Parkedale plan is 'off-road'


(A proposed alternate route to the Laurier Boulevard bike lanes, as submitted by Bob Valley.)

This afternoon’s finance, administration and operations committee meeting has shed more light on the timing of a controversial Laurier Boulevard cycling plan, and now, some clarification is in order.

No, Laurier bike lane opponents are not trying to get a break from bike traffic by shunting the hapless cyclists into the motorized craziness (by Brockville standards) that is Parkedale Avenue.

But yes, the “alternate route” proposed by Bob Valley, and which might come up at today’s FAO, does run along Parkedale, at least for a bit.

Here is how Valley described it in a note to media last month:

The alternate route runs through quiet neighbourhood streets and connects Parekdale to Stewart Blvd. and Centennial Rd.

Since the traffic on all these streets is very low it is anticipated that only signage will be required.

We are suggesting that all lanes on Parkedale be off-road and should run to Millwood. This will let cyclists into the 1000 Islands Mall and from there all the way to Jefferson.

"The connections on Millwood, Windsor and Laurier are short and again will not require special treatment.”

I am not quite sure where these “off-road” lanes might go.

The Google Earth illustration above suggests the only Parkedale route would run between Millwood and the Brock Trail across from the police station. Running these cycling lanes off-road would, one assumes, require some sort of incursion into land owned by, among others, Canadian Tire (or its landlords) and St. Lawrence College.

Nor am I sure all those residential bypasses won’t launch protests and petitions on the part of other neighbourhood groups.

And cycling advisory committee chairman Alan Medcalf on Tuesday left open the possibility the bike plan will include both this new Parkedale and lanes on Laurier Boulevard.

That, however, is a debate for another time.

At the very least, the Parkedale idea merits discussion in the months to come, to figure these problems out.

And, to their credit, it also means Valley and his Laurier opposition group are not, like some petulant high school kid, telling cyclists to “go play in the traffic.”

(This blog post was amended to incorporate events from Tuesday's meeting.)