Give bike lanes a fair chance

Edmonton Journal - - EDITORIAL -

With so much neg­a­tive talk on bike lanes lately be­tween coun­cil can­di­dates and the pub­lic, it seems timely to step back and look at bike lanes the other way. A lot of the anti-bike lane sen­ti­ment cen­tres around the ex­cuse that Ed­mon­ton is sim­ply a win­ter city and there­fore not suited to bi­cy­cles. I would urge any­one who is of this be­lief to keep an eye out this win­ter.

It doesn’t take much ef­fort to find bi­cy­cle-tire tracks in the snow through­out the city cen­tre and river val­ley. This alone ren­ders the win­ter-city ar­gu­ment against bi­cy­cle in­fra­struc­ture in­valid. Cy­clists just have a safer op­tion now, and that fact alone will only grow their num­bers, thereby si­lenc­ing the other ar­gu­ment that there are too few of them to jus­tify the lanes.

Vancouver, of­ten used as an ex­am­ple of an ideal cy­cling en­vi­ron­ment, went through its own strug­gles in de­vel­op­ing what is now a very ef­fec­tive and widely re­spected bi­cy­cle net­work. Just give it a chance. Who knows? You may find your­self out rid­ing the lanes sooner than you think — just as I did years ago.

With the right in­fra­struc­ture, get­ting your ex­er­cise and your com­mute done at the same time is sur­pris­ingly re­ward­ing.

Greg Mann, Ed­mon­ton

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