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A long road ahead for Belleville bike paths

Tyler Allsopp, owner of Doug's Bikes in Belleville and a candidate for city council, says he'd have to sit out of any council votes on bike paths if elected, due to a bias.  City council Photo by Amanda Lorbetski [1]

Tyler Allsopp, owner of Doug’s Bikes in Belleville and a candidate for city council, says he’ll have to sit out of any council votes on bike paths if elected, due to a bias. Photo by Amanda Lorbetski

By Amanda Lorbetski [2]

BELLEVILLE – You could say Belleville [3] is on the path to becoming more cyclist-friendly in coming years.

The city’s Transportation Master Plan [4] outlines where Belleville’s transportation projects are heading for decades to come. It includes connecting Bridge Street West to Loyalist College [5] through a bike path.

Tyler Allsopp [6] owns Doug’s Bikes [7] in Belleville and is a candidate for Belleville city council. He says cycling is more than just a mode of transportation.

“There’s huge benefits to cycling, both from a health aspect, physical health (and) mental health. A lot of people find that they work much better once they’ve had some physical activity,” he said. “I think it’s always important for students to stay active while they’re studying.”

Current city councillor Tom Lafferty [8] brought the motion on bike paths forward this past summer. He said this is the first of many projects planned for the coming years.

“You’ll be able to go from Zwick’s Park to Loyalist College to Quinte Mall to east-end Belleville to the north end of Belleville. It all connects, so it’s part of the whole network.”

As for the possible bike path to Loyalist, college president Maureen Piercy [9] said plans are developed and the college has been in talks with the City and Quinte Conservation [10].  She said a sub-committee of the college’s sustainability committee has been working on the project for over a year.

“It’s a sustainability measure and it’s making the city more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly. Of course, we’re pleased with the city’s commitment and,  it’ll be up to the new council of course to carry all these ideas forward.”

She said the project would include a trail, lighting of the path and a bridge to connect to Marshall Road.  It would require upwards of $75,000 to be fundraised, she said, as there are no extra funds in the college’s capital budget.

It’ll be up to the city council elected on Oct. 27 [11] to decide whether pursuing the bike trails project is a path they want to take.

 

Listen below for the full 91X news report.

http://www.qnetnews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/bike-lanes-loyalist-amanda-lorbetski-oct-231.mp3 [12]