Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bicycle Infrastructure Ain't Cheap

     Good news everyone! I have found a map, outlined in the Active Transportation Trailway Master Plan and Brookside, Royal, MacLaren, Hanwell and Rookwood are all outlined for a planned bicycle route. If only I can get definite answers from a reputable source, but judging by what I found on the map, they are most likely going to be bike lanes.

     It's funny- these bike lanes have only been around for a month, but cyclists have already adapted to using them, yet they are not even official. It just goes to show, if you paint a few lines on the street that look like a bike lane, cyclists will use them.  I have also noticed the increase of bicycles on the trails and bike lanes this year. Either it is because of the nice weather, a green dream come true or even due to the Princess Margaret Bridge closure. I hope when the bridge re-opens on September 5th, that we don't fall into old habits, but keep up this new habit.

(Bike lane with bicycle marker)

     You may think it is relatively cheap to build and sustain a bicycle culture, but it is actually quite expensive! Cities like Copenhagen or Montréal must invest millions, just to keep current infrastructure up to par. Here are some facts about the bicycle revolution here in Fredericton:

  • For every kilometre of bike lane, it costs roughly $20, 000 to paint both sides of the road. 
  • To erect signs costs $150 per sign and there are eight signs needed per kilometre.
  • To construct a brand new trail costs $150, 000 per kilometre with a paved surface.
  • A steel pedestrian bridge over Route 8 from Skyline Acres to UNB would cost almost $1.3 million.
  • Asphalt trails are needed for high traffic areas such as The Green, Lincoln, Valley and Northside Trails. The asphalt will last roughly 15 years with yearly maintenance. It costs $45, 000 to pave each kilometre.
  • A bridge over the Carleton Street piers would cost almost $3.8 million plus pier refurbishments!
  • Almost 2, 200 people cross the Bill Thorpe Bridge each day! Impressive, considering the size of the city.
  • 70 kilometres of the city trail system lays on old railway bed, saving us millions in construction costs.
(Crushed gravel surface trail | Bridge over the Little Nashwaak)

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