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Local News

Queen Street East will go to three lanes plus bike lanes

Tuesday, March 25, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

There will be no construction of a sidewalk on the south side of Queen Street East, from Lake Street to the Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club.

A petition from citizens against the proposed sidewalk was presented to the City, and City Council, at its regular meeting Monday, unanimously agreed not to proceed with it.

City of Sault Ste. Marie Commissioner of Engineering and Planning Jerry Dolcetti pointed out to Council that such a petition is honoured if at least 50 percent of homeowners in the area concerned are opposed.

Ward One City Councillor Paul Christian said some homeowners in the area expressed concern that a sidewalk would further reduce already-small distances between their homes and the pavement on Queen Street East.

Christian said: "This is $275,000 (the cost associated with the proposed sidewalk) we could spend somewhere else."

Ward Two City Councillor Terry Sheehan said: "The people have spoken…(and) this is a chance to save $275,000 in what is going to be a tight budget."

Council's decision on that particular matter had no bearing on a separate Queen Street East proposal that came up for discussion at Monday's meeting.

Council approved a plan that will convert Queen Street East from four lanes to three, with bicycle lanes, extending from Pim Street to east of Gravelle Street (near the Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club) within existing pavement widths.

The plan would see one lane of traffic in each direction with a continuous two-way left turn centre lane, with bicycle lanes adjacent to each curb (pictured).

City staff held a well-attended open house in mid-February at the Civic Centre regarding the three lane proposal. 

Members of the public met with City of Sault Ste. Marie Engineering and Planning staff and local representatives of AECOM Canada, an engineering/consulting firm working with the City on the proposal.

A Sault Ste. Marie Cycling Master Plan Update, which consisted of public input, was approved by City Council in 2007.

In 2008 a Transportation Planning Consultant, retained by the City, concluded it was feasible for Queen Street to be reconfigured from four lanes down to three, with provisions for cyclists, based on projected reduced traffic volumes for the area.

Bicyclists have called for a more “bicycle friendly” community and consider travelling down Queen Street East on a bicycle, in its current layout, as dangerous.

Some citizens are opposed to the change, preferring the option of being able to pass other vehicles on Queen Street East, which the current four lane configuration allows them to do.

Those opposed to the three lane plan have 30 days to file an appeal with the City.

If no appeals are filed, the City will proceed with its plan.

The transition would not pose any additional cost to the City, as resurfacing of Queen Street East is already in the works and budgeted for.

The painting of the lane configuration, from four lanes to three, and bicycle lanes, will be done during final surface paving.

The project is expected to go to tender soon, with the project tender awarded in April, subject to City Council’s approval.

Work would begin in May (with some necessary road closures and detours throughout the process) and be done by the end of October.

 
Comments
82
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Javaman 3/25/2014 9:07:23 PM Report

For most of this winter Queen Street was really only one lane each way. If you expect 2 lanes the city would have to budget for better snow removal in that area. I sure hope the major potholes are being looked at on that street as well.
Sam C 3/25/2014 9:08:34 PM Report

I applaud this initiative, and the inclusion of bike lanes, but... I do hope the City is prepared to embark on a lengthy and thorough education program.

I have lived and/or driven in cities with bike lanes and they work well, for the most part. However, even in cities that have a strong bike culture, there are incidents with impatiend, inattentive, and downright ignorant drivers.

In fairness, there are also bike riders who flagrantly disregard the rules, too.

This CAN work, but as I said, it will take some education for everyone.
Lleoy 3/25/2014 9:09:09 PM Report

Instead of laying workers off, use the money to keep them and fix the pothole problem!
kamen 3/25/2014 9:25:40 PM Report

The lack of sidewalk and the added bike lane is going to cause many problems. You can't walk your dog on peoples lawns because they get mad and I sure as hell am not walking on the road, so that leaves the bike lane for me to walk in, it's dangerous....
Javaman 3/25/2014 9:42:04 PM Report

Is there not a sidewalk on the other side of Queen Street? It is not that hard to cross the street is it ?
nightingale 3/25/2014 9:43:41 PM Report

There is a sidewalk on the other side.
Wicket 3/25/2014 9:54:09 PM Report

Check out Queen starting from Pim right now and then sit on a side street after a Greyhound game is over. The existing four lanes is only three right now and drivers are still trying to drive as if it is four. Living on a feeder street, we avoid Queen whenever we know there is an event that will cause traffic congestion. After a hockey game, people seem to need to get home in record time, passing dangerously and driving too closely. Yes, we need bicycle paths but this makes me very nervous as to the potential of serious accidents and injuries.
Velorution 3/25/2014 9:59:17 PM Report

Cities where walking and cycling is safe and easy to do are attractive to live in. Did we not have a fatality along this road that a sidewalk would have prevented?
Wicket 3/25/2014 10:06:01 PM Report

The fatality occurred in the far east end, not even where these changes are going to happen on Queen, take your bike and try to ride down Queen right now - 3 vehicles have a problem, let alone four
ThinkAgain 3/25/2014 10:10:56 PM Report

Lets start a lottery and see how many accidents there will be the 1st summer once its completed.

Good things they only use it a few months of the year, always seem to lose 1 or 2 lanes because they can't plow snow properly.

Lets continue to confuse the already careless driver.

Tag your it.
harry dick 3/25/2014 10:15:07 PM Report

People say that traffic on Queen St. has declined since the hospitals were moved to the new location, but Wellington Street has been jam packed for the last two summers for 6 months each time , as Queen St. was closed to traffic and upgraded over that period of time. The portion of Wellington St. between East St. and Church streets has been slowed to a parking lot between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays and also during the noon hour. There were also many accidents due to very heavy traffic in all parts of Wellington St.
All the city is doing , is making the traffic on a now 2 lane Queen St. more congested on both Queen St. and Wellington St.,due to 2 lane closures and heavy bicycle traffic on this east west artery. The traffic flowed very well with the 4 lane configuration , relieving the congestion on Wellington St. The city is reducing lanes that keep the traffic flowing.
This is the only city that I know of that continually tries to slow the flow of traffic through the city.Just look at St. Georges Ave. hill area . Most other cities try to make traffic flow easier and smoother through the city.
There are 2 sidewalks on Queen St., neither one is hardly ever used . Enlarge one and make it into a 2 way bicycle path. You could do that on most busy streets in this city. From what I see every day ,the sidewalks are cleaned in the winter for purely aesthetic purposes , as no one uses them any time of the year. Even the joggers run on the road and not the sidewalks.
howndawg 3/25/2014 10:39:57 PM Report

Finished in October... ya right. Unless October is after Christmas like last two years.
Floyd 3/25/2014 10:54:19 PM Report

Sigh! A bike lane now! Now the focus will be on who gets to use them? Bikes? Motorcyles? Scooters? Handicap things?
Thank goodness Queen East has the same traffic problems like they do in say, "Japan", because we really need this! Anyone want to start a pool to see when the first person gets wiped out???
KiwiOnASticK 3/25/2014 11:00:35 PM Report

This whole idea sounds great, especially to those who do not use Queen during rush hours. Has the city actually counted cars? Eastbound queen has both lanes full bumper-to-bumper going home after 5 this week. Three lanes plus bikes works after Pine, but the city should should measure traffic flow between Pim and Pine before making this move final.

Also as a bicycle commuter in the summer, I skip Queen and take Wellington to go east as it's a shorter distance and the lanes are wider.
BlackHelix 3/25/2014 11:02:58 PM Report

haha Handicap things?

You know those pesky handicap things. Always getting in the way...
jake02 3/25/2014 11:12:42 PM Report

only in sault ste marie would some one want to reduce road traffic from 4 lanes to 3 lanes most cities would be looking to make it 5 lanes. when one looks at the number of cars travelling queen st. and the no of bicycles travelling on queen street it is not hard to realize that andre riopel has all of city council buffaloed . if 25 bicycles use queen street a day it woulkd be a miracle. not safe crap. when bicycles take priority over vehicles some thing is wrong with some ones way of thinking . to make bicycle paths for 4 or 5 months of the year is fine if u widen the road or use one side walk . for 6 0r 7 months u need all the road width u can get. we do get winter here. if council could check they may be surprised to find out how few bicycles use shannon road with all their new facilities.the people who live on and others that use queen daily should speak up now before it is tooo late . A real traffic problem is in the making .
jake02 3/25/2014 11:13:09 PM Report

only in sault ste marie would some one want to reduce road traffic from 4 lanes to 3 lanes most cities would be looking to make it 5 lanes. when one looks at the number of cars travelling queen st. and the no of bicycles travelling on queen street it is not hard to realize that andre riopel has all of city council buffaloed . if 25 bicycles use queen street a day it woulkd be a miracle. not safe crap. when bicycles take priority over vehicles some thing is wrong with some ones way of thinking . to make bicycle paths for 4 or 5 months of the year is fine if u widen the road or use one side walk . for 6 0r 7 months u need all the road width u can get. we do get winter here. if council could check they may be surprised to find out how few bicycles use shannon road with all their new facilities.the people who live on and others that use queen daily should speak up now before it is tooo late . A real traffic problem is in the making .
Bach 3/25/2014 11:13:43 PM Report

people down here will be appealing this one for sure. Your right, often bumper to bumper arteries don't need bike lanes while the sidewalks are fair game. And whoever said this city works to ensure traffic congestion is bang on.
D_Laity 3/25/2014 11:17:25 PM Report

I have lived far east end my entire life and drive Queen Street every day. By far the most frustrating part of my day summer and winter. The law states that you drive in the right lane and left is for passing. But for some reason, no one obeys this law on Queen St.

If everyone stayed to the right (even in winter) then there would be plenty of room to pass both ways on the left.

This new proposal, brutal... Bikers are allowed to share the road by law, no I have to sloth along behind others for this 2 km... The roads should be for the cars first....
D_Laity 3/25/2014 11:20:58 PM Report

2km of bike lane does minimal to benefit bikers, but will have a significant impact of vehicles.

And to say that Queen Street traffic is lower since the hospital closed, how would they know, Queen Street has been closed for just as long.
mellow 3/25/2014 11:29:49 PM Report

I like the idea. Just one huge suggestion for SAFETY .. As Mat Howard was struck and lost his life. Although further on
east of Queen and so many others have to stand on street at city bus stops.. I beg that the city create a safety lane off the road on Queen East past mentioned area. The are near MAC's to Fornier road still gets plenty of kids, adults etc. IT IS NOT SAFE>>> I drive it daily and have been disgusted with the lack of room for those..waiting for buses and or walking. Please push to see the city extend a safe walk way to the very end of
queen. Howard's
Way would be nice in his memory. I realize the impaired charge was a concern. I also know many geared to income housing and youth in area,, They have NO wear safe to stand at several bus stops when waiting for transit. So Dolcetti and team need to consider safety first..























mellow 3/25/2014 11:31:13 PM Report

FIX ALL POTHOLES IN TOWN>
mellow 3/25/2014 11:34:28 PM Report

Potholes.. safe sidewalk areas before too much leisure lanes... Slow down and think it through. We have a aging population. Make safer transit stop areas. Area is horrible pat Chambers as no walking area. Potholes will cause accidents.. I agree with many posts of citizens.. Some good thoughts.
mellow 3/25/2014 11:37:08 PM Report

Potholes.. safe sidewalk areas before too much leisure lanes... Slow down and think it through. We have a aging population. Make safer transit stop areas. Area is horrible past Chambers as no walking area. Potholes will cause accidents.. I agree with many posts of citizens.. Some good thoughts.
Dead End Kid 3/25/2014 11:43:25 PM Report

Just watch, the drunk drivers will be swerving into the bike lanes and the e bikers will be playing chicken with the bicyclists.
Prrrrrrr 3/25/2014 11:47:37 PM Report

Very backward thinking. Bad idea, really bad.
mellow 3/25/2014 11:48:13 PM Report

Wow
mister p 3/25/2014 11:49:54 PM Report

there are too many fat lazy people in this city to warrant a bike path, kids shouldn't be walking down dark streets after they have been drinking, stumbling left to right. the bike path is a way for the city to find a place to put the snow in winter. turning lane makes sense, you need to go in the right lane to get around cars that are turning, and most drivers are too stupid to keep moving at a medium pace and go around, with that said traffic will move better, but also stated was the idiots driving in this city wont go into the middle lane to turn left. and for all you people who think they are cool by talking on your phones while driving, even on speaker phone, the fines are going up to $280 and they will be enforcing this shortly, good luck and jesus speed
gr84u 3/26/2014 12:41:49 AM Report

Our city needs some new representatives. The ones we have now have all lost their minds!!!
Has the City put a line across Queen St. East and done a vehicle count?? I would like to see the numbers before they go off half cocked again. I know from driving it multiple times a day it is very busy and I seldom see a bike. When I do it's the odd one during the few months of summer so hardly worth disrupting all the vehicular traffic. Three lanes will be a bloodbath on Queen East. People will be in the centre lane constantly, using it as a passing lane and the increase in electric scooters in town will be pushing the rare bycicle out of the way.
Who is listening to who here? Why is this rediculous half baked brain fart being pushed ahead??
atticus 3/26/2014 1:23:17 AM Report

I live on Queen. Saw a bike yesterday morning en route to work as I was pulling out of my driveway that boasts a seven foot snow bank or better. At least he or she had a nice nose scarf on. Being warm is important.
dead eye 3/26/2014 2:29:45 AM Report

I agree with those opposed to making Queen into three lanes with a bike path for our bike riders. When our laws change and we have to have lic requirements to drive a bike and a suitable insurance is purchased so we have a level field for autos and drivers of bikes then maybe then we will have a reason to let bikes on the road i pay taxes on .THE OUTDATED LAW THAT GIVES A BIKE THE SAME RIGHT TO BE ON THE ROADS IN TODAYS TRAFFIC NEEDS TO BE CHANGED.stick to roads with far less traffic stay on the gravel portion. learn the traffic rules pay your share if you want on the road ways.
sportsfan17 3/26/2014 4:31:39 AM Report

I'm all for the bike lanes, in the summer I bike to and from work right along Queen St but.. I've seen the traffic on that street. There's no way one lane each way is going to be enough.
thegarbage 3/26/2014 5:56:49 AM Report

Whiners
avocet 3/26/2014 6:00:04 AM Report

30 years ago the population of this city was over 80k and there was a lot less traffic. People were also skinnier. Did you gain weight in the past 30 years? Maybe if you walked or rode a bike...
David Poluck 3/26/2014 6:22:55 AM Report

Sam, I agree that an educational program not only for automobile drivers but also for those that operate bikes needs to be done.
I noticed under sections HTA 62(17) and HTA 75 (5)requirements for lights and bell or horn to be mandatory on each bicycle in order to comply with the act.
I wonder should the police enforce those sections in order to not only have these vehicles comply to the law to ensure rider visibility and lessen chances of mishap?


Cycling and The Law

A bicycle is a vehicle under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA). This means that, as a bicyclist, you have the same rights and responsibilities to obey all traffic laws as other road users. Cyclists charged for disobeying traffic laws will be subject to a minimum set fine and a Victim Surcharge fine of $20.00 for most offences (please note set fines below are subject to change).

The following are key sections of the HTA concerning cyclists.

HTA 144/136 - Traffic signals and signs
stop for red lights and stop signs and comply with all other signs. Set fine: $85.00
HTA 153 - One-ways streets
ride in the designated direction on one-way streets. Set fine: $85.00
HTA 147 - Slow moving traffic travel on right side
any vehicle moving slower than the normal traffic speed should drive in the right-hand lane, or as close as practicable to the right edge of the road except when preparing to turn left or when passing another vehicle. Set fine: $85.00
HTA 142 - Signalling a turn
before turning, look behind you and signal your turn. Cyclists can use their right arm to signal a right turn. Set fine: $85.00
HTA 140(1) 144(29) - Crosswalks
yield or stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. Set fine: $85.00
HTA 140(6)/144(29) - No riding in crosswalks
walk your bike when crossing at a crosswalk. Set fine: $85.00
HTA 166 - Streetcars
stop two metres behind streetcar doors and wait until passengers have boarded or departed and reached the curb. Set fine: $85.00
HTA 175 (12) - Stopped school buses
stop for stopped school buses when the upper alternating red lights are flashing. Set fine: $400.00
HTA 62(17) - Lights
a bike must have a white front light and a red rear light or reflector if you ride between 1/2 hour before sunset and 1/2 hour after sunrise and white reflective tape on the front forks and red reflective tape on rear forks. Set fine: $20.00
HTA 75 (5) - Bell
a bike must have a bell or horn in good working order. Set fine: $85.00
HTA 64(3) - Brakes
a bike must have at least one brake system on the rear wheel. When you put on the brakes, you should be able to skid on dry, level pavement. Set fine: $85.00
HTA 218 - Identification
Cyclists must stop and identify themselves when required to stop by police for breaking traffic laws. The police officer will ask you for your correct name and address. Set fine: $85.00
HTA Reg. 630 - Expressways
Bicycles are prohibited on expressway / freeway highways such as the 400 series, the QEW, Ottawa Queensway and on roads where "No Bicycle" signs are posted. Set fine: $85.00
HTA 178(2) - Passengers
Passengers are not allowed on a bicycle designed for one person. Set fine: $85.00
HTA 178(1) - Attaching to a vehicle
You are not permitted to attach yourself to the outside of another vehicle or streetcar for the purpose of "hitching a ride." Set fine: $85.00
HTA 104 - Helmets
Every cyclist under the age of eighteen must wear an approved bicycle helmet. Parents or guardians shall not knowingly permit cyclists under sixteen to ride without a helmet. Set fine: $60.00
HTA 179 - Dismounted bicyclist
Cyclists are required to ride on the right-hand side of the road. If you are walking your bike on a highway where there are no sidewalks, you are considered a pedestrian and you should walk on the left-hand side of the road facing traffic. If it is not safe for you to cross the road to face traffic, you may walk your bike on the right-hand side of the road. Set fine: $35.00.

The following are not considered bicycles and are subject to different rules for use:

Limited-speed motorcycles
Motor-assisted bicycles (mopeds)
Low-speed vehicles
Electric and motorized scooters (go-peds)
Pocket bikes
Segway Human/Personal Transporters

For more information on the rules of use for these types of vehicles, please visit www.mto.gov.on.ca.
diggie 3/26/2014 6:38:56 AM Report

I am disheartened that the sidewalk is not going in. A sidewalk is really for the children and families with children, and seniors. A sidewalk is for safety, and it would of been a good measure towards a safer Queen Street East.
Javaman 3/26/2014 7:35:38 AM Report

Can the city keep 3 lanes open? It has been down to 2 lanes all winter and is one of the worst sections for potholes. Where are the pothole crews hiding ?
Floyd 3/26/2014 7:42:52 AM Report

....this must be another fabulous idea to draw tourists here.....
whooligun 3/26/2014 8:02:48 AM Report

Hopefully they repave the newly paved areas by the hospital as well. For newly paved roads they are terrible! It looks as though they were paved 20 years ago.
bruno-b 3/26/2014 8:07:08 AM Report

I think the center lane will become a passing lane for impatient drivers,it will become a game of ckicken or like Frank said a SUICIDE LANE for speeders!!!!
Slim Shady 3/26/2014 8:24:42 AM Report

The only reason the sidewalk isn’t going in on the south side is that all the wealthy homes on the riverfront don’t want it! It would be built on the road allowance which is already there! I do think that a sidewalk is vital on both sides of any road.

How about extending this project all the way to Pinewood school? There are no sidewalks in that area for school kids to walk home and a bike lane would make it safe for the kids to ride their bikes. I do hope that that is eventually the next phase of the project.

Any way we can increase people safely enjoying the outdoors is a benefit to all our communities. A lot of people jog, ride bikes, walk or push Baby strollers without the safety of sidewalks. I live in the Manitou Park area and there are no sidewalks and the roads are landmined with potholes. The roads have not been paved in decades and the few that have are getting Class “B” Tar and chip pavement which is absolute garbage. Our taxes are as high as any other neighbourhood in the City.

A for people with concerns over traffic flow in the proposed 3 lane area, the City would have done traffic flow analysis to gather data on number of cars, dispersion, time of day peak flows etc. They would not accept a proposal that would be detrimental to traffic flow or that would be unsafe.

I don’t understand the negativity of some people when it comes to providing a cleaner, healthier and neighbourhood improving proposal to our city areas?
Slim Shady 3/26/2014 8:35:47 AM Report

@ Sam C

I agree with your comments on educating drivers however we all wrote the same drivers test which lays out “the rules of the road”. To that affect, any driver that does not yield properly to pedestrians or bicycles should be educated via a “ticket and fine”. Likewise any pedestrians or bicycles who do not obey the rules of the road should be educated in the same fashion. Rules are the rules and if you don’t abide by them, you should not be driving. Driving is a privilege not a right. Your driver’s license does not belong to you – it is the property of the Province and can be revoked at anytime.

PinerSault 3/26/2014 9:04:30 AM Report

Can only imagine what it will be like to follow a city bus or school bus that stops every block?
habsfan 3/26/2014 9:15:09 AM Report

I dont understand why this city wants to be like southern Ontario. We have a longer winter season and just dont have the amount of bike riders they do. Why not just widen the sidewalk on one side of the road so the bikes can ride on them. Oh wait, thats called a bike path which runs throughout this city. How much more do we have to pay for such a small minority.How can they do a traffic study when Queen st has been closed. If they can work on roads into December, why cant they start in May.I used to live on Shannon rd right on the bike path, And believe me there arent enough riders to justify the amount of money spent on this idea. More people walk on the bike paths than ride them. So we should be calling them a sidewalk. A really expensive one.In the last 50 years, Nothing has changed. You have cars and bikes sharing the road. Why all of a sudden do we need bike lanes. City Hall, City board of Works, P U C, all need to be looked at very seriously. one more thing. The other day i was watching the pothole crew at work. In my estimation, between men, equipment and material it probably costs this city 200.00 to patch a pothole. And they still pack the hole with a shovel. I own two 15 pound tampers i bought at Home Depot. If the City wants I will donate them so they have the proper equipment to do the job.
MissKika 3/26/2014 9:18:36 AM Report

Brilliant!
Hopefully people like myself, who currently drive, will feel safe enough to bike to work via Queen Street now!
Drivers and cyclists alike need to become more tolerant of each other.
S.M.A.R.T. 3/26/2014 9:23:23 AM Report

I would be interested in knowing how the Wards 1 & 2 councilors voted. I know I spoke to one of them who informed me that feedback from his constituents was primarily opposed to this plan. This plan is all pie in the sky. Another example of a special interest group having the ear of the decision makers and someone in a strategic planning position having a personal bias toward instituting this big mistake. This has got to be one of the dumbest decisions reached by this city in a long, long time. Two lanes on a major traffic artery dedicated to bicycles? How do you spell DISASTER and while we're at it, how do you spell PETITION? So many drawbacks, so few benefits. The fix was in from the very start and it is time for an east end plebiscite to be held on this issue. Why not? Especially with a municipal election coming up in the fall. Given the snail like progress of this project, what’s another delay? There are many, but here’s another questionable angle. What happens when Bay Street with its multiple traffic lanes merges with Queen St. East in the busy downtown area
Norm 3/26/2014 9:26:12 AM Report

Great news. I cycle here and occasionally Petoskey, which is very bike friendly. Petoskey also has long winters. All the more exciting when spring is in the air. Many, including myself, will enjoy the new lanes. Thank you.
riverman 3/26/2014 9:28:55 AM Report

"Those opposed to the three lane plan have 30 days to file an appeal with the City."

Posting oppositions to this proposal on sootoday's comment section does not count as filing an appeal with the city.

Instead of typing your opposition here, why not type it in an email to the city? Or copy and paste your comments from your response into an email to the city.

It will only take you a couple of minutes and you will actually be making a difference instead of just making noise.
fcubed 3/26/2014 9:31:03 AM Report

Sault Ste. Marie is not large. I do not understand every persons great rush. Get out of bed a few minutes earlier. We need tolerance on the part of employers and supervisors for occasional "being late".

Buildings and fixed infrastructure is not going to either disappear or move.

Why the confounded rush to go nowhere. Really !
learningaswego 3/26/2014 9:31:11 AM Report

Relax people, this is a good development, and the city has done their due diligence. My opinion is biased in favour, as I am a cyclist - and a driver.

Let's educate people - both cyclists and drivers - and try it out for 2 or 3 years. Then, if there's been a lot of problems, or it's not being used (determined through a valid study only - not by "I don't see anybody using it" comments in a web forum), they can always revert back to the previous lanes - it's just a paint job.

As for those that say they don't see riders using Queen St now or previously....my experience has been, when I ride Queen East there are - and regularly, other riders doing the same thing. It's also probably one of those things where - if you build it they will come. If people feel safer riding it with the bike lanes, more people will use it. Probably a lot more, in my estimation.
But, it won't happen overnight; probably will take a couple of years. It will take a while for people (moreso drivers) to get used to it, but they will.

Let's give it a go. And to all cyclists out there, let's be sure to use it - regularly, to show that it is/was the right thing to do.



oldawg 3/26/2014 9:32:47 AM Report

If they do build these lanes, I think it would be safer to designate the direction of travel for the bike lanes opposite to the adjacent vehicle lane. That way, all traffic would be oncoming and visible to each other and both cars and bikes would not have to worry about what is coming up behind them.
keeper 3/26/2014 9:36:30 AM Report

How many people were at the the well attended meeting? My experience with these meetings concerning bike issues are that few attend. Numbers should have been published and letters sent to all property owners on Queen St. east and Wellington, since they would be most effected by this and asking for a yes or no answer, before going to council.

Wellington is already busy enough without having to pick up the additional traffic generated by this decision.



D_Laity 3/26/2014 9:37:48 AM Report

We have 6 months of biking weather. Why would we congest the roadway for cars for 12 months?

Plus, those who say maybe now they'll feel safe biking to work. It's only a stretch of 1.8km from the golf course to Lake Street. It isn't going to make it safe for your entire journey, but a bottle neck for traffic.

And I enjoy a good bike ride as much as any.

AHappyMan 3/26/2014 9:49:21 AM Report

I think that it is time for this city to get a new person in charge of the Engineering Department because Doceti is not even a licenced Engineer as far as I know. As for the new proposal for Queen Street, I think that is a totally backward way to proceed ( something that happens a LOT in this fine city ).

Cyclists are entitled to ride their bikes on our streets and yet they do not have to carry any type of insurance which is definitely not fair to those who own other types of vehicles and must do so. The roads were supposedly going to be ' fixed ' with monies from tires sold for vehicle etc. and yet there is nothing coming from cyclists to help keep the roads in proper condition for use.

I understand that this city wants to evolve into a cyclist friendly city but they should first consider ' true ' traffic flows on all streets prior to taking away lanes that drivers can use. I have seen accidents or near accidents due to the huge volumes of traffic on Bay + Wellington + Queen streets after an event at the Essar and yet here we are actually considering taking away lanes of traffic on one of the busiest streets in this city ... only in Sault Ste. Marie !
learningaswego 3/26/2014 9:55:35 AM Report

1. The vast majority of the events at the Essar, are in the winter - Greyhound games. There are usually not cyclists using Queen E in the winter.

2. Even after a big event at Essar, the new lane system would mean someone travelling Queen to the far East end, might - might - take an extra 2 or 3 minutes to get there. Not a big sacrifice, IMHO.
houston 3/26/2014 9:56:03 AM Report

I am in favour of bike lanes not only on Queen St. East, but in the entire City. SSM is one of the few City's in Ontario that does not have any bike lanes. The whole idea is to encourage people to use a bike instead of driving. My guess would be that 99% of the people that are against it don't exercise in any way. As for traffic congestion, I say we are spoiled, try driving to and from work in Toronto.
R0FL0L 3/26/2014 10:05:42 AM Report

I am living along Queen too.
East/west corridor is only busy for a few hours a day. (maybe 1 1/2 in the morning and 1 in the evening)
The Hospital is not here anymore but also ESSAR has fewer employees.
The main traffic goes north/south now. The City has moved up the hill.

There is NO true rush hour in the Sault. You MIGHT be delayed for 5 Minutes if you have to slow down as you are unable to pass.
So many have time!! to stay in the Drive Thru from Timmi and block the crosswalk (Brock > Queen)but no time to stop for a school bus or slow down for a bike for a few seconds?
Get real, share the road be patience and stay safe.
I am looking forward to get my bike out on the road again. So my car can take a well deserved brake from the potholes.

The sidewalks in the winter are BAD!! most of the time, that harry dick, THAT is the reason why joggers and pedestrians have to walk ON the road, the sidewalks are icy (like the rink) or full of water (like the pool) are so uneven (like a bush trail) just unsafe.

KIDDO 3/26/2014 10:46:47 AM Report

I'm sure this decision will only increase traffic volume in this stretch of queen st. I typicaly take Shannon Rd to queen st then turning east on to queen on my way home from work. With four lanes it is a modest wait for traffic to either clear or have vehicles in the curb lane so you can turn. Not anymore however if they go ahead with this proposal, it will only make it near inpossible to turn left from not only shannon but Lake st also. I have a feeling Pine st is about to become alot more busy with this move.
SLV1931 3/26/2014 10:59:46 AM Report

BOTTLE NECK. So when a 135 year old is driving 25km/hr in a single lane, the rest of the people are stuck behind them for 2 km.

If you want to ride a bike use the Hub Trail.
rideronthestorm 3/26/2014 11:00:29 AM Report

what a stupid idea, do they not realise this "will" cause more acidents for bike riders. This city is the stupidest city in the world, o ya and bicyclists should not be sharing the road with vehicles, what a stupid world we live in.
northernmale 3/26/2014 11:00:42 AM Report

Why not make it four lanes and a side walk on the north side and a bike path on the south side.. I have to agree my guess is . those with the fancy homes on the south side are the ones opposed as it makes the streets closer to there homes. If that is the case get over yourselves . Take a look at the Second line from North street to Goulias Ave how close the road is to the homes there now. Its called progress. Sometimes I think this city forgets there is more tax payers then just a few.
R0FL0L 3/26/2014 11:19:21 AM Report

The Hub Trail does NOT get you to work or places you have to go AND this part will connect the Hub Trail.
2km of a little slower drive you freak out?
Bike lanes THAT is progress in the right direction. Finally this city is waking up.
Active Living = good for your health (decrease costs for our healthcare system)
we can use this saving to build MORE bike lanes and maybe fix a few potholes :)
Road Rage = bad bad for your health (increased cost for our healthcare system) this means NO money for other important infrastructure improvements. Like new water pipes + less brown water (ohh nooo now we can PUC for the Bike Lanes too)
Gumby54 3/26/2014 11:20:15 AM Report

Great; so we will now have bike lanes on Queen from Lake to the Golf course. This is about as practical as a four lane hi way in the middle of nowhere. Seems our local politicians looked at that fiasco and said if it worked there it will work here. There is no bike lane to get to this new section and no where to go once you reach the Golf course. I guess it will meet up with the Hub at Shannon road and some will use it but this is still going to produce more grief for vehicles. Time will tell.Are the cyclists now forbidden from riding in the car lane or will they now have their own special lane and still be allowed to use the vehicle lane?








Javaman 3/26/2014 11:20:30 AM Report

No one walks anymore..let cyclists use the sidewalks.
learningaswego 3/26/2014 11:21:09 AM Report

Maybe because the property owners on the south side wouldn't allow a bike path? 'ya think?
They already turned down the idea of a sidewalk - which is their right to do - so, a bike path on the south side is not going to happen.

People, the city has been investigating this, and with the help of outside experts - since about 2007.
It's not like anyone is going in to this, without due diligence.

Let's give it a try - you may (even if you nor your family are cyclists) be pleasantly surprised.
ddfive 3/26/2014 12:04:49 PM Report

wht about the rest of the city thats ok for down there but wht about the rest of the city ??????
i live in the west end , im to the point of making a point out to the drivers who cut me off by carring something to rimind them that im on the road as well
Sam C 3/26/2014 12:05:06 PM Report

Slim... I'm all for education through enforcement. However, you need to have the education first. Yes, we all wrote the test -- for me it was 38 years ago... (although, being a driving instructor, this is not a problem) ...and for others it has been even longer.

Who in the Sault (other then André) knows how bike lanes are supposed to work?

And frankly, if there were enough cops to provide effective enforcement, there would be a lot less infractions committed by both drivers and cyclists.
ddfive 3/26/2014 12:08:57 PM Report

heres were im talking about 2nd line west from goulie ave to black road , wellington st. west to boundry rd. , lyons drive , walliceterrice , douglis st. so wht about those areas or even st georges , mcnabb st as well not just on the hill but out all over the city is needing the bike lains
Slim Shady 3/26/2014 12:31:05 PM Report

@northernmale

They can't put a single bike lane on one side of the 4 lane because bike traffic (like cars) is bi-directional. The law also states that people have to walk against the direction of the traffic flow (ie. You can see the cars as they approach) and bicycles must abide by the same rules of the road as vehicles (drive in the same direction of traffic flow, must use signals, yield right of way, etc.)

On a side note, I see countless people walking with traffic and bikes riding against traffic...
dead eye 3/26/2014 12:34:26 PM Report

Why would we entertain making a street into a lane less when we have a ratio of better than a thousand cars who by way of licenses insurance and police patrols to a cylists with no insurance no licence no addheranceto rules of the road and. about i biker per thousand cars this is as stupid as wanting to fly a queer flag at city hall.the ratio is about the same.
ThinkAgain 3/26/2014 12:34:46 PM Report

Your Taxes were well spent, give the city planners & engineers a bonus. Don't forget to Thank council for a job well done after several accidents.

Slim Shady 3/26/2014 12:35:56 PM Report

@Sam

Agreed. A first reaction should be education rather than a ticket when "new" bike areas are created.

On another note... I wonder how many idiots on e-bikes will try to ride in the bike lanes? Bike lanes are for BIKES with pedals and have no engines which drive at speend <30km/h. e-bikes are heavier, larger, faster and would pose a safety hazard for those on bikes. If an e-bike cannot do the speed limit of 50 km/h it should not be on the road.
Gumby54 3/26/2014 12:55:07 PM Report

@Slim Shady
E-bikes must have pedals on them to qualify to not require a license or insurance. They are therefore considered bicycles and SHOULD travel in the bike lane.
gtrem 3/26/2014 1:10:36 PM Report

Honest to God you guys... Unbelievable. I'm talking to the SooToday commenters. I live in a large city where I bike to where I need to go because it is cheap. I bike year round. I also do have a vehicle. It is MUCH safer for both the cyclist and the driver of a vehicle to have bike lanes. We have bike lanes everywhere and it causes no problems. I stay in the bike lane and you stay in your lane and we have no problems. Yes, the odd cyclist will disobey the rules, however for the most part I believe that we obey the rules as much as possible. Really, how many of you roll through a stop sign? If you saw a cyclist do that, you'd be enraged.

Yes, education on these lanes is necessary. However, if you see a big white solid line to the right of your vehicle you should know (all drivers should) that that means not to cross that line. Simple.

The people of the Sault must start thinking forward. I am not a green activist by any means, but simply adding bike lanes helps out everyone. Would you rather swing out into oncoming traffic to try and get around a cyclist that is in your lane, or would you honk and yell at me to get back in the bike lane?

As for E-Bikes, they are a huge nuisance to drivers and I have experienced that. They do have pedals, let them go in bike lanes. Cyclists can easily manoeuvre around them. Plus, it gets them out of the vehicles way. Wouldn't you just love that?! I know I would as a driver. As well, I saw a post saying that cyclists go less than 30 km/h. This is true for the most part, however, I can easily reach speeds well over 30 km/h on my road bike. Would you kick me out of the bike lane for that?

To complain about traffic in the City of Sault Ste. Marie is beyond ridiculous. Yes, Wellington has been pretty busy the last two summers due to construction. However, to think that there truly is traffic congestion and jams in the Sault is crazy to consider. Traffic moves just fine even when there is an abundance of vehicles on the road. I can just assume that many of you, as did I, thought that that was traffic due to living in a small city all our lives.

The Sault is a small place and simple to get around. These bike lanes on ONE street in this city is nothing to get your panties in a bunch. Relax. Let change happen. Change is good. Change is necessary.
MissKika 3/26/2014 1:31:21 PM Report

gtrem...you are a breath of fresh air.

Well said.
nobodycares 3/26/2014 2:33:57 PM Report

Where are they going to start having the traffic that is heading east merge into one lane from two. At the Pine street light. That could be interesting after a hockey game or at 5PM on a week day and there are many cars in both lanes have stopped for the red light
saultites 3/26/2014 2:38:50 PM Report

I would be in favour of the change if we could use the middle lane to pass slow moving vehicles. That would improve flow of traffic all year. Even once the snow banks move into the street all winter.
D_Laity 3/26/2014 3:24:42 PM Report

@gtrem

You make a lot of very valid points, but I think you might be missing the point of what many are upset about.

I don't think anyone would complain if the city was "adding" a bike lane. Agreed, change is good, forward thinking is good.

However, they are not adding a bike lane, they are removing 2 driving lanes and replacing them with bike lanes.

99% of all traffic on Queen St is vehicle traffic. And to boot, bike traffic is only 6 months of the year.

Where I'm all for adding bike lanes, it simply is not practical to replace driving lanes with bike lanes.
Rockin 3/27/2014 1:13:57 PM Report

My lord I'd be very afraid to ride anything wheelish remotely near to most anyone on this post. Scary stuff guys! Really.
Some points of interest are all about winter truly though and reducing lanes from what exists say on thoroughfares that are 4 Lane now are risky because as was mentioned these become 3 and mostly 2 lanes for the better part of winter period.

Bay for example is at best 2 lanes safe all winter, the inner and outer lanes kinda work at near intersections. Please do not foil with Bay at least... Please.

Living near 50 years here you must always remember winter.
Ms. Mc 3/27/2014 4:39:20 PM Report

there seems to be alot of whining on this response page. Would like some wine with that cheese. lol
rideronthestorm 3/27/2014 10:07:28 PM Report

@gtrem, blah blah blah, listen tree hugger, forward thinking is great, if it's the right kind of forward thinking, this is dumb, bike lanes with traffic, get real in this city, won't work , did you not stop and think about the vehical to bike accidents that could happen here, and we could be talking law suits as well, this doesn't work that's like saying we need to put urinals right besid e ours desks, because it's too much to walk out of an office to go take a leak. that dosen't work and neither is this.
rcssm69 3/28/2014 8:35:30 AM Report

fcubed 3/26/2014 9:31:03 AM Report

Sault Ste. Marie is not large. I do not understand every persons great rush. Get out of bed a few minutes earlier. We need tolerance on the part of employers and supervisors for occasional "being late".

Buildings and fixed infrastructure is not going to either disappear or move.

Why the confounded rush to go nowhere. Really !

*************************************

fcubed...You had me for your first two sentences!!! Then you blew it!!! Then you got back on track again!!!
Why do Supervisors have to tolerate employees being late for work??? Maybe employees should tolerate not getting paid on time???

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