I am committed to a full review of the bike lane strategy in South Edmonton and will host a public meeting on this topic within 30 days of being elected. I am very concerned about the confusion and subsequent safety issues arising for motorists and cyclists.
The Big Picture
I believe it’s the job of City Council to make decisions based on the ‘big picture’. At the same time, Councillors are the closest level to the people, and need to listen and respond to their concerns, especially when passionate, intelligent and heartfelt views are involved.
When it comes to transportation, I am clearly on-record in support of moving toward a more-sustainable transportation system that includes cars, buses, LRT, transport vehicles and bicycles. In order to integrate these vehicles, we must carefully plan out how these can work together.
This is new, for everyone.
First off, we need to recognize that some of this is new territory – exactly how and what is the best way to move toward greater sustainability? City administration is trying to learn from what’s been done in other winter cities, and that we’re doing things as effectively as possible with the taxpayer dollar. That is also why we must learn from our own mistakes.
A current example is the bicycle lane “partial paint job” on 40 Avenue and 106 Street. People in many neighbourhoods are concerned and angry about what they’re seeing. No wonder, the entire roll-out has been confusing. Add this to ongoing questions about the effectiveness of the Saddleback Road bicycle lanes, which up to now have been lanes to nowhere.
Based on the level of heartfelt and passionate concern that I’ve seen, I think we need to pause and get together with our neighborhood residents and businesses. We should assess what’s happened so far, and make sure that we’re doing the best we can as we try realize our dream for a more-sustainable Edmonton.
We need to review before we move on
We owe it to ourselves to evaluate the final product and decide whether it’s the right solution or not. Most people want Edmonton to be more-sustainable, so if there are lessons we can learn, or adjustments we can make, then let’s identify them and make our efforts better.