News / Edmonton

Edmonton Bike lanes approved in 2014 could wait till 2020 to fully open

Construction issues and other projects means lanes will take time.

Bringing permanent bike lanes to 102 Avenue could take until 2020, because the city is waiting to install them with the future LRT line.

Kevin Tuong / For Metro

Bringing permanent bike lanes to 102 Avenue could take until 2020, because the city is waiting to install them with the future LRT line.

Edmonton’s long-discussed bike lanes could still be years away, as constructions issues slow down their build-out considerably.

The city is holding public meetings next week on both the 102 Avenue and 83 Avenue lanes, approved back in late 2014, and notices for the meetings detailed that while some construction will begin on both projects this year, it will be 2017 or even 2018 before the 83 Avenue lanes are fully installed — and as late as 2020 for the lanes downtown.

For comparison, Calgary opened a pilot temporary cycle track in its downtown in July 2015.

Edmonton city spokeswoman Catherine Kloczkowski said the lanes will take longer to complete because they are more ambitious than past bike lanes.

“These are our first cycle tracks in the city and they are going to take some time to build out completely,” she said.

Building a cycle track is essentially road rehabilitation, Kloczkowski said,  and the city has to consider all the changes it would do in a major road rehabilitation project.

“These will take a little longer than the painted lanes we have done before, but they are going to be awesome,” she said.

The 102 Avenue lanes, east from 111 Street through downtown, could take longer as the city hopes to install them along with the construction of the LRT, which does not currently have a timeline.

Conrad Nobert, with the group Paths for People, which has advocated for the lanes, said the group is disappointed in the timelines.

“We’re concerned. We think there is a strong latent demand for these bike routes, especially downtown,” he said.

Nobert said they would like to see a temporary bike lane put in place for the meantime, just as Calgary has done.  

“We think on that portion, specifically, the city should be looking at a temporary facility.”

Chris Chan, executive director of the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society, said the group would also like temporary lanes, but understands the permanent ones are slow to arrive.

“We can accept that doing it right is going to take extra time.”

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