News   Apr 03, 2020
 7.5K     3 
News   Apr 02, 2020
 8.2K     0 
News   Apr 02, 2020
 2.7K     0 

Cycling and Active Transportation in Edmonton

Very disappointed with the "bike expansion" this year. Most of them will just be wider sidewalks basically in the outer suburbs. I don't think these will convert many new people if any to try cycling than people that already ride these routes. Now instead of riding on the sidewalk, you get to ride on a MUP aka a wider and smoother sidewalk.
 
Very disappointed with the "bike expansion" this year. Most of them will just be wider sidewalks basically in the outer suburbs. I don't think these will convert many new people if any to try cycling than people that already ride these routes. Now instead of riding on the sidewalk, you get to ride on a MUP aka a wider and smoother sidewalk.
Part of me sees these as still a win and hopefully just grabbing some long hanging fruit.

Part of me feels dumbfounded that in 2 years we’ll have 17 more kms of MUPs that barely take any complex work to make happen.

If the 2025 work isn’t a huge leap forward, I think we can officially say there’s been a miss on execution.

Too early to fully judge, but this hasn’t felt encouraging. No engagement yet, so that can’t be blamed for timelines. And both the Bike Plan AND the Bike Implementation Plan were created years back which outlined all the routes…

I was sort of expecting them do to like 15-20 quick builds with simple concrete barriers in summer 1, gather feedback, then do permanent builds the next summer and rinse and repeat.

Not to mention there’s been no social media, communications, or significant stakeholder involvement. No events, nothing to rally excitement or support.
 
I filled out this survey and suggested they create separate social media accounts for the Active Transportation Network

Active Transportation Network Survey — The city is looking to learn about how people view active transportation and the Active Transportation Network Expansion project, and their preferences for communication and education about active transportation. An online survey is open until Feb. 20.

 
Part of me sees these as still a win and hopefully just grabbing some long hanging fruit.

Part of me feels dumbfounded that in 2 years we’ll have 17 more kms of MUPs that barely take any complex work to make happen.

If the 2025 work isn’t a huge leap forward, I think we can officially say there’s been a miss on execution.

Too early to fully judge, but this hasn’t felt encouraging. No engagement yet, so that can’t be blamed for timelines. And both the Bike Plan AND the Bike Implementation Plan were created years back which outlined all the routes…

I was sort of expecting them do to like 15-20 quick builds with simple concrete barriers in summer 1, gather feedback, then do permanent builds the next summer and rinse and repeat.

Not to mention there’s been no social media, communications, or significant stakeholder involvement. No events, nothing to rally excitement or support.
I think it's easy to be disappointed, especially after council chose the "accelerated approach". Despite a lot of the groveling by some citizens, the funding announcement was some (frankly, rare) positive press for Edmonton that was recognized across the country so I'm surprised they didn't try to make a big push on building out some more higher profile projects so councillors would have something to gloat to the press about.

But yes, if the cost of these things being done right is to be patient, I'll live.
 
One of the big complaints from people in opposition to active transportation funding is that car lanes and parking are going to be sacrificed to the detriment of commute times or business/personal parking convenience.

Compared to many cities I've visited, even those with less infrastructure than us, Edmonton has a minimal and I do mean minimal amount of roads that are impacted by active transportation lanes except for some of our key routes downtown. But most of our busier cycle paths - 102 Ave, 83 Ave - are low traffic roads that don't impact drivers/commutes and aren't even visible to most drivers. Most of our paths are MUP. And yet we hear a decent amount of complaints that the world is ending and it's a war on cars and it's causing traffic congestion everywhere haha.

And now the new 2024 infrastructure announced is all MUPs and expanding existing sidewalks. I imagine the 'no more bike lanes' crowd is going to be pretty quiet. But for those advocating for a well connected and safe grid system that is going to help the city achieve its goal of 50% of all trips via public and active transportation, there may be a bit more concern and bewilderment as to the recent announcement.

At some point (2025?) some parking and or vehicle lanes will have to be impacted (I'm sure as minimal as possible though and on as many side streets as possible) for the city to get a properly connected system in place that enough people feel safe using that also gets them places efficiently to move us towards that 50% goal - which to me has so many benefits in terms of the environment, health, vibrancy, safety, financial sustainability and so on.
 
Part of me sees these as still a win and hopefully just grabbing some long hanging fruit.
Yeah, at least one of them (23 Ave between 111 St and 119 St) fills in a huge missing link that has been needed for a while, so I can't really complain too much yet.

Hopefully we see more dedicated infrastructure like separated lanes and bike activated traffic signals in the years to come.
 
One of the big complaints from people in opposition to active transportation funding is that car lanes and parking are going to be sacrificed to the detriment of commute times or business/personal parking convenience.

Compared to many cities I've visited, even those with less infrastructure than us, Edmonton has a minimal and I do mean minimal amount of roads that are impacted by active transportation lanes except for some of our key routes downtown. But most of our busier cycle paths - 102 Ave, 83 Ave - are low traffic roads that don't impact drivers/commutes and aren't even visible to most drivers. Most of our paths are MUP. And yet we hear a decent amount of complaints that the world is ending and it's a war on cars and it's causing traffic congestion everywhere haha.
Yeah Edmonton's bike infrastructure is on quiet side streets rather than the more typical approach of putting them on big main roads. My guess is that this was mainly done as a concession to avoid the whiners doing what they do best: whine, about the "War on Cars" (as if cars haven't been waging war against everyone else since the end of the 2nd world war). Yet as you say, it hasn't really quieted them down much at all. To be honest, I kind of enjoy having the bike lanes, sharrows, etc on side streets rather than say on busy Whyte or Jasper Ave. It feels safer, calmer and quieter. But there is something to be said for the advantages of having all that street facing retail directly along the cycling path and I'd rather the city not give in to the demands of the cagers.

There are so many people who start seething the second they see a bike lane, acting as if the barely meter wide space taken away from cars is going to suddenly double their commute time. Some people really need to gain some perspective on the world and the difference between what's barely even a minor inconvenience and an actual assault on personal freedoms (like for example building your city to essentially mandate car ownership and use). I guess when people are used to having the entire world revolve around them for decades they'll see any slight movement towards giving a little bit of freedom to someone else as an attack on their freedom.
 
A bulk of the bike ways (calmed shared streets really) Vancouver built up between 1990-2010 have largely been off main arterials. Honestly it's a lot nicer not having to breathe in car fumes. Vancouver's approach was actually pretty decent, stop signs for traffic crossing the bike street and right in right out only access at major intersections but bikes can easily get through to discourage car traffic from using the same streets. Made for super quick bike commutes.
 
A bulk of the bike ways (calmed shared streets really) Vancouver built up between 1990-2010 have largely been off main arterials. Honestly it's a lot nicer not having to breathe in car fumes. Vancouver's approach was actually pretty decent, stop signs for traffic crossing the bike street and right in right out only access at major intersections but bikes can easily get through to discourage car traffic from using the same streets. Made for super quick bike commutes.
Agreed, the separated bike lanes through neighborhoods that we've been seeing are usually pretty enjoyable rides without having to worry about higher traffic volumes (and all the fun that comes with that).

I'd love to see more bike lanes like 83 Ave/102Ave/100 Ave/126 Street.
 
Agreed, the separated bike lanes through neighborhoods that we've been seeing are usually pretty enjoyable rides without having to worry about higher traffic volumes (and all the fun that comes with that).

I'd love to see more bike lanes like 83 Ave/102Ave/100 Ave/126 Street.

Agreed as well. That still means removal of vehicle parking in some areas or a vehicle lane to expand the network in this way. But again, that is such a minimal utilization of our overall roadspace that it amazes me how up and arms people get - especially since roadways are best used to move people, not for people to store their vehicles that sit idle 95% of the time.
 
I love Lime scooters, I live a 15 minute walk from my office and the scooter cuts over 10 minutes from my commute it’s fantastic. Buying my own would be better but I do like the convenience of just being able to pick one up and drop it off anywhere so I’m not worried about it getting stolen.
 

Back
Top