Lethbridge opens Bike Boulevard to the dismay of some residents along its route

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Lethbridge opens Bike Boulevard to the dismay of some residents along its route
Cyclists are celebrating Lethbridge's first bike festival with the opening of a road geared towards them. Bike Boulevard opened on Sunday with an inaugural ride on the path made to protect those on two wheels. But as Kyle Benning reports, some residents living along 7 Avenue South aren't too pleased with the changes – May 28, 2018

The cycling community in Lethbridge has its first dedicated roadway for travelling around the city.

Bike Boulevard officially opened on Sunday with an inaugural ride along 7 Avenue South between 21 and 6 streets.

Despite 150 riders taking part in the official ribbon cutting, some residents living in the area aren’t pleased with the changes to the area.

The boulevard has had a transformation making the road safer for cyclists by reducing the speed limit from 50 km/h to 30 km/h and adding roundabouts to a number of the intersections.

“The streets were just never designed to have (roundabouts) in the intersections – they just weren’t designed. It’s not like the westside where the intersections are big enough that they were designed to have these in the middle of them,” said resident Tim Doyle.

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A number of people living on 7 Avenue brought up concerns about parking during street cleaning or snow plowing, as well as moving trucks getting in and out of the area.

The city said they spoke with first responders and worked with them to find the best changes for 7 Avenue.

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The city’s project manager noted roundabouts were the best option for protecting pedestrians and cyclists.

“That’s an actual physical barrier. So that helps with traffic calming,” said Robert Kovacs.

“This means that traffic is slower in the area – which makes the road safer not only for cyclists, but for children and for anyone else walking down or using this street for any reason,” said BikeBridge Cycling Association president Tyler Stewart.

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The city put aside $2.7 million towards the project, as well as fixing some of the intersections in and around the boulevard.

Kovacs said there are more blueprints being drawn up to make Lethbridge more bike-friendly, with another project set to be completed later this year.

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