Map: Proposed bicycle routes for Edmonton's core still need further discussion
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Bike lanes in the core are one step closer to becoming a reality after the city’s proposed 2014-2018 Bike Lane Infrastructure plan was made public on Thursday.
Both cycle advocates and city officials agree the proposed document going to the Transportation Committee on June 5 is a major step in creating core bike infrastructure in high-use areas.
“I think [the report] is a good reflection of what we’ve heard from people, from council and what we heard during the [municipal] election as well,” said Tyler Golly, general supervisor of sustainable transportation with the city.
Administration suggests the bulk of the focus and dollars moving forward should be used to further develop core bike routes, with the Strathcona/Garneau/University route (83 Avenue) and the Downtown/Oliver/Glenora route (102 Avenue) listed as top priorities.
Chris Buyze, president of the Downtown Edmonton Community League (DECL) said there's a huge need for separated bike lanes for commuters.
“102 Avenue and 83 Avenue can show the rest of Edmonton how a separated bike lane can function really well. We don’t have anything like that right now that's for commuting. We have a lot of recreation and multi-use trails but we don’t really have commuter bike lanes,” he said.
Edmonton Bicycle Commuters’ Society (EBCS) executive director Christopher Chan echoed the statement, saying the proposed plan is essential to getting more cyclists on the road.
“What we have is routes that are planned for areas that have really high demand already […] so providing that infrastructure so cyclists can access those destinations will make it for not only the existing cyclists that benefit but you really open it up to people who would like to bike but are currently driving their cars,” said Chan.
The type of bike infrastructure is currently not known for the major routes, but will be decided through the city’s consultation process. Other factors like volume of traffic and maintenance of the bike paths will also play a role in deciding infrastructure type.
Core bike routes up for discussion
- Consultation for proposed 83 Avenue and 105 Avenue routes will happen in June
- The report considers Edmonton's central areas to be downtown, Oliver, Strathcona, Garneau and University
- The Armature (96 Street) route is under construction now