In the fall, the Regional Cycling Advisory Committee of which I am the Regional Council rep, went out and looked at Franklin Road. Franklin is a very busy road corridor in Cambridge. It will be upgraded to a four lane road (yes, I know it is already four lanes, bear with me here) with 11 roundabouts, some two lane roundabouts and some three lanes. This is between the 401 highway and Myers Road (2 lane between Champlain and Myers)
Obviously this busy road and the roundabouts are a concern for those using alternate transportation. The committee looked at it and recommended having an mixed-use trail (3 metres) instead of sidewalks. Staff has made this their recommendation.
So pedestrians, disabled and cyclists will have a safer place to go along Franklin. It’s a great step forward.
The downsides? Cyclists will have to dismount and cross at the roundabouts like pedestrians. Though the cars are supposed to yield for pedestrians. Bart Forwell suggested that staff look into the way cyclists are accomodated in Scandanavian countries with a separate lane at roundabouts. Staff are looking into it.
The second downside? When you get to the 401, it is almost impossible to cross to Hespeler unless you are a car. Cambridge is considering a temporary pedestrian bridge (steel span that can be moved when a permanent bridge is build by the MTO).
IMO Requiring cyclists to dismount at every intersection is a surefire way to discourage cycling and make it less convenient. There are ways that multi-use trails can cross intersections without making the cyclists dismount. http://www.mississaugacycling.ca/mto-approves-bike-crossings-631.htm