Kamloops won't be getting a new bike lane through its downtown core anytime soon after elected officials decided to drop the proposal.

The $2.75 million project would have connected the new 6 Avenue lane with Riverside Park, but councillors were largely concerned about whether it would make the street more dangerous for vehicles.

While bike commuting advocates aren't sure Lansdowne Street is the best route through downtown, the Kamloops Cycling Coalition was disappointed by the decision.

"It's hard to find a perfect solution for active transportation," co-founder Deb Alore said. "But it does leave me concerned about where we go from here."

The new lane would have been built as part of a sewer project that's already planned. Instead of replacing the parking spaces and sidewalk, it would have been a separated bike path on the north side of the street once rebuilt.

Before going ahead with the vote, the city surveyed the public and nearly 60% of people supported the plan. City engineer Purvez Irani also said he had no safety concerns for vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians if the plan went ahead.

Councillors weren't so sure. Councillor Dale Bass was concerned about an increase in vehicle collisions on the street, while councillor Bill Sarai said he rides bikes recreationally and couldn't see why anyone would go toward "opportunities of conflict."

"There seems to be, in some people's minds, a lack of ability to accept that moving around the city by walking or bike is a means of transportation and a right," Alore said.

Other councillors said the Lansdowne route is used often by commercial trucks passing through downtown toward the pulp mill, concerned about increasing pedestrian and bike traffic along the route.

Staff pitched the new route as a "missing link" to connect Sahali and Peterson Creek with the North Shore and Westsyde. Councillors, meanwhile, said other routes like Seymour Street and St. Paul Street should be explored.

Councillors Stephen Karpuk, Nancy Bepple and Kelly Hall voted in favour of the bike lane. They lost to the no votes from councillors Katie Neustaeter, Margot Middleton, Bass, Mike O'Reilley and Sarai, and Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson.

The city is currently running a survey on active transportation and bike routes, including a map where people can pinpoint areas that need improvement.

The survey can be found on the city website here.

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