On Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at 1:30pm, the City of Edmonton Transportation Committee will be debating on-street bike routes in Edmonton. If you have an opinion that you'd like to share, please register to speak at the meeting. Regular citizens are encouraged to participate.
Can't make it in person? You can live stream the meeting online (at 1:30pm): http://councilontheweb.edmonton.ca/
Speaking to council is as simple as registering and then speaking for up to 5 minutes (but you are welcome to speak for less time if you prefer). You can use a Powerpoint presentation if you like (most people don't).
- Review the agenda (and report). The bike lane item begins at 1:30pm.
- Register online to speak on agenda item 7.2: Bike Lanes - Consultation Process and Impacts. This is an online form that only takes 60 seconds to fill out. You can also register by telephone at 780-496-8178 from 8am-4:30pm. Not sure if you can make it? Register anyway! You can cancel by telephone or e-mail (you'll receive a confirmation e-mail). You may register in-person at City Hall only until 9:30am on Wednesday.
- On Wednesday at 1:30pm, Administration will make a presentation.
- The Committee will hear from Speakers in panels.
- Each speaker will have up to five minutes to make his or her presentation. The “green” light will come on at the start of the five minutes, followed by the “yellow” light when one minute is left. At this point the presenter is requested to sum up the presentation. The “red” light will come on at the end of five minutes.
- After all speakers within a panel have spoken, Members of Council may ask questions of the panel of speakers.
- Once all presenters have spoken, Members of the Council may then ask questions of Administration.
- The Committee will then debate the item.
You may wish to focus on just a single topic, or tell your story about how you'll use the bike infrastructure.
Items you may choose to speak to include:
- Your personal experiences cycling in Edmonton and your vision of the proposed bike routes.
- Speed kills pedestrians. Road design changes accompanying bike routes in residential areas can reduce speeds.
- Bike lanes make roads safer. Without a designated space on the road, cyclists face a heightened risk of injury from moving cars and car doors opening. In contrast, infrastructure designed for cyclists &em; including bike lanes on major streets without parked cars, residential street bike routes, and off-street bike paths &em; carries about half the risk, while cycle tracks (physically separated bike lanes) carries the lowest injury risk for cyclists, at about one-tenth the risk. (UBC)
- Lack of physical activity is associated with increased obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer risk, and mental health issues. Bike lanes encourage more people to use active transportation. If you bike to work each weekday, just 15 minutes each way, your life expectancy goes up by 3.4 years. If just 24 people biked 20 minutes per day thanks to new lanes, it would add up to over 80 years of increased life expectancy: the average life expectancy in Alberta. (National Cancer Institute)
- Building bike infrastructure is about giving people choice, not about taking away choice. Additionally, cycling is accessible regardless of a person's economic situation. (EBC's adult bikes start at $40.)
- More people cycling results in less congestion, more parking availability, and cleaner air.
- Edmonton has markedly under-invested in cycling infrastructure. With 44 million square metres of roadway network, on-street bike routes are found on less than 1% of Edmonton roads, even though 35% of Edmontonians cycle weekly in the summer and fall.
- Cycling infrastructure is a good investment in the health and well-being of citizens. At four tenths of one per cent of the road budget, it's also a good economic investment with a high return on investment. Since beginning construction in 2010, 46km of on-street bike routes have only cost about $3 million. In contrast, Scona Road rehabilitation, necessitated by increased auto traffic, cost about $15.8 million per km (16 kilometres of construction would have cost about $726.8 million). 36 metres of the 23 Avenue interchange could have been built with $3 million dollars. A Canadian football field is 59 metres wide and 137 metres long.
- Edmontonians cycle year-round, and more will do so with the right infrastructure. When the last household travel survey was completed in 2005, the average temperature was 1°C. Edmontonians made 25,000 trips per day by bicycle during that period, both for transportation and recreation. Soccer pitches, outdoor rinks and pools, and many other purely recreational facilities, on the other hand, are strictly seasonal, yet we do not argue against their value because of this. And Edmonton isn't even that cold.
- Council has a mandate to support cycling infrastructure:
- The Way Ahead (approved 2011): called for 120km of on-street cycling facilities in 3 years, with a goal to shift transportation modes
- The Way We Move, Transportation Master Plan (approved 2009): It has been shown in other cities that it is not possible to build enough roads to manage demand. As such, the City of Edmonton will need to place greater emphasis on strategies to optimize the use of the existing road system and shift residents to other modes.
- Strategic Action 6.2(a): Adopting and implementing a bicycle transportation plan to develop and maintain a city-wide bicycle transportation network.
- Strategic Action 7.1(c): Using transportation supply management strategies to promote increased use of travel modes other than the single occupant vehicle, including reallocation of existing road space.
- Active Transportation Policy, Policy C544 (approved 2009): The City supports all forms of Active Transportation by providing infrastructure...including marked bicycle and shared-use lanes....
- Bicycle Transportation Plan (approved 2009): defines a 500km bicycle network
- The Way We Grow, Municipal Development Plan (approved 2009):
- Policy 126.96.36.199: Support the design of street systems to be easily navigated by pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles and to provide clear and direct connections between major activity areas in the community.
- Policy 188.8.131.52: Support opportunities to reallocate existing road space for use by pedestrians, cyclists and transit service.
- The Way We Live, Edmonton’s People Plan (approved 2009): Includes goals of connectivity, health, and sustainability
- Optimization of the Transportation System Network Policy, Policy C569 (approved 2012): The City will develop and apply a framework for congestion management that considers all modes of transportation, including pedestrians, cyclists, transit, autos and goods movement. To address instances of congestion it is recognized that trade-offs will be necessary and sometimes roadway improvements will be made for one mode at the expense of another mode.
You can find more detailed information in this document.