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Debate on bike lanes holds up construction on Willemar

Reconstruction on Willemar Road in Courtenay isn’t getting quite the momentum city staff had hoped for. The issue at hand is adding in designated bike lanes along Willemar and Piercy Avenue.

The Willemar reconstruction project stretches from 17th to 26th Street and has been listed in the city’s capital budget for several years now.

Council was recently presented with 5 cycling infrastructure plans. The suggested option was narrowly defeated.

This brought up some concerns by Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula.

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Council was advised that if they went against the suggested option, the road project would need to be redesigned…equaling an additional cost of around $15,000.

Staff has already spent 40 hours and over $9,000 working on this project.

Jangula says this will affect the neighborhood and he isn’t sure if people will by into the idea.

Jangula points out that a major cycling market like Vancouver does not put bike lanes on their major thoroughfares, adding Willemar fits that description in the Comox Valley.

He suggested using money to improve local trails or add in bike lanes on a street like Stewart Avenue, as it doesn’t see as much traffic as Willemar Road.

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