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This residents group is saying a bike-lane project violates its Charter rights

The City of Mississauga is increasing its cycling infrastructure

Photo by: City of Mississauga

A group of citizens in Mississauga, Ont., is saying that installing new bike lanes  is a violation of the most fundamental rights in the land, according to a report in The Toronto Star. Many cities across Canada have been adding more bike lanes in the past two years as more people are choosing to cycle, largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cycling advocates in Mississauga argue that the proposed cycling infrastructure would create safer conditions for people on bikes.

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There is a community meeting coming up on March 9 for the Bloor Street integrated project, with a proposal that would recommend adding 4.6 km of bike lanes on Bloor Street.

This will be the third meeting about the proposal. The most recent one occurred in January where the Applewood Hills and Heights Residents Association’s Athina Tagidou argued the Bloor bike lanes would violate Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section 7 refers to the right to life, liberty and security of the person.

Tagidou told city council that she thought the bike lanes would increase risks of injuries because “homeowners and businesses on a daily basis struggle to negotiate the bicycle lanes.”

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“I think they have to listen to the people. And the key stakeholders who are the people in this particular case who live directly on Bloor Street,” she added.

The proposal involves adding cycle tracks, elevated bike lanes that are separated from the road, as well as narrowing the existing road lanes.

A member of Mississauga’s cycling advisory committee, Kris Hammel, said car and truck traffic on Bloor Street is too fast for inexperienced cyclists to feel safe as they ride, resulting in many choosing to ride on the sidewalk.

One of the city councillors, John Kovac, is supportive of the bike lanes, and hopes that the upcoming community meeting would bring more residents on board.