A planned north-south bike route through Central Abbotsford will be linked with the Discovery Trail after the public called for such a connection.
The “bikeway” planned by the city will extend along Tims and Parkview streets, from the Matsqui Recreation Centre in the north, past the civic precinct, across South Fraser Way, and south to Peardonville Road. Peardonville is one of several important several east-west transit and biking corridors bisected by the new bikeway, which will also connect several schools.
“Bicyclists probably realize this more than others: the impact that this one trail will have in enabling cyclists to use all other paths in Abbotsford will be significant,” Coun. Dave Loewen said Monday. “I see this as a really positive and long overdue piece of infrastructure.”
After taking the concept to the public, the city decided to extend the route west from the Matsqui Recreation Centre along Charlotte Avenue to connect with the Discovery Trail just north of Fishtrap Creek Park.
The idea is part of the city’s overarching goal to increase biking and pedestrian facilities across the city and reduce the number of car trips.
The corridor runs primarily along residential roads, and street parking along parts of Tims and Parkview will be eliminated. In one Parkview section, residents told the city they were worried about the elimination of parking along one side of the road. The city, however, says staffers visited the area on three evening to count parked cars. Staff say the remaining parking on one side of the road will be sufficient to meet the demand.
Large stretches of the route will involve the creation of protected bike lanes with a buffer area between car traffic.
While the final goal is to create “all ages and abilities” (AAA) paths throughout the city, only part of the bikeway will be classified as such. Along the western half of Charlotte Avenue, where bikes share the road with cars, the speed limit will be reduced to 30 km/h.
The project will cost $600,000. Have of that sum will be paid for through a grant from the provincial government. The remaining half will be paid for out of, and consume the entirety, of the city’s $300,000 bike lane budget for 2019.
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