It will be a big turnaround for the city that reduced its involvement in Car-Free Sundays back in 2011, if Kitchener councillors agree to a $14,000 plan to add sharrows to the city's main street.
This story on the Record website says that council will consider a plan April 8 to add 44 sharrows, and appropriate signage, to King Street through the city's downtown, reminding motorists and cyclists that they share the road.
The "street diet" that has been applied to King Street has even some GRT bus drivers grumpy about using the street: one parked truck half on and half off the roadway is enough to bottleneck the street. So I can imagine how motorists might feel if a cyclist "takes the lane" as Kitchener's Transportation Demand Management rep, Josh Joseph, says in the Record story.
But if any street is shareable, surely it is King Street, where even a briskly moving pedestrian can often stay even with the motor traffic. I have impatiently waited on my bicycle behind motorists who were stalled by the aforementioned delivery-truck-bottlenecks, so I suspect that King Street through the downtown probably does have an average traffic speed well within bicycling limits.
I hope the cost of the project, minimal as it might seem but not so small that some on council might take issue with it, won't be a deterrent.
Also of interest in the Record article is the reference to an as-yet fully fleshed-out bicycle festival on Sunday, May 26 in Kitchener's downtown. This would segue nicely into the Complete Streets Forum in Toronto on Monday, May 27 and the Ontario Bike Summit 2013, Tuesday, May 28 and Wednesday, May 29, also in Toronto. Both the Toronto events are part of Toronto Bike Month, which runs May 27 to June 30.
On these grey, cold and wet March days, good to know that so many celebrations of cycling are just a few weeks away.