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April 17, 2012


More waste by Farbridge and her eager minions jus keep nodding, "Yes,yes!!"

How does this $5000 compare to the amount spent on other road signs?

so is the 5k for the purchase of AND installation of the 14 signs? I agree with Steve, I would want a comparison to similar situations with other road signage before I would make an issue. This sounds a bit like yellow journalism. yes $340+ for the purchase & installation of a road sign is a bit much but with no reference to common practice/costs it is nothing more than a sensationalist headline.

SPEND, SPEND,SPEND. This city can find all kinds of ways to throw away taxpayers money. Ya! Do we really need signs to tell us we can ride bikes on this street. I thought every street was a Bike route.

Steve and Simon,
You have missed my point. Even if a Stop sign costs more than a Bike Route sign -- and I don't know if that's the case or not -- it would be hard to argue we don't need Stop signs.
The point is, we simply don't need Bike Route signs. I'm in favour of bicycle lanes, because they make cycling safer. But spending $5,000 to sign something as a bike route seems pointless.

I think Lise Burcher and Googlicious Maggie Laidlaw should hop on their bikes and ride around installing these bikes signs to make up for all of the council and committee meetings they skipped.

And since they both really care about the environment, they should make the actual signs themselves using old pizza boxes and recycled paint.

Win, win!

Gord, it would be difficult and more expensive to adjust every road and intersection to be more conducive to cycling and cyclist safety. There are different requirements for sight lines, speeds, and roadside parking. The more cost-effective solution is to designate specific routes for this purpose and mark them appropriately with signs. We already do this for truck routes. This is a non-issue but cycling stories invite controversy.

"Few residents want them"? I find this statement odd when you look at the number of schools in the area. Just wondering which residents were consulted as I live in this area and wasn't surveyed. But then again, this isn't surprising.

what is lame is those signs probably cost like $20 to make so what is happening with the other $4980 ?

Steve, I don't think it's that "cycling stories invite controversy" so much as it's the perceived wasteful spending of $5,000 on just fourteen rather meaningless signs ...

especially troublesome given that the Merc reported yesterday that the City may need to scrap public internet access in libraries because its federal grant has run out and officials claim they are unable to come up with a measly $6,800 a year.

Before reading the above I would have assumed that sign meant there is a bike lane on this street.
$5,000 would be better spent maintaining the roads their encouraging us to ride on, but then nothing is ever straight forward when your dealing with this administration.

This reeks of Chicken Egg Laidlaw. Maybe she could pay for them with her raise from council. Oh, wait ...

I start off agreeing with Scott but at the same time visualizing him with a big grin on his face as he posted this item... mischief?

Anyway, as a former mad cyclist (many years ago) I'll just say that I would have completely ignored those bicycle lanes as making the whole cycling experience way too risky.

As there is now a break between the 2nd and 3rd periods of the Canucks last chance to avoid being swept I'll suggest that the "bicycle route" signs should perhaps be compared to "truck route" signs if they are to have any real world validity. If trucks must travel on signed truck routes then "bicycle route" signs should mark the only option for sane and legitimate cyclists.

And how many sane and legitimate cyclists would ride ONLY on those routes marked by signs, Edward, and never ride on an unsigned street? Not a single one, I suggest.

How many of these sane and legitimate cyclists have never ventured up on to a sidewalk or run a stop sign/light or ridden thru an intersection in a crosswalk ... all illegal. Not a single one, I suggest.

Edward, even the more reasonable cyclists disobey many traffic rules ... and forget about the unreasonable ones ever obeying anything. So, why on earth should the City waste money in this silly token gesture when everyone knows that everyone will simply ignore the signs.

Besides, do we really need more signs?

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?

I assure you, there was no grinning as I wrote that. I think the whole idea is ridiculous.
(Incidentally, so does my 13-year-old daughter, but more on that in tomorrow's paper)

The reason the signs costs so much is the
fact they probable have to import the paint.
(probable from the states)Because us stupid
Canadians sure can not figure out the right
mixture.Then of course there is the administration costs.(can never forget that).

What ever happened in the ol days......were
you just got on your bike,started out and used
common sense.(sigh,just longing for the ol days)

Here's some more waste.

I read in the Tribune that it cost the city $24,500 to make the Profiles with Terry Bradshaw video. It turns out this was nothing more than an infomercial. A video shot by one man with an SD video camera with Terry Bradshaw providing the narration. A quick search of the internet quickly shows this is a borderline scam. Terry Bradshaw has 8 of these paid programming shows.

I'm all for promoting the city but I'm sure a better video could have been produced by one of the local high schools at a fraction of the cost.





I believe this administration consists of grossly over paid no nothings who feel obligated to spend prodigious amounts of money on any thing they can think of, in order to justify their existence.

My bad, should be know nothings.

I think the signs de-normalize cycling on the road, even if or perhaps because the intention is to elevate cycling as a "legitimate" or common mode of transportation along those routes. But all in all certainly a waste of money. One could ask what the carbon footprint of the signs are, with labour, embarking as we are, inevitably, despite all stubbornness to make it a success, on the road towards one more false-start, one more abandoned program.


Internet access for the Library or signs telling us that we can bike on roads? Lower cost bus service or $25K for a Terry Bradshaw infomercial? New South end Hockey rink, or civic museum? Skate park for kids or Tree canopy strategy plus staff?

The Mayor and the gang of eight have their priorities all wrong!

I really do think that some comparisons with the cost of other infrastructure would be useful. The actual functional value of the signs aside, it strikes me that spending $5,000 to acquire 14 pieces of machined metal, affix signage, engineer their location, and install them in the ground over the space of two and a half kilometers (in such a way that they will have a lifespan of probably 30-40 years) may be a fairly reasonable price.

Anyone who has had minor upgrades to their property (stone walkways, new driveway, deck, etc) knows that such renos are not cheap.

Besides which, this is really peanuts in terms of much other infrastructure modification. The rebuilding of streets and sewers easily reaches into the tens of millions of dollars for comparatively smaller spaces. The Wellington overpass on the Hanlon cost $30 million (in 1999 dollars), and merely adding bike lanes runs between $3,000 to $30,000 per kilometer, depending on the condition of the road and other variables.

I think the merits of adding these signs are questionable, but it would be more helpful to know whether or not, once the decision was made, the cost of actually executing it was reasonable. I'll suspect it was. While we're at it, I'd like to know how much it has cost to install the tens of thousands of signs governing parking in the city. I bet it's a darn sight more than $5,000, although I've never heard anyone complain about them.

Ok, so if these unnecessary signs are reasonably priced then all is fine, luke?

I'd love to be the contractor on your reno ... "Mr. luke, you have already spent $30,000 on a new walkway and $18,000 on a fence, what's another $5,000 on some goldplated gate knobs?"

And really, do the locations signs need to "engineered"? Do they really need to have their own metal posts? Why do there even need to be signs? Why not just paint a few white bikes on the blacktop?

Had you read my post, you would know that painting "a few white lines on the blacktop" for this section of road would cost between $6,900 and $69,000 - significantly more than the supposedly outrageous cost of the signs.

As for the rest of your post, I fail to see how the phrase "I think the merits of these signs are questionable" was translated by your mind into "all is fine". It is as if you didn't read what I wrote at all.

Whether or not $5000 is a good price for the signs is irrelevant if the signs are neither wanted or needed. Since there was little to no interest in bike lanes in this area, the money could certainly be put to better use elsewhere.

luke, thanks for your post. I was simply suggesting literally painting a few bikes on the roads, not installing full bike lanes (which had already been established was unwanted and unnecessary). Painted bikes would serve the identical purpose of the signs, cost less, and be much less intrusive to the neighbourhood.

My point about your post was that it seemed odd for you to list the costs of all sorts of other projects to better understand the *comparative* costs of this bike sign project. Comparative cost is a red herring, and my home reno example was intended to illustrate that. Perhaps I could have made that point more clearly.

What is important here is the absolute cost of the signs, and the increasing opinion that the signs are simply not needed and the money could be spent better elsewhere.

Would it not be easier and cheaper to only post signs where bicycles are prohibited such as on the Hanlon.

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Joanne Shuttleworth is the newsroom lead in municipal affairs coverage for the Guelph Mercury. She is a former Guelph YWCA Woman of Distinction honouree and a past winner of an Ontario Newspapers Award for her work as an editor. You can reach her at jshuttleworth@guelphmercury.com

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