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Bike lane planned for Birch will prompt other traffic changes

Major changes are planned for Birch Street to accommodate a bike lane, after council gave the project its blessing Thursday.

The city says a lane will provide a safer north-south connection for cyclists, especially middle school students biking to and from Phoenix. However, councilors wanted to know what will happen to hospital parking and bus routes. Transportation specialist Melissa Heidema says it will require traffic calming measures and the speed limit will be lowered to 30 km/h, but street parking won’t be affected.

“The exact [configuration] will be determined when we do a little bit of public consultation,” she says. “We will be very aware of existing parking, bus routes, traffic patterns around schools, and we’ll work to try and appease as many road users as possible.”

Council voted in favour of the project. The city has budgeted $200,000 from the cycling infrastructure fund. Staff will now create designs and plan out the lane, and seek public feedback later this year.


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