If you follow me on Twitter, wading through a lot of nonsense, you’ve probably figured out that I like to discuss the Oilers and sports in general, beer, and transportation. Usually in that order, and rarely do they overlap.
Theoretically sports and beer go together quite well, but have you had a beer at a sporting event in Edmonton lately? It’s hardly worth getting excited about; hopefully that changes when the Oilers new downtown arena, Rogers Place, opens. And I guess that sports and transportation overlap if you’re into events like the Tour of Alberta and Tour de France, but I’m not interested in those at all. And, as a rule, transportation and beer are best kept apart. In fact there are laws to that effect.
But sometimes beer and transportation can overlap in a way that’s both safe and fantastic. Continue reading
As I sat down at my desk and logged onto my computer this morning I was greeted with a story in The Metro about the bike lanes on 102 Avenue which were supposedly going to be part of the 102 Avenue streetscape following construction of the Valley Line LRT. I say supposedly because what have long assumed to be a given now may no longer happen.
As of now nothing regarding the bike lanes has been finalized, but The Metro’s story includes the following quote from a spokesperson for the LRT project which sheds some light on what might be driving the removal of the bike lanes:
The 102 Avenue corridor is extremely narrow and we’re collaborating amongst departments to determine the best use of that area for the greatest benefit of Edmontonians. Accessibility for all transportation modes is a key consideration.
When it comes to intersection design, I’m a big fan of roundabouts. If you follow me on Twitter you’ve probably come across more than a few tweets touting the benefits of roundabouts. From time to time I do radio interviews which are supposedly going to be about the Oilers, and even then I manage to squeeze in some talk about roundabouts. For an intersection requiring more traffic control than a two-way stop a roundabout is my intersection design of choice. Continue reading
Both my office and my favourite pub are located on Jasper Avenue. And because I really like beer I find myself walking the nine blocks between the two probably at least once a week. Because of the rehabilitation work that was being completed on Jasper Avenue and below street level on Central Station there was an element of surprise to the walk for more than a year. Which side would be open? Would I have to cross Jasper multiple times? Where would the crosswalks be? But now that construction is complete (mostly) at street level those questions are a thing of the past and now I can enjoy the last three blocks of the walk in a friendlier pedestrian environment with much wider sidewalks.
For those that might not know, the Jasper Avenue rehabilitation work included reducing the portion of the right-of-way that was being used by cars and using the newfound space to widen the sidewalks. A cross-section that previously included on-street parking and two driving lanes in each direction has been shrunk down and is now just two lanes wide with the curb lane designated for parking during off peak hours. In terms of providing a space for pedestrians projects like this are fantastic in that they provide an attractive, pedestrian friendly corridor. In this case with that added benefit of having very little impact on those who drive Jasper Avenue since there is the same capacity available during rush hour – provided nobody parks on the street when they shouldn’t. Toss in a pedestrian scramble intersection at 100A Street and this is the kind of project that I can’t help but like.
And I do like it, but I’d like to suggest something if I could: Change the signal timings just a little bit, please. Continue reading
Bike lanes continue to be a divisive topic in Edmonton. Both sides are dug in, with some people thinking they’re great and others thinking they’re terrible. There might still be a couple of people on the fence but they are few and far between at this point. It’s essentially become the city planning equivalent of the fighting in hockey debate. Everyone has picked a side and nobody is moving an inch.