Neighbours on Cathcart Boulevard are fighting the bike lanes proposed for the north-end thoroughfare.
The proposal would eliminate street parking on the north side of Cathcart between Colborne and Murphy roads, as well as a section on the south curb.
“The bike lanes just aren’t necessary,” said neighbour Barb Seed, who fears city hall staff have already rubber-stamped the plan.
“Cathcart is already wide enough to provide safe cycling. Why are we wasting $80,000 and removing street parking to provide something that already exists?”
The proposal, which goes to city council Sept. 14, would see bike lanes painted on both sides of Cathcart, from Colborne to Murphy.
Parking would only be allowed on parts of the south side, but not within 260 metres of the intersections at Indian and Murphy. At Indian, that would stretch from Spartan to the middle of Newton Park.
One lane of motor vehicle traffic would run in each direction, and some existing traffic lanes through the Indian and Murphy intersections would be eliminated.
Grace United Church, whose users often park on Cathcart, has sent a letter to city hall outlining its concerns.
Resident Rex Hillman said the changes could create more hazards, especially if cyclists aren’t educated on the rules of the road.
“We will be forcing cyclists to ride between cars,” he said, noting the south bike lane would be sandwiched between the traffic and parking lanes.
Scott Lanyon said the proposed “road dieting” at major intersections would eliminate vehicle lanes, creating additional traffic issues.
“I’m not opposed to bike lanes. I think this would be better utilized on another street,” Lanyon said.
City development manager Mike Berkvens said at least 22 people have responded to the plan.
“Parking is the major issue, as well as the assumption of whether the bike lanes are required,” he said.
A public meeting was held last month seeking input, part of a larger Transportation Master Plan. The goal is to eventually link Canatara Park with the Howard Watson Nature Trail, and then provide cyclists with full east-west and north-south access through the city.
Seed and her neighbours are collecting signatures on a petition about the parking and intersection changes.
She worries residents don’t realize the full impact, as it was initially presented that only parking on the north side of Cathcart would be impacted. If bike lanes extend through the rest of Cathcart, parking would be eliminated on much of the boulevard, she warned.
A group of Cathcart neighbours plan to speak at a Sept. 14 city council meeting.
If council approves the plan, work could begin in late September.