Saint John — The Saint John City Council gave their approval this week to create a new bike lane along Main Street, leading into the city centre.
Many have complained that the move is a costly effort that draws attention and funds away from more pressing infrastructure concerns in the province.
Councillor Matt Gardner disagrees with this assessment.
“I think that this investment will benefit everyone in the city,” he said. “Whether they drive a big, smelly, stupid car, or if they’re a cool, smart, sexy bike rider.”
The plan has, indeed, drawn a lot of support as well. Several local politicians believe that increasing the focus on bike lanes will be one way to combat the rising cost of gas. In fact, there are some who believe that new bike lanes will be able to solve most, if not all problems facing the province.
“The 2010s were all about roundabouts,” said Fredericton City Councillor Andrea Parsons. “Mark my words — the ’20s will be all about the bike lanes.”
These politicians are not only targeting travel. Parsons believes that bike lanes will help to address many other concerns in the province, including internet access in rural areas (“bike somewhere with Wi-Fi!”), lack of family doctors (“bike enough and you won’t need one!”) and cybersecurity (“bikes!”).
Of course, there’s also the perennial concern of Fredericton’s Clinic 554, the former Morgentaler Clinic, which closed in 2019. While abortion is always a contentious issue, the U.S. Supreme Court’s move to repeal Roe V. Wade has once again brought the issue into the public consciousness.
“We think a bike lane will resolve this issue, too,” said the Councillor. “Seeing as a fall from a bicycle is the closest thing this province will ever have to a safe abortion.”
The last question put to Saint John Councillor Gardner concerned the recent sale of Brunswick News to the Toronto-based Postmedia, and whether a lack of constant local news coverage will lead to a lack of transparency with the press on behalf of the government.
“I’m sorry, I missed that question, can you repeat it?” he asked as he sped away on a 10-speed Cannondale.