St. John’s council unanimously approved adoption of its plan for a more cycling-friendly city, titled the Bike St. John’s Master Plan.
At the regular Monday meeting, Coun. Dave Lane stressed council was voting on “a vision” – not the many details which will still entail plenty of public input.
The master plan includes three “catalyst projects” that will form the core of the cycling network.
First, the Kelly’s Brook Trail from King’s Bridge Road to Columbus Drive – largely in place today as a granular trail – will become a paved, shared-use path at an estimated cost of $2 million.
Second, the Rennie’s River Trail will also become a paved, shared-use path that will connect with the Kelly’s Brook Trail at Portugal Cove Road to Prince Philip Drive at an estimated cost of $1.2 million.
Last, the Virginia River Trail, currently a walking trail, will also become a paved, shared-use path at an estimated cost of $2 million.
Shared-use means people using strollers, scooters, skateboards, wheelchairs and bikes can all use the path, in addition to walkers and runners.
Now that city council has adopted the plan, the work can begin, Lane said
Currently, council has allocated $150,000 to get started, which will cover the final design of the catalyst projects.
Voting in support of the plan, Coun. Ian Froude said cycling will help to solve many problems in the city, such as improving residents’ health and decreasing maintenance costs on roadways that would see less use.
Coun. Maggie Burton said as council begins implementing the plan, it needs “to be careful to make sure we have space for runners” and to protect nearby rivers.
Mayor Danny Breen reiterated the plan has many phases and projects, and each one will have public engagement. He also noted the “fairly significant price tag,” and that funding availability will be key as the plan is implemented.