers picking up their children from school”. Building for density without the infrastructure in place isn’t the problem, I guess? Seniors and moms are to blame according to our Mayor Richard Walton. Lol!

    • Which ignores the fact that the number of cyclists has actually risen as the infrastructure improved – in Vancouver 10% of workday trips now taken by bicycle which more than doubled in 10 years. Traffic jams are caused by too many cars – period. So those moms and seniors – while not the only cause, yes they are contributors to the problem. It’s been proven every time we add more capacity for cars, we get more people driving, and more congestion. We cannot possibly build our way out of it. Bikes are a small part but a vital part of the solution. Everyone involved with urban planning understands this.

  3. Thank you for your consideration of all this – one person at City Hall with a sane overview. I do note that nothing is said regarding the condo construction project on south side at Cumberland & New which will continue to impede the eastbound bike lanes, most likely throughout the “trial” – a true safety hazard for both vehicles and bikes !

  4. Let’s work on integrating transit with the rest of GTA instead of restricting lanes down to one, making work time commutes that much harder for residents who work that much further

What's your take?

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