The Sherbrooke, Quebec Urban Bike Citizens Group (VUS) hopes the city will stick to its decision to build a bike path on Industrial Boulevard.
The business owners of Industrial Boulevard had not been warned they would be sharing the costs for implementing the newly planned traffic circle as part of the Portland Boulevard extension. The owners in question had to share a tab of $625,000, which gave rise to their discontent at the beginning of last week. At a press conference, the Mayor tried to defuse the situation and claimed that the City will try to reduce the bill by proposing new, less costly planning measures.
"I asked the Director to revise the project for the two approaches, to carry out further analysis, and present different options. For example, if we were to make cuts by dropping the bike lanes and sidewalks, leaving open ditches, what would that mean?" said Bernard Sévigny.
"We are surprised that the city is removing the bike path from the planning schemes. It is part of the active transportation network plan, which was presented last summer," reacted Marc Desrosiers, VUS member.
"VUS believes that it's essential to have a bike path that is adequately integrated on this road axis. For example, we could enlarge and protect the shoulders and turn them into one-way paths. It has been shown that a larger shoulder is less costly than a separated bike lane, and it slows the degradation of the pavement," he continued.
According to Mr. Desrosiers, the City has no other choice than to build active transportation corridors if it wants to respect its sustainable mobility plan.
"There are already residential neighborhoods in this corner. The City wants to densify the population in the Saint-Elie and Rock Forest corners. If it wants mobile and active citizens, it has to build safe active transportation corridors on this site," maintains Mr. Desrosiers. However, he clarifies that he understands the position of the boulevard's business owners, who, despite everything, are in favor of the planning of active mobility infrastructure (bike path and sidewalks).
Should business owners pay for bike infrastructure improvements? Have members of your community ever been surprised with an infrastructure bill from the city? Share your stories and thoughts in the comments area below.
Original article, originally published in French, here.
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