Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 11:15 AM

​Councillor Dave Lane Responds to Bike Plan Concerns

In recent days residents of St. John’s have raised concerns about the Bike St. John’s Master Plan and upgrades to Kelly’s Brook Trail. As Council’s representative for the Bike St. John’s Advisory Committee I would like to take this opportunity to address these concerns.

It is crucial that the pubic understand that our intent is not to destroy the incredible natural surroundings of our beautiful trails. Throughout the design and consultation process for these trail upgrades, there will be careful attention paid to the environment, wildlife habitat and impact on neighborhoods.

Future engagement opportunities are being planned, specifically as it relates to trail design and you still have time to participate in that process.

PAVED TRAILS ARE STANDARD FOR ACCESSIBILITY

The goal of our Bike Plan is to enhance and upgrade a few existing trails so that they are accessible for everybody in our community to safely use and enjoy.

The current recommendation to pave Kelly’s Brook trail has many facets but the most important is accessibility. A final decision about trail surface material hasn’t been made yet and this topic will be explored through the public engagement process.

Ultimately, the trail will provide much more accessibility to residents and will not be limited to cycling. Shared use paved trails are standard in cities world-wide and are constructed to be inclusive for everyone. These trails aim to create a shared space for walkers, cyclists, people who use scooters and wheelchairs, and families who use strollers - all residents deserve to have the opportunity to use our city trails.
  
BIKE ST. JOHN’S MASTER PLAN
 
The intent of the City’s Bike Master Plan is to enable and encourage more people to choose active transportation in their lives, specifically bicycles. On May 29, 2019, the City released the Bike St. John’s Master Plan to the public after an extensive public engagement process.

The cycling network presented in the plan represents a set of comfortable, connected, convenient, and attractive routes. The network highlights three catalyst projects recommended for early implementation with Kelly’s Brook Trail being the first project.
 
KELLY’S BROOK TRAIL

The goal of the Kelly’s Brook Trail upgrade is to provide a continuous 4.8 km active transportation route in St. John’s, connecting the east end to the west end, with popular destinations and amenities along the way.

On October 2, 2020 the provincial and federal government joined the City to announce funding to move ahead with Kelly’s Brook Trail upgrades, with over 80% of the cost being covered by other levels of government.

Expansion and upgrades for the trail will be professionally designed by a team of consultants working closely with city staff and consulting with residents. Part of the plan is to execute public engagement on the design elements, with a focus on the environment, trail users, and impacted neighbouhoods. Impacts on wildlife, Rennie’s River and a tree inventory and protection plan will all be considered.

The public consultation process will begin in the coming months and the design drawings will be finalized and shared with the public so that construction can start in 2021.

Residents are encouraged to keep informed on this and other city projects that are important to you. You can visit the city’s engage page to register for all future engagement opportunities, follow the City and members of Council on social media, or sign up for ‘news’ e-updates on the City’s website.

- Councillor Dave Lane