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As posted on twitter by urbanist  and neuroscientist Robin Mazumder: “At what point does driver frustration with bike lanes become a non-story?” Some Edmonton motorists are not understanding  Edmonton’s addition of a new bike lane in the Oliver neighbourhood. The permanent bike lane on 102 Avenue  has been accompanied by a new one way motorized vehicle restriction on one block which has confused some motorists. As reported in The Edmonton Journal “some Edmonton drivers are still coming to terms with the city’s newest bike lanes. However, there have been plenty of reports of vehicles mistakenly being driven the wrong way down the bike lanes, often forcing cyclists onto the road.”  And if you have a few moments to click on the article, the comments are revealing.
The challenge may be the City of Edmonton’s which only last week  started a door to door campaign along the bike path to notify adjacent residents about the bike lane, and commenced handing out educational material about how to drive the street where the bike lane exists. Route maps and the city’s website have now been updated for additional information for motorists.
So how is a bike lane not seen as a bike lane? “Chris Chan, executive director with Edmonton Bicycle Commuters, who has himself witnessed vehicles going the wrong way down the bike lanes, said it was a “bit of a learning curve” for drivers.”
While the City of Edmonton had a “street bike team” educating drivers when the  downtown bike lanes opened, reinforced with a police presence at downtown intersections, no co-ordinated educational component was included for the 102 Avenue section.  Couple this with a typical Edmonton winter and conditions that take away from street markings. There are no permanent physical separation of the bike lane from the vehicular roadway  in this location, and flexible bollards that are used in the downtown area are removed for snow clearing.  There appears to be an acceptance of bike lanes, and concerns for them being safe from the City of Edmonton’s information line. “According to open data from 311 city service, since Oct. 29, 20 complaints have been made about bike lanes in the city and all but three of those fell under the snow and ice maintenance category.”  
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Comments

  1. No kidding about reading the comments! Somone wrote a long gripe about cyclists in winter. A bit if search and replace created a brilliant response.
    “We ain’t San Diego. This a winter city. No should be driving their cars in the winter when stopping times more than double. We’re a sub-Arctic City with -30 C winters, high winds, 8-10 inch snowfalls, and iced over roads. Most cars require very expensive tires and chain upgrades to drive safely on icy roads. A lot of drivers are not winterizing their cars.
    A lot of drivers put themselves in danger by not making appropriate winter upgrades to summer cars.
    The city should be doing traffic measurements to pick better locations for roads.
    It would be totally insane to put roads through downtown. The bike and pedestrian traffic density is too high, the street is not safe, it’s absolute the worst place to put a road.
    Roads should be put to a referendum to see if Edmontonians really want them and actually support them versus catering to a small special interest groups who don’t realize they live 53 degrees North.”

  2. Looking at the picture I can totally see how someone cannot recognize what it is. It looks like some sort of drop off lane. They need to do a bit of tweaking.

  3. I can’t see these cycle lanes on the 102nd Ave bridge – or elsewhere in Edmonton – being cleared in the winter. Outer road lanes in Alberta are designed at 4.2m under the assumption that 500mm-700mm of the curbside edges will be snow-packed at least 5 months of the year.
    Maintenance will be a 2-step process: blades will push the snow out of the vehicle lanes and into the cycle lane. A smaller snowcat or blade will push it through this 3.0m channel until it can be dumped elsewhere or hauled away. Perfectly choreographed every time I’m sure.

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