17 March 2009

Copenhagenizing Edmonton


Guest photo from Edmonton from Copenhagen Cycle Chic
Our intrepid correspondent Manfred, in Edmonton, Canada reports:

I just read in the papers that Edmonton City Council has recently approved the bicycle transportation plan. As a councillor says: "we need a comprehensive cycling network".

With more people pedaling to and from work, more cars and trucks are taken off our clogged roads. This is not just about recreation. We need to make bike commuting more
accessible, with safer places to ride, better signage and bike trails that don't peter out after a few blocks.

A commuter says: "One of the plans they are talking about is putting lane markers down to show motorists and cyclists where cyclists can be on the road. I have had times when motorists were yelling out their window at me. Having more signage out there would really be helpful".

The councillor continues: "When it is safe, bicycle riding reduces obesity and builds fitness. We can have a city of champions or a city of couch potatoes. This project calls for $100 million CAD spread out over 10 years. The city approved, in principle, the plan and will spend $10 million CAD a year over a ten-year period".

Good news. So there is a follow up to last year's good resolution to observe Montreal's example in cycling matters. Every day I see brave people commuting even in our winter conditions - snow and extreme low temperatures don't prevent some from keeping on commuting on their bikes, as you also showed in a previous post in your blog about Canada cycling!

Remarkable. We must encourage them and ourselves to make Edmonton better and better. Following, as an ideal, such examples as Copenhagen and other European cities.

Thanks for the update, Manfred! Let's hope they do it and do it right.

10 comments:

Adrienne Johnson said...

The lovely lady in the picture is Sarah Chan and her blog is "Girls On Bikes"

http://girlsandbicycles.blogspot.com/

Check it out!

kimberlyhogg said...

Hooray! A friend of mine was working for the city as an engineer planning and implementing bicycle/multi-use trails around the city. While I don't live there now, my family still does, and it was nice to bike around Edmonton while home this past summer.

This is great news for Edmonton and I hope other Canadian cities (*cough HALIFAX cough*) take note and follow suit.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed seeing your photo illustrating this article in last week's Copenhagen Post and it's slightly on-topic:-)

http://www.cphpost.dk/news/local/87-local/45066-citys-wheely-good-ideas-making-inroads-abroad.html

jytte's dreng

Samuel said...

Now if only we could convince the city to get ride of the 40cm thick layer of ice that will cover the lines indicating bike lanes... you know, so drivers could see the lines for the six months of frozen cycling we have a year.
Oh and if they could do that, maybe they could even plow the snow from the current street side bike lanes.... just a thought.
Seriously, the few bike lanes we have turn useless and dangerous during the winter, clearing them needs to be addressed, but I haven't seen that in any city of Edmonton proposal.
Still, it's good to see money being committed to this, in the land of oil, trucks and SUVs.

Carolyn said...

I'm from Prince George, British Columbia. I live about 8 hrs drive by car from Girls on Bikes blogger.

I live in a small urban centre of 80,000. I've been bike commuting for over 18 yrs! I just bought a new bike to replace the other one which I used since 1991, and I've had it 4 weeks this Sat and already have racked over 100 kms on it! (62 miles)

Our city finally has an Urban Cycling Committee, and they are holding a bike forum on March 24th. I will be attending. Our province has a green fund for bike projects and similar.

More info about the committee can be found here---> http://www.pgcyclingclub.ca/pages/disciplines/urban_cycling/ucc.html

I am happy to see the bike movement grow, and come to smaller centres like where I live. Hope it keeps on growing!

Carolyn said...

Oh, I forgot to say that Prince George is using some of the province's green fund to build new bike paths and improve on current items, like bike paths on side of roads. So, it's really beginning to change out there.. But we too have our share of problems, gigantic potholes, snow covered bike paths, cars parked in bike lanes, arrogant drivers..and the list goes on.....

Ryan (green.ryder) said...

I always thought Edmonton & Calgary had some of the best bike lanes/paths in Canada.
The only con was they are the most car-dependant cities in the country.
Hopefully the city can encourage more people to ride there...After all it is oil country.


Carolyn, didn't P.G put their bike plans on hold after the flood from last year (or the year before) which costed the city a ton of money?

Carolyn said...

Ryan, from what I understand, the funding for the bike trails is totally separate from other funding. The province is handing money out for green initiatives..and also for activities that promote health and fitness. (I wonder if it also has to do with upcoming election?)

The upcoming trail work has been confirmed, and there's been a contract agreement to work on it, so has to be done. Of course, the City is trying to change things a little, but there is someone watching over them from the outside, to make sure what was agreed upon, gets done.

I'm not sure if the funding will also be used to improve bike lanes, etc....but the forum should start bringing attention to the city, of urban bikers needs. I hope with the recent development in Edmonton, that our City can learn from them, the need for better bike infrastructure. I am hoping!!

Cause I tell you, those gigantic potholes suck right now, and are VERY dangerous. Our road conditions are very bad in many areas.

Anonymous said...

just to toot calgary's urban cycling horn a little - check www.bikecalgary.org - calgary's only transportation cycling group. we work with the city and local advocacy groups to push the "cycling infrastructure" need forward.

have a look at the site - but you will need to register with the site to see most of the content.

happy trails
sean carter
bike calgary

Mikael said...

cool to hear from PG! My niece Amanda lives there!