Edmonton

City selects routes for 2 new bike lanes

The city has chosen the spots for two new bike routes planned for Edmonton’s busiest cycling areas, even going as far as to narrow the road temporarily to give commuters and idea of what the plan will look like.

Pop-up lanes set up on Friday to give cyclists an idea what new routes will look like

The city set up a pop-up bike lane along 83rd Avenue Friday to give cyclists an idea what the new bike routes might look like. (CBC)

The city has chosen the spots for two new bike routes planned for Edmonton’s busiest cycling areas, even going as far as to narrow the road temporarily to give commuters and idea of what the plan will look like.

One of the routes runs through Old Strathcona, from Mill Creek Ravine to 109th Street. The other, which crossed downtown, would stretch from 107th Street to 136th Street.

“These are already ... pretty popular routed with cyclists,” said Tyler Golly, General Supervisor of Sustainable Transportation.

“They have about 400 to 600 cyclists a day, and we think, with some high-qualify infrastructure that Edmontonians are looking for we can really boost that.”

Tyler Golly, the general supervisor of Sustainable Transportation, said both selected routes were already well-used by cyclists in the city. (CBC)
The city chose the routes based on 16 criteria, which included safety, minimizing impact on traffic and how well the new routes would connect to existing bike lanes.  

“Obviously, if you can’t connect to something, there’s no use in having it,” he said.

Pop-up lanes give peek at options

To help people visualize the new routes, the city set up pop-up bike lanes along the Old Strathcona route – setting up pylons Friday and Saturday to show the different kinds of bike infrastructure the city might install.

The options on display include a two-way separated bike lane, which puts a median between cyclists and vehicles, and a bike boulevard that slows down nearby car traffic.

Chris Chan, executive director of the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters society says the  pop-up lanes are important, because it can be difficult explaining to people what new bike infrastructure will actually look at.

He says Edmonton has fallen behind many other cities in providing safe routes for cyclists, and that ideas like separated bike lanes can have a large impact on the number of people getting around on two wheels.

“It’s hugely important to getting people out cycling,” he said.  

“People with families, people who are generally less confident on the busy arterial roads … but rather, just your regular person who wants to feel confident getting around.”

The city plans to hold consultations with people living near the bike lanes in October before the matter goes to city council.

If the plan goes through, the lanes could be installed by 2016.

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