Downtown Edmonton bike network ready to roll out
The bike lane along 100th Avenue between 103rd Street and 109th Street will be first to open on Friday
The first phase of a network of protected bike lanes in downtown Edmonton will be open to cyclists Friday afternoon.
"We expect to have some bike lanes open by approximately 2 p.m.," said Olga Messinis, project manager of the downtown bike network.
The section along 100th Avenue between 103rd Street and 109th Street will be the first to open, with others to be rolled out over the next two weeks, said Messinis.
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The final leg of the downtown network along 105th Avenue from 101st Street to 116th Street will not open until the end of the summer, she added.
"To make a safe turn, the bike turn boxes are a position for a cyclist to stage to make that turn," she said.
These turn boxes are big green squares painted on the roadway at intersections.
They will be out during morning and afternoon rush hour, over the noon hour, and on weekends when the farmers' market is open, or there's a festival, she said.
"There's education for all modes of travel whether it's pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles and that's what our goal is with the education campaign," said Messini.
Edmonton police bike patrol officers will also be out to talk to drivers as part of the education campaign.
Enforcement of the rules of the road will take the form of education rather than tickets, said Messini.
Potential trouble spot
Right now, vehicles stop for cyclists who want to cross there, said McKeen.
Should there be a substantial increase in the number of cyclists, traffic could end up getting backed up along 100th Avenue, he said.
"We have to make a way to ensure the cyclists allow that burst of traffic to go when they get a green light," said McKeen.
"There's some onus on the city to ensure that people are safe and that traffic continues to move at a decent pace," he said.
"If we frustrate car commuters to a breaking point, cyclists will lose," said McKeen. "We need to do this with respect for everyone's needs and ask everyone to give a little."