Give bike lanes a fair chance
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