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BRT, bike lanes on tap for Monday’s Saskatoon city council meeting

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BRT, bike lanes on tap for Monday’s Saskatoon city council meeting
WATCH ABOVE: Saskatoon city council is expected to make decisions on bike lanes and bus rapid transit routes – Apr 26, 2019

The proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) system is expected to be a major theme at Saskatoon city council on Monday, April 29.

One Saskatoon business group says that 1st Avenue seems to be the better location to run the BRT.

“Whenever there’s new developments on a certain street or development that may impede or impact what the present situation is, you know change is challenging,” said Keith Moen, executive director of the North Saskatoon Business Association (NSBA). “So, there were some members that expressed concern about it for sure. The 1st Avenue location just seemed to make more sense.”

READ MORE: Clearer picture of what BRT for Saskatoon’s downtown might look like

On the east side of the river, the BRT would be routed along 8th Street, and either run down Broadway Avenue or the Sid Buckwold Bridge. However, compared to the strong preference for a 1st Avenue route downtown, the Broadway versus Sid Buckwold Bridge debate has business owners split.

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“We have heard from some business people that have expressed concerns on the Broadway location, and again it’s an unknown at this point as to whether it would be a positive or a negative,” Moen said.

READ MORE: Saskatoon’s growth plan includes new transit and biking systems

Also up for debate at council on Monday will be the downtown bike lanes. Right now, they’re on 4th Avenue, and the city is proposing moving them to 3rd Avenue, which would connect them to the Traffic Bridge and the existing bike lanes on Victoria Avenue.

“What we really need is to concentrate on in the city is getting the BRT right, and if they think that the BRT should be on 1st (Avenue), and that means that 3rd (Avenue) is open for bike lanes I’m all in favour of it. I know that there are lots of complaints on 3rd Avenue about it, but, change is difficult,” Saskatoon Cycles co-chair Cathy Watts said.

“I feel that people who are making the most noise have probably never ridden a bike downtown, they don’t know what it’s like to feel terrified for your life.”

READ MORE: Saskatoon Transit ridership rises by 8.4% in 2018

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Regardless of which routes are inevitably chosen, the construction isn’t projected to begin until 2022.

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