Bike lane barrage of questions from budget committee

Line painting workers scrub out the yellow center line on Second Street East between Marlborough Ave. and McConnell Ave. on Oct. 8, 2014. The city repainted a section of the street to add bicycle lanes. (Cornwall Newswatch)

CORNWALL – The city’s transportation engineer found himself in the firing line over the controversial change to Second Street.

Enrique Kamm told the committee Thursday afternoon he had only “a few” complaints about the bike lanes, which when constructed, reduced portions of Second from four lanes to two.

“I used to be able to come down to Cumberland (from Riverdale),” said Coun. Claude McIntosh in suggesting it’s more of a headache now.

McIntosh also recounted the tale of a resident who spent a whole day counting vehicles a bicycles on Second Street – he counted 1,400 cars and one two-wheeler.

“I’ve seen some situations there,” Coun. Justin Towndale said on the traffic suggestion. “I do notice it does take longer to get across town.”

Towndale has asked for numbers of traffic volume with comparisons to Water Street/Montreal Road and Ninth/Marleau.

Keeping those bike lanes operational was also questioned.

“Are the bike lanes seasonal or used year-round?,” Coun. McIntosh questioned.

Enrique Kamm said they are year-round but we “don’t have to plow the bike path per se,” suggesting bikes can travel on the roadway because they are also vehicles.

Public works officials also said the problems with traffic congestion this summer on Second Street were probably an anomaly due to construction on other major arteries like Brookdale Avenue.

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