Funding sought for Huntingdon cycling project

Coun. Les Barkman questioned the need for the rural route, but Coun. Dave Loewen said current situation is dangerous.

The City of Abbotsford is asking for provincial funding to pay for a proposed 2.8-kilometre bike land project along Huntingdon Road.

Huntingdon Road can be a scary place to ride a bike, Coun. Dave Loewen said Monday as council discussed whether to ask the province for money to add bike lanes to the rural route.

“You take your life in your hands sometimes,” Loewen said of the route, which he said is popular with recreational cyclists and which he rode during a fundraising ride this fall.

Loewen shared his experience after Coun. Les Barkman suggested such a bike route wouldn’t be sufficiently incorporated into the existing bike network.

Barkman said he’d rather staff look at other options that would connect with a more-urban cycling route.

“I can’t support this in that it’s really not going or leading to anything,” he said.

Staff had recommended applying for half the cost of a $400,000 project that would see the road widened in certain sections and bike lanes painted between Bradner and Mt. Lehman roads.

Senior transportation engineer Purvez Irani told council that the lane would be connected to the rest of the city’s cycling infrastructure once the widening of Mt. Lehman Road is completed. He said the road was previously identified in the 2007 Transportation Master Plan as part of the city’s future cycling network and that the city is working towards that objective.

If the grant is not received, the city would use its $200,000 cycling infrastructure budget for another project.

“I think it makes sense to do this,” Mayor Henry Braun said.

Council largely agreed, and voted to direct staff to apply for the funding, with Barkman and Coun. Moe Gill opposed.