Bike lanes pit cyclists against residents

Cyclists in Edmonton say their safety should come before demands for on-street parking.

Safety trumps parking, say cyclists

Cyclists in Edmonton say their safety should come before demands for on-street parking.

"There are many Edmontonians who cycle and they deserve to ride in a safe environment on a safe space in the road I think that's a compromise that Edmontonians are going to need to make to keep cyclists safe," said cyclist-activist Conrad Nobert. 

The city is unveiling plans Tuesday for 23 kilometers of new bike routes to be built this year as part its plan to create a bicycle network of nearly 500 kilometres.

But residents in south Edmonton along 76th Avenue between 78th and 100th Streets are unhappy a new bike route would eliminate street parking.

"There's members in the community league, they park in front of their house and with bike lanes being put in they're suggesting we're moving parking on one side so they end up losing their parking," said Leonard Wampler, president of the Ritchie Community League.

Nobert points out the plan allows for new parking on side streets, off 76th Avenue.

The city is hosting a public meeting Tuesday on the new bike lanes at Hazeldean School at 6715 - 97 Street, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

A second meeting will be held next Wednesday in the west-end at Crestwood School at 9735 - 144 Street.