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Kitchener asks province for $600K to build more bike lanes

File photo.

The City of Kitchener hopes to get you out of your car and onto a bike, with the help of new provincial funding.

Kitchener has applied for $600,000 to fulfill its cycling infrastructure wish list through the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program, which has over $42-million available for municipalities across the province this year.

Danny Pimentel, Active Transportation Planning Project Manager for Kitchener, tells 570 NEWS the city has a list of about 15 projects, which range from adding more painted and segregated bike lanes, to increasing the number of bike parking spots.

He says three projects top the list for 2018 — the biggest is to build protected bike lanes along Wilson Avenue between Traynor Avenue and Wabanaki Drive.

“The goal is to try and seperate the cyclists from the pedestrians and from the vehicles,” Pimentel says. “So that more people will feel comfortable and actually get on a bike.”

Other projects hoped to be completed in 2018 include putting in bike lanes along Stirling Avenue between Russell Street and Mausser Avenue, and installing a bike ramp over the bridge at the end of River Road.

Pimentel says the implementation of bike lanes on Stirling Avenue will go ahead next year, regardless of whether or not they recieve the grants.

“We were prepared to fund that project, but as a result of this funding, it is now given us the ability to leverage the funding,” says Pimentel, “and pull back the amount of money we were going to put towards that project and put it towards something else.”

The city would need to fund up to 20 per cent of that $600,000 if it’s awarded. The rest would be covered by proceeds from Ontario’s cap and trade program.

Pimentel says they’ll find out by the end of October if the application is successful.