Over the past couple of weeks, our group met with community representatives to gather feedback on the new on-street bike routes that will be installed in the city this year. We started to gather their feedback, and we are now about to show our plans to the public to obtain more input (meetings on February 12 and 20).
But how will the public influence the design of the routes?
The Bicycle Transportation Plan was approved by City Council in 2009. Through this plan, the locations of the 2013 and future on-street bike routes are already determined.
On the technical side, our engineers follow the Transportation Association of Canada’s (TAC) Bikeway Traffic Control Guidelines. These guidelines provide direction on elements such as the appropriate application of different facility types, intersection design and the required signage, pavement markings and design widths.
Local input is what will make this successful. So what our team really needs to know is how the design will serve the communities and how we can meet specific needs around institutions like businesses, churches and schools. For example, people will tell us which routes and paths our bike route should connect to in order to meet the community’s needs.
Most of the time, our biggest constraint is space. We need to fit new infrastructure on an existing street with a limited width. We also have to balance the desires of the community with the goals of the plan without compromising safety. And we have to take into consideration all the different voices in the community.
It’s not easy, and it involves trade-offs. In some case, we will need to remove parking, reduce travel lane widths or transition the bike route to a different facility type. These decisions are not taken lightly, but sometimes they are necessary to ensure the safety and comfort of cyclists and motorists along the routes.
Considering public input is essential to help us do our best work. That helps us design the right infrastructure for the right area, whether it’s a bike facility on a high-volume cycling route or in a quiet neighbourhood.
Get involved! Visit www.edmonton.ca/cycling.