August 22, 2018 5:24 pm

‘Those lines can save lives’: Cyclists concerned about losing bike lane on Moncton road

A section of Mountain Road in Moncton currently has three lanes with bike lanes

Callum Smith/Global News

After city councilors in Moncton voted to change the lane structure of Mountain Road at their August council meeting, some people in the cycling community say the changes are discouraging and dangerous.

“With bike lanes, you definitely feel a lot safer – especially on Mountain Road,” says Jim Goguen, a cycling advocate and owner of My Bike Shop. “That road leads out to Magnetic Hill, it leads out to the water park, so it’s a busy traffic area.”

Jim Goguen owns My Bike Shop

Callum Smith/Global News

The road from Woodhaven Court to Front Mountain Road was reduced from four lanes to three about a month ago, says councilor Bryan Butler. But returning the road to old form is now what’s on the agenda for the city.

Butler says he’s almost had a head-on collision in the area, and has heard several concerns from residents regarding the lane changes.

“You don’t want to be flashing neon lights, you don’t want to see traffic lights,” says Butler. “You don’t want to see a lot of stop signs (or) turning lanes, because people then, if they’re from out of the province or out of the city and are not used to driving in this area, all of a sudden it becomes really, really busy for them and they don’t know what they’re supposed to be looking for.”

Bryan Butler, city councillor for Ward 3

Callum Smith/Global News

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Butler says he fully supports the safety of cyclists, and wants to look at an alternative solution to keep both vehicle and bike traffic flowing safely.

Goguen says he knows of at least a pair of collisions involving cyclists in the area, so he was pleased to see the bike lanes painted in the first place, making it more disappointing to lose them.

The speed limit was decreased from 70 km/h to 50 km/h last week. Butler, who cycles himself, says more speed enforcement could be needed if they don’t decrease.

He says he’ll table a motion in the near future, to make the sidewalk similar to the one near Centennial Park on St. George Boulevard; one that’s divided for cyclists and pedestrians.

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