The annual report for the Cannon Cycle Track is set to be brought forward as an information item at Monday’s Public Works Committee meeting. The report is a result of the General Issues Committee Report 14-007 was approved by Council on March 26, 2014 which directed staff to report back at least annually through the budget process on the performance of the Bi-Directional Cycle Track on Cannon Street pilot project, and to include actual operating
cost for the project.
Council approved the Cannon Street BiDirectional Cycle Track Three-year Pilot Project on March 26, 2014 and the track opened for public use on September 12, of that year. Plastic bollards, rubber curbing, and box planters (in the summer) are utilized in the project to provide separation between motor vehicles and cyclists.
The cost of the bike lanes on Cannon Street, including minor modification of traffic signals in 2016, were actually less than initial estimates with the project costing $524,100, down from the original cost estimate to complete the project set at $867,200.
According to many factors, city staff consider the pilot project a success to date.
Usage on the cycle track has steadily increased since the start of the project. Peak bicycle summer ridership rose 20% from 2015-2016, but the peak winter ridership jumped the highest margin with an increase of 167% year over year.
At the same time traffic volumes on Cannon Street east of Bay Street have slightly decreased. The reduction in traffic has resulted in better travel times for motorists in the morning peak and a negligible increase of an average of 20 seconds longer in afternoon rush hour.
The report doesn’t include information on any traffic impacts on adjacent roads and any of the displaced traffic.
The contra-flow design of the cycle track on Cannon Street required the 13 existing signalized intersections to have additional traffic signal heads installed in the eastbound direction for cyclists in 2014. In 2016 the original signal heads installed for bicycles were required to be upgraded to a new Provincial standard for bicycle signals. This new Provincial standard of bicycle signal includes an icon of a bicycle in the signal lens so all roadway users clearly understand the signal is exclusively for bicycle traffic. The total cost of the signal head replacements to conform to new Provincial standards was
Back in February Councillor Terry Whitehead expressed concern over the annualized cost to run the new bike traffic signals. Monday’s staff report states that the annual estimated electricity cost to operate the signals at all 13 intersections is $200 per year.
Issues of waste collection, transit service, snow removal, and the impacts to emergency vehicles were also addressed in the reports with no net impacts to any of those municipal services.
Waste Services have developed various means to provide waste collection services to properties along the south side of Cannon Street. The current practice is to undertake waste collection activities very early in the morning or during off-peak traffic periods. There have been no recorded impacts to HSR operations as a result of the implementation of the cycle track.
City staff has consulted with Emergency staff and have not been notified of any major concerns related to the operations of emergency services throughout the corridor.
The only hiccup so far experienced thus far with the Cycle Track on Cannon Street has been in increase of collisions since their implementation. Collisions between cyclist and motor vehicles more than doubled in the first year of the Cannon Street Cycle Track but have lowered in the second year.
The final three year Bi-directional Cycle Track Pilot Project report including final capital project costs and annual operational impact costs will be submitted in February 2018.
The information report will be presented to the Public Works Committee on Monday morning.