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Sonny Spina pushes for year-round bike lanes

The city's traffic bylaw prohibits bicycles from using bike lanes from Nov. 1 to Apr. 30 each year
sonny-spina
Sonny Spina

Ward 1 Coun. Sonny Spina and wardmate Sandra Hollingsworth will ask city council on Monday to review why cyclists are banned from local bike lanes for half the year.

The two Ward 1 councillors are pushing to have bicycle lanes open to cyclists year-round, not just from April 30 to Nov. 1.

They'll ask that consideration be given to repealing a section of the city's traffic bylaw that places winter restrictions on cycling in the lanes.

Spina is well-known around the Sault as an avid cyclist who organized the DU283 duathlons supporting the Algoma Family Services Foundation.

The following is the full text of a resolution Spina and Hollingsworth will present to city council:

Cycling

Mover: Councillor S. Spina

Seconder: Councillor S. Hollingsworth

Whereas the City of Sault Ste. Marie continues to be committed to increasing the use of active transportation and the active transportation infrastructure in our community; and

Whereas bike lanes offer a lane of traffic for the safe operation of bicycles on roadways; and

Whereas the number of individuals engaging in active transportation across all seasons in Sault Ste. Marie continues to increase year by year; and

Whereas studies have shown that active transportation networks can offer several health, environmental and traffic benefits, which include:

  • reduced carbon emissions
  • increased mobility for citizens
  • reduced vehicle traffic
  • physical and mental health benefits for citizens
  • economic benefits for families by providing transportation options that do not require gasoline
  • increasing the connectivity of our community to spark tourism and provide a higher quality of life; and

Whereas the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario provides rules of the road for the safe travel of all vehicles on the roadway: and

Whereas the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario requires slower-moving vehicles to travel as far to the right on the roadway as safely possible; and

Whereas bicycles meet the definition of vehicle under the Highway Traffic Act Ontario and are therefore subject to all rules of the road as set out by the act; and

Whereas bicycles are often operated at a speed that is slower than traffic around them, often requiring them to use bike lanes to stay as far to the right as safely possible on roadways; and

Whereas Section 52(b) of City of Sault Ste. Marie Bylaw 77-200 currently prohibits the use of bicycles in bike lanes on roadways in Sault Ste. Marie from Nov. 1 each year to April 30 the following year

Now, therefore, be it resolved that staff be requested to review Bylaw 77-200 section 52(b) prohibiting the use of bicycles in bike lanes between Nov. 1 each year and April 30 the following year to consider repealing that section of the bylaw and have it replaced with information consistent with the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario and to notify council of any additional steps council and community partners may consider taking to allow for the safe operation of bicycles year-round within our community.

Monday's city council meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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