The organizer of a petition to improve Barnhartvale Road safety is pleased with new signage planned to be placed in the area, but remains disheartened over the length of time it will take to see improved infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.
Former Barnhartvale resident Margaret Langevin was part of a group that met with the city this week, after launching a Change.org petition calling for cycling, pedestrian and driver safety improvements to Barnhartvale Road.
The petition has garnered nearly 4,000 online signatures. The city told Langevin this week Barnhartvale Road is challenging and costly to install bike lanes, due to the topography and need to purchase private land, as the city does not own easements.
In addition, Langevin said the city identified the road as more dangerous, with trucks en route to the dump. She said in the short-term, a route is planned from Grand Boulevard in Orchards Walk to Todd Road, through Pineridge Golf Course.
Pineridge Golf Course is an 18-hole course on the east side of the city wedged between Dallas and Valleyview.
The space between the two neighbourhoods continues to infill, courtesty growth of Orchards Walk. KTW has reached out to Pineridge Golf Course for comment, but has not heard back.
Meanwhile, Langevin said that for all those reasons, she understands why Todd Road has been identified in the city’s Transportation Master Plan as the future cycling route.
What she still doesn’t understand, however, is why Todd Road will not see improvements for many more years.
“My feeling is we can’t wait 15 more years for Barnhartvale to have good access [for cyclists and pedestrians],” Langevin told KTW.
“That’s the next generation of kids. This generation of kids will not get that. We have to wait another generation. They [the city] weren’t against it, but I feel that’s still going to be a big push to try and change anything there.”
The city has agreed to place signage along Barnhartvale Road to improve safety, after it completes a repaving project in the area that began this week — a positive step, according to Langevin.
Another positive step that came out of the meeting, Langevin said, is inclusion of cyclists voices at city hall. Future projects will have more input from users, she said.
“They’re very open to us being part of that conversation, which is huge,” Langevin said.
“Because we’ve never been. They always build and then, you know. They’re also open to us working with them to do an education campaign because it became very clear in this meeting how many people, we all get told to get off the road. We get driven off the road by trucks that try to push you off the road. People had instances of being side-swiped by mirrors. We don’t feel like there’s a cycling culture. They don’t know the rules.”