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Thread: Edmonton Thread

  1. #1
    Junior Member Reed Enwright's Avatar
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    Edmonton Thread

    Didn't see one, so I'm starting it.

    Is there a lobbying process for getting bike paths built/maintained/extended etc.?

    For example, getting from the southside to the westside via whitemud. There seems to be bike paths that follow this corridor on the north side of the whitemud, but they aren't linked up. Will there be a pedestrian/bicycle path on the new bridge over the NSask.? How does one find out and who do we lobby?

    Is this something EBC works on? I couldn't find anything specific on their website.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    As a long time member and volunteer at EBC and current board member I can tell you that EBC has been very active in all the talks that have occurred during the approval process of the city's Transportation Master Plan.

    EBC has been there for the past 30 years to remind our municipal government of the needs of an ever growing number of cyclists and they now seem to be listening a little more intently... the reason there will soon be 160 more racks on city buses is a result of EBC's lobbying efforts to increase multi modal transportation, you can take your bike on the LRT because of EBC efforts although we would like to see this extended to allow peak hour usage.

    The excellent bike paths that follow the LRT south extension are there because of EBC's work... the city does not like to spend money on cycling facilities as much as they do freeways so they need reminders that not everyone drives.

    Now that the TMP has been approved we plan to work harder than ever to see that it is implemented swiftly (30 years is far too long) and that it takes into account the needs of an ever growing group of commuters as well as the many recreational cyclists we have here.

    A lot of the cycling portion of the plan is remedial and will address connection issues as this was identified as a problem... 400km of routes and not enough of them join up.

    I am the current Membership Director and would like to see our membership numbers increase so that when we talk to the city they will look at the fact we speak for the more than 30,000 cyclists who ride in Edmonton every day (at least when it isn't snowing or cold) as this is something that will make them take us even more seriously.

    We can always use more volunteers... especially now when we have so much work ahead of us and the task is so immense.

    One of the tasks we have set is to do a massive survey of Edmonton riders to analyze needs and issues and forward these to the city... we all have our regular routes and places we go and are the best people to speak to these specific issues.

    I for one am looking at a proposal for an improved 102 Ave Bikeway to bring cyclists from the west end into the city core and back and want to see better bike facilities on our east and west central corridors as they are terrible.

    This is where I live and ride with my children so I know these areas intimately.

    Reed - we addressed the very issue you brought up as yours is also an east west issue and something the city recognizes is an issue for non motorists as very few of us will ride the Whitemud although I can say it isn't really that bad for me... but I would not take my kids there.

    Every time this city renovates a road we need to be there asking where the bike route will be as millions upon millions have been spent to improve motoring in this city and the city has built a wonderful recreational system.

    But we are commuters who need to get from A to B as quickly and safely as possible and we have been overlooked for far too long.

    Things will getting very noisy from our end... and we need more voices.

    PM me and I will find you links to the TMP and proposed changes to our cycling infrastructure.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Reed Enwright's Avatar
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    Thanks

    I've been away from Edmonton for about 15 years, and I've definitely seen a big improvement to the downtown/southside infrastructure, cycling and otherwise. You (EBC) have done a great job.

    What's the TMP?

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    TMP is the Transportation Master Plan which is basically a vision statement and guideline for the city to cover the next 30 years of development and growth.

    http://www.gov.edmonton.ab.ca/transp...ster-plan.aspx

    Many of us, including a number of councillors, feel that 30 years is too long as the city has neglected to improve cycling infrastructure in favour of building more roads like the Henday and a great deal of remedial action is required.

    One of the most favourable items in the TMP is a plan to stop Edmonton's uncontrolled sprawl and we need to see that the current council and subsequent councils do not deviate from this as too often they have allowed further development which has destroyed prime agricultural land.

    Cycling will only continue to be a more and more popular option in this city and we need to make sure those cyclists are accommodated and can balance this with the needs of motorists as we are all concerned with how we move about the city and congestion problems only seem to be increasing.

    More roads will not solve this problem... better planning and improvements to our public system will.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Reed Enwright's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link.

    Looks like I have some reading to do.

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    Senior Member Pig_Chaser's Avatar
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    So how many Edmonton bikers are braving the early winter blast?

    Last year I was on my road bike until early December. Who knows maybe it'll see a couple more weeks of service but right now the winter bike has been hastily pressed into service.

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I saw a lot of folks riding yesterday but hardly a two wheeler was seen this am... thinking -10 is the cutoff for a lot of people even if the roads are clear.

    I expect that I will be putting on 40k today and will be pulling a trailer for half of that distance... that should keep me warm.

    I rode through the winter last year and expect to do the same this year.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Reed Enwright's Avatar
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    This is my first winter back in Edmonton in 15 years. It's not the cold I mind so much as the wet and slush. I'll see how it goes.

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    Senior Member Pig_Chaser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I saw a lot of folks riding yesterday but hardly a two wheeler was seen this am... thinking -10 is the cutoff for a lot of people even if the roads are clear.

    I expect that I will be putting on 40k today and will be pulling a trailer for half of that distance... that should keep me warm.

    I rode through the winter last year and expect to do the same this year.
    lol, you go without saying

    Quote Originally Posted by Reed Enwright View Post
    This is my first winter back in Edmonton in 15 years. It's not the cold I mind so much as the wet and slush. I'll see how it goes.
    It's all about the route (and the bike). Last year I commuted to Nisku and back, no way I was doing that in the winter. This year I'm commuting 10k in the city (with bike path options for the most part), so I'm planning on riding all year.

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    We should stage some survivor meetings for the end of the month during the winter cause no-one but us understands winter cycling... we need a support group.

    We will be putting on winter cycling workshops and showing folks how to stud their own tyres down at EBC... we are looking at early November for these classes (which are free for members).

  11. #11
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    It's looking pretty white out there now... will have to go for a ride methinks.

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    Unimproved Trail Maintence

    I don't know if you're just looking for commuter/multi-use paths but there is an organization that is advocating for the singletrack aka "unimproved trails". The Edmonton Mountain Bike Alliance provides leadership and advocacy in the areas of building and remediation of single-track in the North Saskatchewan River Valley as well as promoting the development of mountain bike ridership.

    We have had a very successful year with 5 trail days and we have put in 2 new switchbacks and recovered about 500 meters of old singletrack. We work closely with the City of Edmonton Parks and Recreation department who gives us permission as well as supplies to build the switchback.

    While EMBA's focus isn't on multi-use paths, I believe that working with the city helps fosters an environment of trust and shared vision. As well, with more cycling advocacy groups coming forward the City of Edmonton may come to realize that cyclists need to have facilities and resources included in future planning.

    BTW I am on the EMBA board for the sake of disclosure.

  13. #13
    Anarchy by Bike icebike's Avatar
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    I ride all winter in Edmonton, only been here for the two previous winters though. Most of the commuters I would see in the morning on my way into downtown from Old Strathcona are gone. I agree 65er, it seems they cut out at -10C. Many of my coworkers put their bikes up in the garage when we hit that cold spot a week and a half ago.
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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    A bunch of us braved the wind and cold today to go on a tweed ride... it was wonderful and I for one was way too warm.

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    Senior idugboe's Avatar
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    The MUT connecting Terwillegar to Cameron Heights via the Anthony Henday ped bridge is open & complete. Still needs the construction mud cleaned up & the lines painted but for the most part finished.
    Last edited by idugboe; 07-06-10 at 09:00 PM.

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    Senior Member Pig_Chaser's Avatar
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    -29.7 according to my outdoor thermometer this morning. Nice ride

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Only Edmontonians would call -30 C a "nice ride".

    We are going to start group support meetings in the new year...thinking we'll get together once a month to share survival tales and get some reassurance that we aren't completely nuts.



    Will be heading out here pretty soon myself and am thinking it is a lovely day for a bike ride... I need to change out the front brake pads as Kool Stop salmon pads don't like -30 C.

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    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    I just moved to Edmonton, it'll be nice to see what projects the EBC has going on and see the workshop as well. How are the roads typically maintained in Edmonton during the winter?

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The city prioritizes the clearing of major routes and the bike paths / MUTS are often cleared by special crewsbefore the roads are... the side streets only get plowed when people complain a great deal.

    Sticking to the main bus routes is a good way to get around and make good time on the roads but be careful at the bus stops as it tends to be very icy in these areas.

  20. #20
    Anarchy by Bike icebike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Only Edmontonians would call -30 C a "nice ride".
    Exactly... and it was a nice ride today. A support group for us adventurous winter cyclist is a good plan. Last year I really did start to question my sanity riding when it was colder than -25C.
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  21. #21
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I was thinking that we might look at meeting up at some central location (to make it fair to everyone)...

  22. #22
    Senior Member Pig_Chaser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icebike View Post
    ...Last year I really did start to question my sanity riding when it was colder than -25C.
    I'm seriously worried my co-workers are going to have me committed, or at the very least stage some sort of intervention.

  23. #23
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I spent this afternoon in the company of a GMCC journalism student who is doing a piece on winter cycling and next week I'll be talking to several media people who also want to do pieces on winter cycling that will get broadcast across Canada as well as locally.

    Seems that a few people are interested in what makes winter cyclists tick and how we manage to handle all this terrible weather... if this keeps up the mystical nature of winter riding will be dispelled...

    This afternoon, the nice young lady could not keep up with me as I rode and she shot pictures and this is pretty much it in a nutshell... cycling is still faster than walking, you don't get really get that cold, and you are still able to make really good time as long as the roads aren't covered with fresh snow.

    I even did some off road demos in the park where the snow was nearly at to the hubs and was making it through this faster than she could walk.

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    Anarchy by Bike icebike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I spent this afternoon in the company of a GMCC journalism student who is doing a piece on winter cycling and next week I'll be talking to several media people who also want to do pieces on winter cycling that will get broadcast across Canada as well as locally.
    Sweet! It would be nice to have it more on the radar for people. Hopefully it'll coax some of the fairer weather cyclists out with us.
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    Senior Member Pig_Chaser's Avatar
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    Right on 65er, post the article when it comes out!

    I saw another commuter on the road this morning! I've actually seen this guy a few times, his commute overlaps mine for the last 2km. I see him fairly sparsely though probably due to timing (i commute at a slightly different time every morning) and route selection.

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