Improve 109 Street Cycling Connections

The city report for Cycling Facilities and Cycling Connections: 109 Street looking at the feasibility of bike lanes in the Garneau / McKernan / Parkallen communities was discussed on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 in the Urban Planning Committee.

We were there and spoke to it.

(We’ve been following this project closely and previously spoke in committee in August 2018 affirming the need to accommodate cyclists in some way, shape or form.)


109 Street has huge potential to become a commercial high street that Edmonton sorely needs 


Why 109?

109 Street provides a vital active transportation connection between the two cores of our city because of the High Level Bridge.

We agree that the same can be said for cars.

But for those cycling, rolling or walking, the limited elevation change afforded by the bridge is even more meaningful. Cars will always have more horsepower to take other routes than our legs do.

There is imminent need for active transportation infrastructure south of the High Level Bridge to connect Old Strathcona and Downtown.

Providing this along 109 Street means there is a simple, direct connection between these two cores.


It also means the street is more approachable for cyclists and pedestrians alike. It can be a complete street for both local residents and visitors to the area.

*Cycling infrastructure along this street also aligns with engagement already completed by the city in 2016


Community support

Overwhelming support for better bike infrastructure was found during significant community and public engagement in 2016.

This was backed up by the Insight Survey conducted later on that year.

Result found that more than 70% of respondents would walk, cycle, and shop along the street more if improvements like this were made.


What next?

We hope to see broader analysis completed by the city to inform residents on what including cycling infrastructure could mean for this street.


We’re looking for analysis of cycling infrastructure and how it impacts:


    • Economy and health of the street
      Research shows those moving on foot or pedal are more likely to check out businesses along a commercial street. We believe it is more important to build a main street that meets city building goals (such as urban places, allowing for a healthier city, and planning for climate resilience) than ensuring we limit commute times for vehicles at peak hours of the day
    • Cyclists
      The report provides commentary on cycling infrastructure impacts’ on transit, cars, and pedestrians, but not cyclists. It’d be helpful to know how cyclists’ fear and stress are decreased while using 109 Street, if this infrastructure was built. It would be telling to see how many more cyclists we would see riding this route if it would be built with them in mind.
    • Pedestrians
      We see providing a layer of cycling infrastructure as a means to provide separation from vehicle traffic. Narrowing the total lanes of vehicular traffic to cross E/W over 109 means it will become more a pedestrian-friendly high street, as it is envisioned to be. Shared use paths or a two-way lane on one side of the street may be a way to realign how the proposal uses the total amount of street width.


Ties to current city goals

Improving the streetscape to appropriately prioritize active transportation ties into various city goals:


    • Planning initiatives
      Both 109 Street ARP and Envision 109 set goals for this street to become a main street welcoming for all users
    • Vision Zero
      Pedestrian and cyclist safety and the city-wide focus on mode shift to support more sustainable forms of transportation
    • Edmonton strategic plans
      Fostering urban places, a healthier city, and planning for climate resilience, can be furthered if active transportation infrastructure is integrated within this street


Paths For People knows 109 Street can become the street it is envisioned to be if Edmonton makes bold choices that affirm the envisioned potential of this street as a complete main street.