News / Edmonton

Site crowdsources for Edmonton bike, walking routes

Paths for People releases map for the public to suggest their ideal locations.

Conrad Nobert is the chair of Path for People, an advocacy group that just launched a new site to crowdsource suggested locations for bike/walk paths in Edmonton.

Metro file

Conrad Nobert is the chair of Path for People, an advocacy group that just launched a new site to crowdsource suggested locations for bike/walk paths in Edmonton.

An Edmonton advocacy group is allowing you to suggest where the city needs walking and cycling paths.

Paths for People’s new online map launches Wednesday and asks you to comment on what's needed, whether it be a new path or an improvement to an existing one.

And the reason, said Conrad Nobert, chair of the group, is that Edmonton has changed.  
Some previous bike lanes weren’t embraced by Edmontonians — think the 95 Avenue bike lane, which the city spent almost half a million dollars removing last year — but Nobert said that was because the public wasn’t very involved.

“The consultation was done at a time (2009) when no one in Edmonton had even seen a bike lane before. Now we are a much more savvy constituency,” he said.

Nobert hopes the new crowdsourcing project kick-starts the conversation about locations into another gear.

The group is looking for suggestions of roads or paths that already make sense as biking or walking routes but would benefit from a little bit more development to make them safer.

“That can mean different things in different places,” Nobert said.

“So along a residential street it might be some minor traffic calming, but along a major road that might mean full separation for people on bikes, or redesigned intersections to give pedestrians a shorter crossing time.”

Paths for People is working with Dr. Doug Klein, co-founder of weekly outdoor fitness program MOVE, who sees the benefit in lifestyle for all Edmontonians, not just those who bike.

“When people feel safe getting to services or work, they will take out their bikes or try walking instead of defaulting to their cars,” he said, in a release.

The group’s eventual goal is a grid of routes in central Edmonton. Nobert points out that with 200,000 people living in the middle of the city, it’s the densest part of the city—and has the most to gain from a network of paths.

The results of the map will be unveiled at the A City for Life event on April 15-16.

More on Metronews.ca