Three recommendations overturned at latest council meeting

It was a dramatic night at city hall as councilors took on several issues surrounding safety, and in the process three controversial recommendations were overturned.

Here is how the night unfolded:

Naloxone kits

It was two weeks ago that a committee recommended against putting overdose prevention naloxone kits in municipal buildings, but Tuesday night several councillors pushed back against that recommendation.

Some felt that emergency services can respond quickly enough to reverse an overdose, while others argued the kits are safe and should be widely available during the opioid crisis.

Ultimately the $20,000 pilot project was approved, meaning the kits will be available for use in 29 municipal building beginning in June.

London already has the most kits in the hands of public of any city in Ontario.

OEV Bike Lanes

Compromise was the name of the game when it came to deciding where protected bike lanes should be installed in Old East Village.

The Civic Works Committee wanted to postpone debate for more public input but council instead settled on a hybrid option that will cover eastbound cyclists on Dundas Street and westbound cyclists on Queens Avenue.

Some business owners lament the plan, saying it will eliminate important parking on Dundas, while some cyclists oppose the plan because of indirect routing.

Councillor Jesse Helmer argued that compromise was needed due to the narrow lanes of Dundas Street.

King Street Bike Lane

In a related matter, King Street in downtown London will be getting a protected bike lane despite a push from merchants to hit pause.

Last year bus stops were moved off of Dundas Street and on to King Street which resulted in a dangerous situation where buses frequently cross the painted bike lane.

The previous council approved a temporary protected bike lane. Merchants wanted to delay the project citing once again a need to preserve parking, but council refused to delay citing public safety.

Construction will begin this spring.