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Homeowners opposed to bike lane prompts Delta to halt project

While the project has been deferred, other cycling projects in Delta are going ahead this year
The revised design retained the marked bike lanes along 44th Avenue but made provision for some limited parking pockets on the south side of the roadway. However, residents still wanted to keep all street parking on both sides of the road. Kaboompics/Pixabay

The city is shelving a plan to add a bike land to a Ladner street following continued backlash from homeowners.

Council last week voted in favour of a staff recommendation that the 44th Avenue cycling improvements project, from Arthur Drive to 57th Street, be deferred. No timeline was given when the city would try again.

Existing funding is to be reallocated towards ongoing and emerging cycling infrastructure improvements elsewhere.

The project was part of the city’s overall Cycling Master Plan, but council has been getting heat from neighbourhood residents opposed to the elimination of on-street parking on the south side of the street.

The proposed cycling improvements included marked buffered on-street cycling lanes, a defined parking lane along the north side of 44th Avenue and removal of the on-street parking along one side to accommodate the new cycling lane.

According to the engineering department, the cycling improvements would tie into existing cycling lanes along Arthur Drive and result in a continuous cycling facility on 44th Avenue from Ladner Elementary to Dugald Morrison Park.

A report to council notes that while the cycling community endorsed the proposed improvements, residents in the project area raised strong opposition.

In response to feedback from residents last year, staff revised the design to incorporate some parking pockets on the south side of the roadway to provide some additional parking. Staff then held a second public consultation this spring, but that feedback also indicated, “that the proposed parking pockets fail to sufficiently meet on-street parking needs.”

Of the 80 homes that were sent a survey questionnaire by the city, 40 per cent responded with 84 per cent of respondents indicating opposition. One resident gathered a petition in opposition as well.

Council agreed to have the money that would have been invested in the project directed to other Ladner cycling improvements, following a motion put forward by Coun. Dylan Kruger.

Noting Tsawwassen had a similar situation with 8A Avenue before that roadway upgrade project went ahead, Mayor George Harvie said the 44th Avenue project will be revisited in a couple of years, once further improvements are made to the Ladner cycling network, which should prompt greater interest in making the network complete.

“We’re not giving up, we’re just changing strategy,” said Harvie.