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North Bay to get more active transportation routes

North Bay City Council has voted to move ahead with a $2.17 million infrastructure project that would allow for more active transportation.

Prior to the vote, Coun. Scott Robertson expressed his excitement about the decision,

“As someone who has a family who lives downtown and we use all of the recreational pathways and the active transportation pathways that exist in the core of the city, this one is going to be really important in expanding that network. Now, we can travel from our house downtown to the south end of the city along the Kate Pace Way, and now we’ll be able to get to the north end of the city,” said Robertson, who says his family does not own a car.

The new West Link Trail extension will connect the Kate Pace Way trail to the north end of the city through Main St. and Gormanville Rd., similar to the other trails in the city. The new pathway will be separate from the road and allow for cycling and walking. Bike lanes will also be put in on Main street, with improvements made to the intersection of Main St. and Memorial Dr.

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Coun. Robertson says that this project has been in the works since before the current council.

“There have been false starts, funding problems with various parts of our active transportation infrastructure. For many years this thing has been sputtering and false starts. There’s been tons of works put in by grassroots community members,” Robertson explains.

One of those grassroots community members was Rod Bilz, Chairman of North Bay’s Active Transportation Committee and founder of Cycling Advocates of Nipissing. Bilz is excited to see the project get the go-ahead.

“The addition of bike lanes on Main Street West and a new signalized crossing at Memorial Drive will further expand North Bay’s active transportation network and help make the city’s
roads safer for everyone,” Bilz said in a statement.

The project will be getting some help from the provincial government’s Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program, which will provide $377,000 of funding.

The West Link Trail extension is part of the larger Voyageur Cycling Route plan which aims to connect Sudbury and Ottawa through bicycle infrastructure.

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