Are you familiar with the bike videos that the City of Edmonton made last year? The ones with Lego characters explaining to both drivers and cyclists how to handle the cycling infrastructure that has been recently developed by the city. 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.
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.
For me, the best part of walking to work every day is that it gives me time to myself to just think. I use the time to listen to some music – this morning I went with a fantastic Grateful Dead show from October 1976 – and for twenty minutes I’m in my own world. Sometimes I think about work. Far too often I think about the Oilers. Sometimes I think about the drivers in this city and I wonder why they all seem to be so terrible. And other times I think about the street I’m walking beside and how I might improve it.
First off, I’m not a cyclist. Not that I wouldn’t want to ride a bike from time to time, but living in Rossdale there is really no way for me to get anywhere without biking up a rather large hill, and that’s not something that appeals to me. But there are a lot of Edmontonians who do bike, and based on what I’ve been seeing around downtown, I think the number of cyclists on our streets is growing.