26 Aug Cabana Road – A trail of dashed hopes
“Cabana Road could become an urban cyclist’s dream if city council approves an upgraded multimillion-dollar plan to build segregated bike paths along one of Windsor’s busiest east-west traffic corridors.” That was the opening of an article in the Windsor Star on July 8, 2014. (See full article HERE)
Windsor cyclists were filled with joy – finally a chance to ride with a separation from traffic…even if it is just a plastic bollard every 25 metres. This is what was recommended: Bike lanes separated from vehicles with hatching and bollards from Northway to Dougall and from Howard to Walker and a raised cycle track from Dougall to Howard.
We celebrated on August 25th, 2014 when City Council approved the construction of a segregated lane which would run roughly 5.5 kilometres from Huron Church all the way to Walker Road! But our hopes were quickly dashed when we learned that “Council still has to determine how the half-a-metre wide lane will be separated from traﬃc. The initial plan to use ﬂex bollards, a pylon-type barrier, was dropped.” (Windsor Star, July 25, 2014 – article HERE)
In October of 2015, another bomb was dropped on cyclists’ dreams for Cabana Road. “Just four months after city council approved the $4.8-million project along the South Windsor road — part of an ambitious plan to complete the Windsor Loop bike path — the mayor and senior municipal administrators had second thoughts about proceeding with it given the recent decision on where to locate a new mega-hospital.”
There was no money allocated in the city’s ﬁve-year capital budget to add more (car) lanes to Cabana Road. But Mayor Dilkens said that, with council’s approval, the Cabana widening could start as soon as the new year. Asked where the money would come from, he suggested it could be taken from the funds council approved in May for the Cabana sidewalks and bike paths. Source: Windsor Star, Sept 29, 2015. (Whew, Council chose not to use cycling infrastructure funds to widen Cabana.)
So our cycling dream has gone from fully separated bike lanes to protected bike lanes with bollards and cycle tracks to 2 painted lines.
Ever the optimists, we think there is still a way to save Cabana from being a bikeway that only the brave will attempt. Bring the Bollards Back! It has been conclusively proven that wider roads encourage faster driving. Now that Cabana appears to drivers to be a super-highway, it seems that most of the traffic travels at well above the speed limit. Don’t believe it? Try this experiment – drive along Cabana at (or a couple of km below) the speed limit. Watch how every car passes you.
Adding bollards to the center of the 2 white lines of the bike lanes will have several safety benefits 1. it will add some protection for cyclists and 2. It will have a traffic calming effect on drivers as they perceive the road to be narrower. When cyclists don’t feel safe riding on certain roads, many will opt out of doing so. Adding bollards or other forms of protection has been proven to increase feelings of safety amongst cyclists, encouraging more people to bike instead of drive.
The City is now asking for input from the public on the Cabana Road project through an online survey which must be submitted by Friday, September 4, 2020. Please tell them we want to add protection for cyclists!
TELL COUNCIL AND THE PROJECT CONSULTANT THAT YOU WANT TO SEE FLEXIBLE BOLLARDS DOWN THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF CABANA ROAD!
You can contact your City Councillor, or all of Council directly, HERE is their contact information.