The Memorial Link is a proposed 5 km of physically protected lane (cycle track) for bicycles and active transportation along Memorial Ave and May St through the heart of Thunder Bay. It will run between John St and Miles St. to join the South and North downtown cores with a safe, direct bicycle route that provides access to all of the businesses in the intercity area. The goal is to get bikes off the road, off the sidewalks, and make Memorial Ave. a better place for everyone.
The Memorial Link would be much different from existing bike lanes that have been installed in other parts of the city. It is infrastructure that physically separates bikes and cars, not just painted lines on the road. It is critical to minimize interactions between people on bikes and drivers along this busy corridor to increase the safety and comfort of riders and pedestrians, and also to make driving smoother and more predictable.
In urban planning, cycle tracks are designed to encourage bicycling in an effort to relieve traffic, reduce pollution, reduce bicycling collisions and injuries, and to reduce overall confusion and tension for all users of the road by eliminating the need for cars and bicycles to jockey for the same road space.
The cycle track would be implemented on the existing boulevard and right-of-way space of Memorial Avenue and May Street. The specific details don’t really matter at this point as long as average people, including children and seniors, would feel comfortable riding their bicycles all the way along the entire length. In addition to increasing safety, the cycle track would also have economic, environmental, and lifestyle benefits.