News / Edmonton

Edmonton Primer: Candidates split on bike infrastructure

Metro looks at some of the main issues discussed during the 2017 municipal elections

Either you love 'em or you hate 'em: the downtown bike lanes have divided the public this election season, to put it mildly.

The downtown Edmonton bike grid opened to much fanfare in June of this year, and now include almost 8km or protected bike lanes and shared use paths.

Advocates say it's a relatively low cost way to make the city more cyclist-friendly and free people from their cars.

City numbers show that they've been busy — in their first month of use, the number of daily users doubled to just under 5,000.

But some business owners have raised concerns about parking, while others have said it's been good advertising.

Simone Kousol-Graham, who works at Latitude 53, told Metro over the summer that they've seen more cyclists checking out the gallery —“It's been pretty good," she said.

Council candidates have been similarly split. Some praised what the grid has meant for downtown vibrancy, while others took aim at the project's $7.5 million price tag, or argued that the number of people on two wheels would drop in wintertime.

But regardless, bike infrastructure will pop up on city council agendas for some time to come, especially as construction continues on two protected bike lanes.

Sections on both the 82 Avenue and the 102 Avenue lane are now open.

You asked, we answered: We get you up to speed on the election issues you told us you wanted to know more about.

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