News / Edmonton

Edmonton's downtown bike lane network study aims to rival Calgary

California traffic engineer in town with Stantec.

Tyler Golly and Rock Miller ride bikes in downtown Edmonton on Tuesday.

Kevin Tuong / Metro

Tyler Golly and Rock Miller ride bikes in downtown Edmonton on Tuesday.

A California traffic engineer visiting Edmonton to work on downtown bike lanes is confident our city streets can be transformed to be cyclist-friendly.

Rock Miller, who has led projects in a dozen North American cities with Stantec and most recently helped develop an extensive bike lane network in Calgary, rode through downtown Edmonton Sunday.

“The downtown area is notable for a very minimum of bike infrastructure,” Miller said, adding that many cities have had the same problem when he started.

“In the example of Calgary, we started with a relatively minimal amount of bike infrastructure and ended up adding as much in one year as any city in North America has done.”

City council voted earlier this month to study temporary protected bike lanes on 102 Avenue, and Stantec pushed the project forward by matching the city’s $10,000 investment to study what a basic minimum grid downtown could look like.

Tyler Golly with Stantec said the investment is important for the company as it moves its offices downtown, along with more than 1,500 employees.

“There are a number of folks that are currently cycling, and the move to downtown without bike infrastructure has a number of them scared,” he said.

The city’s urban transportation supervisor, Daniel Vriend, said the project will be similar in size and scope to Calgary’s.

“We have great opportunities here in the city of Edmonton to leverage on what the city of Calgary has learned, as well as what Stantec learned from that process," Vriend said.

In Calgary, the design and planning process took a year, followed by an 18-month pilot project that wraps at the end of September – when their city council will decide whether to make all or parts of the bike lane network permanent.

A report will go to Edmonton city council in September.

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