in ,

New Street Reconstruction & Bike Lanes meeting Mar. 27

bike lane - king road BurlingtonNew Street Reconstruction & Bike Lanes
Thurs, Mar. 27, 7 p.m. – Burlington Seniors’ Centre

A summary of  resident feedback received on this matter (without identifying individuals) is available here:

Bike Lanes on New St resident feedback.

and here:

bike lanes on New feedback


New Street Reconstruction & Bike Lane meeting Mar. 27 | Burlington
City of Burlington, Burlington Seniors Centre,
Ending on

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.

Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:


Leave a Reply
  1. I’m curious…as a resident, why would you be more concerned about bike lanes than about traffic whizzing by at well above the speed limit? I truly don’t understand how providing a bike lane would add to the inconvenience for a resident.

  2. I have lived on New St. the past 19 years and in my opinion the level of bike traffic does not merit bike lanes. There is a parallel bike lane 100 or so metres south of New St. that is a great deal safer than New St, where traffic whizzes by well above the posted speed limit. As a resident, I can attest that there are already enough events which cause enough inconvenience ( mostly minor some less so). Adding to these would not be ideal.

  3. And the beat goes on……so glad that we can have a discussion on this….While my wife and I do not live in the immediate vicinity of New Street, (we live in Aldershot), we are both cyclists, and I am about to turn age 80, still cycling….Although I must say, not while there is snow on the ground…Let’s say for a moment that we limit the cycling options on New Street. What does it get us ?? Status quo, repaving, faster moving cars, perhaps an increase in vehicle traffic, more pollution……
    One the other hand, depending on budget considerations, and the configuration that ultimately is possible, cycle lanes will allow for bicycle traffic to increase, possible reduce vehicle speeds, and perhaps vehicle traffic, since there now exists the option for people who may not have considered cycling for a few blocks to actually get out there and enjoy it. Apart from providing an option for longer distance riders to make use of this route for getting to and from the city centre. And now we can talk about cyclists riding to and from Oakville, on the eventual bike lanes along all of New St. to Burloak….Now if we can get a decent hot-dog stand somewhere on the way…

  4. Just to respond to a couple of points in Hans’ comment:

    Training – I agree that we need bicycle rider training programs in the schools and motorist training on how to co-exist.

    Licencing and Insurance – This is not an issue. A waste of tax money creating unneeded bureacuracy just to make certain people feel better. Plus it will have the opposite effect – increasing car traffic. If I choose to ride my bike and leave my car at home (thereby subsidizing other motorists) you want me to pay more on top? How could you possibly benefit from that?

    Zero sum game – Absolutely not. A bicycle requires far less road space than a car. Every trip that can be accomplished by bike instead of by car reduces car traffic for all (until such time as the bike lanes become congested). Investing in proper infrastructure benefits both motorists and cyclists (win/win, not zero sum).

    Sidewalks…does it really make sense to make the most natural and lowest impact mode of travel even less convenient?

    Seniors…not every senior can ride a bike, but a large number do, for both recreation and transportation. Better infrastructure means more seniors feel comfortable doing so, in addition to families using the library, park, etc. Cycling is a low impact activity that can be enjoyed well into one’s 80’s.

    Bicycles have limitations…yes. All forms of transport have limitations, and there are ways to overcome them – panniers, baskets or trailers to haul goods (or kids).

  5. I am in favour of improved cycling opportunities in Burlington if certain issues are addressed first.
    The best way to enhance cycling is to make it as safe as possible within the existing constraints, and to avoid competition, conflict, or resentment among the other potential users of the transportation system. Safety includes cyclist training and testing for Highway Traffic Act knowledge, licensing, and insurance. Allocation of road space is essentially a “Zero Sum Game”, in which a participant’s gain (or loss) of utility is exactly balanced by the losses (or gains) of the utility of the other participant(s); i.e., taking road space for bike lanes creates an identical loss of the space used by cars, trucks, and buses.
    Since Burlington was not designed originally for cycling, realistically the opportunity for accommodating cycling through retrofitting is likely to be limited and expensive. Since there is very little pedestrian traffic in most areas, it may be possible, where sidewalks exist on both sides of a street, to designate one of the sidewalks as “Pedestrian” and the other as “Cycling”. That would be inexpensive, but those wanting to use the “correct” sidewalk may be required to cross the street.
    I note that ebikes are becoming more popular, which will add another dimension to the discussion at some point.
    Another writer mentioned New Street as a route to the Library and Seniors’ Centre. There is a bike route not too far from Central Park, as I recall, so that there is a reasonable alternative, and somehow I don’t envision seniors (I am one, and gave away my bike several years ago) wanting to ride bicycles along New Street, or trying to take a load of books home from the library on a bicycle. Gathering some data might be useful; perhaps a poll could be taken at the Seniors’ Centre to see how much interest there is among seniors for improved access by bicycle?
    Except for individual commuters or recreational riders in good weather, bicycles have use limitations and become dangerous on wet or snow covered roads, or if bags of groceries are dangling from handlebars. A frisky dog can easily knock a rider off a bicycle. They are not necessarily a panacea, as some proponents seem to think.

  6. Bike lanes, preferrably segregated ones, are needed on all of our arterial roads. New Street has many destinations – the Seniors centre, Library, City Hall, Central Park, Arena, which are not directly accessible via the path. Yes, there were few cyclists this winter – the bike lanes and trails in the city not being cleared is certainly a factor in that, as was the extreme cold compared to previous winters. You can’t judge the need for a bridge by the number of people swimming across the river. There are a myriad of reasons why investing in a complete network of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure makes sense – health, environment, economic benefits, reducing car traffic, lower public $ required for roads, self-reliance for our youth, the list of positives goes on and on. New Street is one of the few opportunities the city has to deploy complete infrastructure that is convenient for all users – not just the motorist. Miss this opportunity, and you have to wait 20-30 years to revisit it. Yes to A Complete(ly) New Street!

  7. There is no need for bike lanes on New St.. We can use the nearby, parallel bike lane which provides safe and easy access to New St.

  8. We live in a climate that makes it virtually impossible to ride a bike for at least 4 months of the year; i.e., 1/3 – I haven’t seen any cyclists at all for the last 3 months, while snow covered all of the bike lanes. That makes accommodating bicyclists very expensive, relatively. Would we create bike lanes if they could be used for only 1 week per year? One month? At what point does spending tax money on what is mostly a summer recreation subsidy start to make sense? Additionally, distracted driving has been identified as the most serious road hazard. The bike lane lines provide absolutely no protection to cyclists but probably create a false sense of security, and often they are ambiguous or confusing. If there are to be any more bike lanes created, Burlington should include a referendum to that effect in the next election, preceded by a full debate. This is too important an issue to be left to only politicians.

What's your take?

Budget approved at 3.5% city increase

Marianne Meed Ward

Ask the Councillor: Parking at 399 Elizabeth St.