Should Cornwall Reverse 2nd Street Bike Lanes & CFN 1 on 1 With Justin Towndale & Mark A MacDonald DEC 1, 2014

Justin Towndale NOV 2014CORNWALL Ontario – Today the new City Council takes their Oath’s of office, but Sunday CFN caught up with Justin Towndale and Mark A MacDonald and chatted about themselves and things Cornwall.

I met up with JT at the Civic Complex where an event apparently was occurring.

It was quiet so we had some one on one time in the Sports Hall of Fame.

This is Justin’s first time in public office.


During the election we heard about some of Justin’s politics ( he had worked for Liberal leadership candidate Sandra Pupatello) and activities.  (He’s a runner).   And a freaking Leaf fan!

Mark MacDonald NOV 2014

Mark A MacDonald is no stranger to most Cornwallites that are politically active.  The two term former Councilor is back after taking a run for Mayor against Bob Kilger in 2010.

He’s also attracting attention for some wrong reasons which have been clarified since a media report that he didn’t consider accurate.

After spending time during the last year working to help makes sure the RCAF Wing wasn’t turned into condos, the old Cornwall General Hospital and the Trillium Distribution Chem Tanks it should be interesting to see what he sinks his teeth into first as he returns to council.


Mark is bewildered by a note from City Hall essentially asking the new council to rubber stamp a 2% increase in departmental spending for the next ten years!   Mr. MacDonald pointed out that he and many of those elected signed the Community Action Group pledge to freeze or lower taxes.

Both gentlemen agreed on rescinding the honorarium  increases voted on by the Kilger council before they left office.

I also put both Councilors Elect regarding the Second Street debacle.    The city cut one of the main East/West arteries to a single lane in each direction which has bottle necked traffic, especially at traffic lights.

Many of the public have loudly been complaining about the changes which can essentially be easily reverted.

What do you think Cornwall?   Will this new council be an improvement?  Are you optimistic?   Do you want Second Street back to two way traffic?  I know I do!

You can post your comment and vote in our poll below!

Should the New Cornwall Council Reverse the Second Street Bike Lanes to Two Lane Vehicle Traffic?

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  1. I’m not a bicycler but I like having the bike path drawn out on the city streets, its nice to know they have their place on our roads and I don’t have to worry about coming too close to them or to them driving too far out onto the road and risk getting hit.

  2. In 28 years I have rarely seen a bicycle on Second Street. Since Brookdale Avenue. added bike lanes I have not seen one bike using the dedicated lane. Brookdale Avenueb is not an issue however having two lanes in each direction.

    Second Street is a different issue. Constructing anything due to demand is commonsense. Spending taxpayers money based on the concept of, if you build it they will come is simply stupidity. Apply the, if it is not broken do not try to fix it approach and return Second Street to two lanes in each direction. Hopefully this council has a little more on the ball.

  3. I agree with Shelly. I have also travelled to and from work along that route since the changes were made and did not find it troublesome.

  4. The bicycle lanes on Second St. East are a bad idea. I used to have a 7 minute trip to my volunteer “job.” It is now a 15 minute trip thanks to these lanes. I would have little issue with the lanes if they were being used AND not on Second Street East. But I still see bicyclists using the sidewalks. I have yet to see these lanes used. So what is the point of having bicycle lanes on Second Street East if they still use the sidewalks.

    As for rubber stamping a 2% increase in departmental spending for the next ten years….I don`t think so. The budgets in Cornwall must be kept under control. Rubber stamping a 2% increase departmental spending for the next ten years is beyond stupid.

  5. I for one I agree with the lanes for bikes.
    I drive but also bike and will use these lanes next summer as it was late in the year for this year to put them in.
    As a driver, it gives a good buffer and not to have to squeeze the lane left to me.
    Many don’t and just wiz by inches from me in a mad dash to make it across town because, well, it takes a whole 10 minutes!
    On a bike same thing with the buffer as the catch basins, are sunk down even a good 6″ for many and good for roller bladers as well.
    It’s going to be better than the bike path with my escooter as people are all over the place on the bike path and even had a cyclist stop right in front of me putting his bike sideways across the path and had to lock them up as trying to pass slowly and tell me that the bike path was not for me?

  6. Bicycles are a pinko-commie invention designed to destroy our society. The great Rob Ford said that he felt sorry for the people killed while riding bikes on public roads, but it was their own fault for doing so.

  7. The only safe place for bikes is the bike path and it is a hindrance in the winter months since they are not plowed. The streets themselves are no place for bikes. There are many deaths over bike riding here in Ottawa. People can’t even drive a car properly let alone a bike.

  8. Has anyone asked the local shops about business loss or increase because of these lanes?
    My first thought driving on Second was this is no way to welcome customers and encourage cars. Bikes are good 6 to 9 months a year, but people need to eat, shop and bank all year.

  9. Bikes on the road? That would be nice. In four years in Cornwall I have yet to see a bicylist on the road, they’re always on the sidewalks.

  10. If anything is going to discourage drivers from shopping at businesses near bike lanes it is going to be paid parking/meter parking and inadequate parking, not bike lanes. Removing the bike lane to put the second driving lane back in place will not create more parking. The city might consider abolishing or decrease the parking fees, at least for shoppers and diners. That will definitely increase business in the area.

    Bikes on the road? Yeah I see it all the time! And I cringe every time I see how little respect some drivers give to riders and cyclists. Yes there are also those who use the side walk and are in violation of traffic laws. However,Try riding across ninth street on your bike, during rush hour or for that matter, anytime of the day. Not exactly what you would call fun.

    What is needed is more education on the rules of the road/side walk, an increase in traffic enforcement and a mutual respect between and for those who ride and those who drive.

    If it now takes you an extra 5 or 10 minutes to get across our HUGE CITY, due to bike lanes well, all I can say is cry me a river.

  11. I would have no problem with bike lanes IF they were being used, but they are not being used.

    As for drivers showing cyclists some respect that goes both ways. I think when bicylists start to obey the rules of the road then they will get respect from drivers. I constantly see cyclists breaking rules of the road (riding on sidewalks, riding the wrong way on a one way street, going through red lights / stop signs without stopping, etc.). You cyclists want respect? Try obeying the rules of the road.

  12. @ Hugger1:
    Your last post is rather redundant. I already mentioned that respect goes both ways. Here it is again:

    “What is needed is more education on the rules of the road/side walk, an increase in traffic enforcement and a mutual respect between and for those who ride and those who drive.”

    By the way, using gross generalizations to describe a significant portion of the population in a negative way, is not a very effective method of discussion/debate.

    The bike lanes are used, I use them, I see them used frequently by others. I know plenty of cyclists who respect the rules of the road(myself included). I also have witnessed plenty of reckless and aggressive motor-vehicle driving both while driving my car and riding my bike. But I won’t label all car drivers as reckless.

  13. I drove from Mcdonalds on 2nd to the bridge at Brookdale and hit every red light on my way. A man driving about 40km per hour prohibited anyone from passing due to the lane changes. I use 2nd multiple times everyday and rarely see any cyclists at any time of year. Why change something, simply for the sake of change? Fix it if it’s broken. Please give me sufficient evidence that cyclists in Cornwall have been unfairly treated or cite references where lives have been put in danger because of 2nd street having two lanes. Am I completely off base? Am I reckless for NOT wanting change? I too like to ride my bike in the summer. I’ve used both the bike path and 2nd street for running and cycling and NEVER once had any problem with traffic..not once. To change the entire flow of 2nd is a redundant solution to a fictional problem.

  14. Well Trevor I guess it’s a difference of opinion.

    Mutual respect must be earned, not given. As I said I have yet to see one cyclist in the bike lanes, so to me that is not “gross generalization”, not from where I’m sitting. As I said I have yet to see one cyclist using any bike lanes. And I constantly see cyclists disobeying the rules of the road (riding on sidewalks, riding the wrong way on a one way street, going through red lights / stop signs without stopping, etc.). To me it isn’t gross generalization, but what I observe. If a car driver did those things he’d surely be given a ticket or two. But cyclists are given a free ride.

    Devon…thanks for the backup. It illustrates my point exactly. Second St. was changed to include bike lanes when they weren’t needed. These bike lanes on Second Street were not thoroughly thought out by whomever is in charge of them.

  15. Author

    Nor were the public consulted enough if at all…

  16. I guess the city’s idea of consultation involves putting the bike lane plan up on its website. That’;s how I found about the plan for Second Street AFTER the changes were made. Bike lanes are nice. But don’t clog up one of the main streets because you think it MIGHT work. There are better streets to use and keep cyclists safe.

  17. Actually I hit 2 of the red lights twice because of congestion. Motorists will look for an alternative route, taking them where families live and children play. As an avid cyclist, I use the bike path or I ride 20 yards off 2nd to the backstreets where I won’t run into as much traffic. No problem, no big deal. Why the change? This is Canada, not Holland.

  18. @ Hugger,
    the “gross generalizations I refer to are when you label all cyclists as ignorant and reckless by driving on the sidewalk and going the wrong way and running red lights. I am well aware that this happens. It is the job of police to ticket these people. Education is also needed as many cyclists and Many drivers do not know the rules of the road as they pertain to bycycles. There are a considerable amount on non cyclists who actually believe that cyclists are legally not permitted on the road.

  19. Devon, who said anything about cyclists being mistreated?
    I am speaking from personal experience as a cyclist who has been tailgated, cut off, harassed etc, all while following the rules of the road and keeping as close to the right hand side as possible.

    Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke? No one said it was broke but I say it is now ENHANCED! 🙂

  20. Trevor…when did I say cyclists are ignorant and reckless? I said what I said because that is what I`ve seen. As I said I have yet to see one cyclist using any bike lanes or on the roadway, where they should be as a bicycle is a vehicle in Ontario.

  21. You said it right here:
    “I constantly see cyclists breaking rules of the road (riding on sidewalks, riding the wrong way on a one way street, going through red lights / stop signs without stopping, etc.)”

    By definition ,that would be done out of ignorance or recklessness or both.

  22. Hugger: you said this as well,

    “Bikes on the road? That would be nice. In four years in Cornwall I have yet to see a bicylist on the road, they’re always on the sidewalks”

    If that is not a “gross generalization” then I don’t know what is. I have already acknowledged that this happens but come on man…to say that all cyclists in Cornwall do this?! You’re definitely trippin on something. There are a large # of triathletes and cyclists(competitive) in this town and I can assure you that the vast majority do not ride on the sidewalk or on the left hand side of the road.

    Man up and acknowledge your error.

  23. But I have yet to see a cyclist on the road or using a bike path in my time in Cornwall. If I had I would say so. So, to me it is not a gross generalization. It is what I see, nothing more, nothing less.

  24. Hugger:
    An absence of evidence is not evidence of an absence.

    Because you do not see something does not make it non-existent. It’s possible yet highly improbable.

    So I would appreciate it if you did not label myself and the many other law abiding cyclists I know, as ignorant and reckless by saying we all ride on the left hand side, on the sidewalk, or run red lights. And even though you do not SEE us in the bike lanes, We will feel much safer in the bike lane then sharing a lane with you.

  25. Trevor….I agree with you when you said “Because you do not see something does not make it non-existent.” But if I haven’t seen any cyclists using the road or bike lanes don’t expect me to say I have seen this. If you mistook when I said I constantly see cyclists breaking rules of the road (riding on sidewalks, riding the wrong way on a one way street, going through red lights / stop signs without stopping, etc. as meaning you were ignorant and reckless that was not my intent. I was trying to get my point across.

  26. Has anyone ever seen a city councilor using a bike lane? What Toronto firm conducted the study and did we pay enough?

  27. Bike lanes on second street are the worst idea I have seen in this city.

  28. I`d like to see the bike lanes removed. The one year `study`is over. So, when will they be removed? ASny bicyclist I see using the bike lanes is always riding the wrong way. They should be charged, as they have to obey traffic laws, just as motorists do.

  29. Cornwall is way too small to have bike lanes. It is an eye sore in Ottawa especially what I saw on Laurier Avenue. It is rare that I go downtown except ot see the doctor and prefer to stay in my area of the city. Cornwall does not need those bike paths at all – what a waste.

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