Saskatoon residents raise concerns over proposed Avenue C bike lanes.

   The debate over bike lanes took center stage at Saskatoon's transportation committee meeting on Tuesday, where a report from WSP Canada Inc. proposed increased active transportation infrastructure along Avenue C North.

The $8.8 million project, spanning from Spadina Crescent to 45th Street West, covers various improvements related to bike lanes, sidewalks, and intersections. Jay Magus, director of transportation for the City of Saskatoon, clarified that the project sought approval from the city council, not financial contributions, with other funding sources to be explored if approved.

While some expressed support for citywide bike lane transitions, concerns were raised during the meeting. Mike Lee, owner of First Choice Flooring, suggested stopping the project before 38th and 39th streets due to heavy truck traffic in the area, emphasizing the potential risks at the Avenue C and Circle Drive intersection.

Mike Winter, president of Walking Safe Saskatoon, supported the changes but highlighted issues such as the need for reduced speed along Avenue C, potential dangers at the 33rd Street crossing, and safety concerns in the industrial area north of Avenue C.

Jennifer Giocoli, co-owner of Precision Auto Body, raised concerns about land acquisition, potential budget overruns, and increased costs for snow removal. She categorized the project as a "want" rather than a "need," considering other financial pressures on the city.

Keith Moen, executive director of the North Saskatoon Business Association, outlined three main concerns: safety, cost, and the impact on businesses, citing the Avenue C and Circle Drive intersection as one of the city's most hazardous.

In response, Coun. David Kirton moved to present the report to the city council and allow stakeholders to express their views on the matter. The motion passed, and the report is scheduled for discussion on December 20th.