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.