Biking to work one morning I noticed that Lorne Street was reduced to just one lane in each direction, and it had no effect on traffic flow. This confirmed a suspicion I’ve had for a while that we could easily convert two of Lorne’s car lanes into bike lanes and a sidewalk for the east side of the street.
So I made a video about that
Currently, Lorne Street is about 20 metres wide between Douglas and Elm, a stretch of about 1 km. There is a sidealk and paved boulevard with utility poles on the west side of the street, four over-sized motor vehicle lanes close to 3.8 metres wide each, and a crumbling paved boulevard of varying width on the east side of the street.
I propose that we convert Lorne into a “complete” street, but repurposing that road space for bikes and pedestrians. There’s more than enough physical space, and traffic counts given in the West End Community Profile indicate that one lane in each direction will be plenty to accommodate traffic volumes, even during peak periods.
My estimate based on similar projects is that it would cost less than $1 million to make this change. That’s less than 1% of the city’s capital budget, and less than we’ve set aside, but not spent, from our bike lane budget in the past two years.
This is entirely within the realm of possibility. Putting Lorne on a diet and adding protected bike lanes would be revolutionary for this city and something we can proudly show off at conferences across the country.
The traffic count numbers I used in my video come from these Greater Sudbury Community Profiles.