Oliver residents call for redesign of Victoria Drive cycle lane pilot project

« When you have people with reduced mobility, who can’t move more than a block, it’s huge »

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Some Oliver residents are calling on the city to redesign or cancel a pilot project along Victoria Parkway that created separate bike lanes.

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The City of Edmonton installed the Victoria Parkway project in July in an effort to make the corridor more accessible and safer for the public while opening up the area to more modes of transportation, including walking, bicycles and scooters.

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Through spring 2023, the pilot created a separate eastbound bike lane on the south side of 100 Avenue between 116 Street and 121 Street, and phased out on-street parking to create a separate lane westbound.

Stacey Kuehn, a concerned resident leading a community effort opposing the pilot’s design, told Postmedia that a petition to end the pilot has garnered more than 500 signatures.

« We’re professional bike lanes, but we just want it done better, » she said in a phone interview Thursday. « We don’t want this to have a negative impact on so many people, so if we find a solution together it has to work for everyone, especially people living on the streets. »

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Their concerns range from the aesthetics of green bollards to mark lanes, to safety issues for vehicles crossing a bike path to enter and exit parking lots along the avenue, to mobility issues for older residents who counted in the parking spaces.

Many of these older, longtime residents of the area relied on these stalls for deliveries, visitor parking and home care services due to reduced mobility, Kuehn said, and they believe the city does not has not consulted or engaged them sufficiently before installing them. measures.

Some residents want the bike paths along Promenade Victoria to be redesigned.
Some residents want the bike paths along Promenade Victoria to be redesigned. Photo by Greg Southam /Postmedia

People here want to age in place: resident

« People who have lived here for so long want to age in place and have no voice, » she said.

Jessica Lamarre, the city’s director of safe mobility, said the city launched an engagement campaign in March and April to get feedback on a few design options for the area.

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City details on the project indicate the effort involved in consulting with residents and parkway users through two online public engagement sessions (which saw 17 people attend) and an online survey which 647 people attended. responded, just over half of whom live in the area and 112 of whom reside along the promenade.

Now that the city is beginning to evaluate the project, it has since ramped up its direct mail consultation campaign and a series of engagement sessions beginning Thursday evening, Lamarre said.

“A lot of changes happened as a result of going back and forth with people during this time,” Lamarre said, citing road maintenance completed in September to address potholes and cracks in the road. , as well as additional loading areas and unlimited parking.

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The pilot removed 20 on-street parking spaces

The project removed 20 on-street parking spaces as part of the installation, representing a 6.5% reduction in free parking within a five-minute radius of the parkway, the city said, while 286 street parking spaces, as well as 102 paid stalls, remain within the same radius.

Kuehn said increased consultation efforts would have been helpful before the city installed the project, and the parking concession does little to mitigate wasted space.

« When you have people with reduced mobility, who can’t get more than a block away, that’s a big deal, » she said.

Instead, Kuehn said, she would prefer to see a two-way bike lane that allows the avenue to retain its parking lot.

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Lamarre said the road is not wide enough to accommodate a two-way lane and parking lot because larger vehicles would not have enough room to navigate the T-junctions along the avenue, which collides with the river valley.

However, she added, the design is not final and the city is tweaking it throughout the process, which will assess the project against the city’s bike plan, which flags cycling infrastructure on this route as being below standards, as well as traffic volumes for multiple modes of transportation in the region, vehicle speeds and public comments.

Christ Church Anglican Parish, 12116 102 Ave., will host in-person engagement sessions for the project on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and October 21 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.



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