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Cycling group wants bike lanes extended

When a portion of Benjamin Road is repaved next year, the work should include bike lanes, says an organization representing area cyclists.

The Woolwich On Road Cycling Group wants to see the cycling lanes created during the reconstruction of an adjacent stretch of the road carried over onto the next portion, Patrick Gleeson told councillors meeting October 14.

Pointing to the growing popularity of cycling on Woolwich roads, and the tourism opportunities therein, he said it makes sense to provide bike lanes as roads are being rebuilt. Otherwise, the township is stuck with the type of “short-sighted treatment” seen in the recently repaved portions of Three Bridges Road, which failed to provide cycling lanes.

Gleeson presented a petition with 496 names requesting paved lanes that could accommodate bikes, runners and horse-drawn buggies on Benjamin Road.

Dan Kennaley, Woolwich’s director of engineering and planning, noted the planned work involved a simple repaving, not reconstruction of the road itself. As such, the existing road base might not be suitable for bike lanes, at least not without a major increase cost.

“The road platform is quite deficient,” he said, adding that he would include an estimated cost for adding in the lanes when the project’s budget is discussed in the next term of council.

Unlike the previous work on Benjamin Road, which took place on a portion shared with the City of Waterloo, the next phase falls entirely within Woolwich, Kennaley explained.

Coun. Mark Bauman, noting he often cycles on Benjamin Road, suggested while there might not be room for the standard 1.5-metre bike lanes, perhaps one-metre “maintenance lanes” would be possible, as on Lobsinger Line.

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