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.”
November 28, 2017