Bike Plan Implementation – First Steps

On February 15, 2022, Paths for People spoke to Urban Planning Committee regarding Bike Plan Implementation. Based on the conversation, committee approved the following motion put forward by Councillor Salvador:

That Administration provide a report that outlines options for the completion of the bike network in the redeveloping area by 2026 including any associated engagement that could be considered as part of the development of the 2023-2026 capital and operating budget and return to Urban Planning Committee in Q3. Each option should consider impacts on the Energy Transition Strategy and the ability to create a more connected network that enables accelerated mode shift. As part of the option analysis, Administration should consider things that will accelerate mode shift prior to the construction of permanent bike lanes including but not limited to end of trip facilities and temporary installations prior to neighbourhood renewal.

Date: Quarter 3, 2022 (September) Committee: Urban Planning Committee

As we move through the budget process, we’re excited to stay engaged with Council and our community in pushing forward the implementation of the bike plan. We advocate that the 2023-2026 budget discussion place a priority on implementing the Bike Plan as a means to meet the objectives of the Climate Energy Transition Strategy and City Plan and also to provide more neighbourhood-oriented improvements to mobility and recreation options across our City.

Here’s a link to the livestream.

Our full speaking notes are below.

“Good morning members of Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to speak today. My name is Stephen Raitz and I am here representing Paths for People. We’re a non-profit organization striving to make Edmonton a more multi-modal transportation city and a friendlier place to get around actively, be it walking, rolling, gliding, or cycling.”

We are here to speak to you about the Bike Plan Implementation. We are enthusiastically supportive of this plan’s approach to building out our network of mobility lanes, shared-use paths, and cycling infrastructure.

We have been appreciative of Administration’s efforts to engage with over 11,000 Edmontonians in the development of this plan and believe that the implementation process reflects what Edmontonians want to see regarding better active mobility options in their communities.

The Implementation Plan’s engagement and project approaches set for developing the network around different kinds of areas in our city reflect the different considerations regarding land use and transportation context throughout our City. The analysis regarding allocating the resources to plan and build this transportation infrastructure reflect’s, what we believe to be, best practices for city-building.

The rigorous planning that is behind implementing a safe mobility network for those rolling, scooting, or biking across our city is vitally important for Edmonton. We can all recognize that Edmonton is not, currently, the safest or more accessible city to get around actively in. Missing links in our shared use path network. Cycling infrastructure meant for only the most confident cyclists. Unsafe intersections for people walking, rolling, or biking. These all mean that many Edmontonians do not even have the option to get around actively.

We, as a City, have taken positive steps regarding active transportation in recent years and this plan will help push us forward further. The implementation of this plan will move us closer towards the vision set within the City Plan, which sees make Edmonton become a more sustainable city to move around in from a social, environmental, and economic lens.

Over the past year we have kept our community engaged with the idea of 15-minute communities centred in City Plan through programming like our #15MinuteCity Challenge and advocacy regarding the past municipal election. Edmontonians want a city where they have realistic transportation choices that are safe, accessible, and for all-ages and abilities. The Bike Plan Implementation is a key part of achieving this vision.

So… let’s do this friggin thing! Let’s build a network of mobility lanes, shared-use paths, and cycling infrastructure.

And to do this, we must set aside resources to build and maintain this network. We know today’s meeting is not about setting those resources aside. But it does provide the first opportunity to talk about how we will go about this.

It is vital to ensure that the 2023-2026 Capital and Operating Budget properly funds the implementation of the Bike plan. If we have a goal of getting to 50% mode shift towards active and transit modes in the long term, our budget for transportation projects must reflect this. Additionally, investing in building out our active transportation network reflects a more localized, neighbourhood-oriented approach to improving mobility and recreation options throughout our city that aligns with City Plan.

As we move through the budget process, we encourage Council members to be bold in the resources we allocate to improve transportation choices and recreation opportunities throughout our City. We advocate that, leading into the 2023-2026 budget discussion, Council direct Administration to develop options for Bike Plan Implementation timelines and resourcing, including implementation within one budget cycle, in alignment with Climate Energy Transition Strategy, and within 15 years. We look forward to continuing to engage with Council members on this topic and are open to taking any questions you may have today.