2025-2026 Active Transportation Network Expansion

On May 30, 2024, the City of Edmonton announced a batch of upcoming projects related to the Active Transportation Network Expansion. These projects would be funded by City Council’s historic $100 million dollar investment in growing the network of shared-use paths and safer streets. All of these projects are intended to be constructed in the 2025 and 2026 construction seasons. This means that these changes will be seen on our streets quite quickly.

The City is already out building several new shared-use paths this summer using the $100 million dollar investment. You can read more about these projects, which expand transportation and recreation options in the suburbs here.

The map below exhibits the City’s proposed projects to be constructed in 2025 and 2026. You can toggle on and off layers to understanding how this will build upon the 2024 routes.

These projects are amazing.

They will add upwards of 80km of new routes embedded within neighbourhoods. This means kids have safer options to bike to school, families can go on fun bike rides through their neighbourhood together, and more people can use cycling as a commuting option. 

Though bike lanes are designed to be used by only bikes, we also always laud how bike lanes can open up accessibility during winter for those with a range of mobility needs. Protected bike lanes are cleared sooner than most sidewalks in our city. Paths for People encourages cyclists to share protected bike lanes with wheelchair users, those using canes or walkers, or those with more limited mobility during snowy times so that everyone can move around our city more safely.

We have a call to action for members living in or those who frequent the following areas.

  • Eastside neighbourhoods north of the river (such as, but not limited to, Highlands, and Montrose)
  • Eastside neighbourhoods south of the river (such as, but not limited to, Bonnie Doon, Capilano, Forest Heights, Holyrood, Idylwylde, King Edward Park, Ritchie, and Strathearn)
  • Central Neighbourhoods (such as, but not limited to, Alberta Avenue, Parkdale, Prince Rupert, Queen Mary Park, and Wîhkwêntôwin)
  • Westside neighbourhoods (such as, but not limited to, Callingwood, Elmwood, Crestwood, Glenwood, Grovernor, Jasper Place, and Meadowlark)

That call to action is, be ready to work with your neighbours to push for better.

The proposed route types for most of these new routes have not been finalized yet. They could be shared roadways, shared use paths, or bike lanes. Paths for People will push for safe facilities that ensure that Edmontonians 8 to 80 years old can safely navigate their streets. This may mean putting in new infrastructure that removes some current features of our streets in some areas, like on-street parking. 

Ultimately, we have to remember that public road right of way is public space. This means that no one owns the street in front of their house. This street space is available for different public uses. Right now, we often see boulevard trees, sidewalks, on-street parking, and travel lanes for vehicles in the public road right away. 

When we are trying to fit in new, safer active transportation infrastructure within our streets, this means that we might reprioritize what public space is put towards. We need to make a decision about what is most important. 

  • Reprioritizing what is important could mean removing on-street parking, narrowing roadways for vehicles, or redirecting vehicle traffic.
  • To us, retaining street trees is of utmost importance in order to have a more climate resilient city.
  • Therefore, in a City where there are literally hundreds of thousands of parking spots, we might be able to rededicate some of that space to higher and better uses (like safe active transportation infrastructure).
  • However, we must also ensure that accessible pick-up locations for DATS or pick-up/drop-off locations are available.

We look forward to working through these design proposals with the City and the community in the coming years. Most of this infrastructure will be adaptable, meaning that we can change it as need be to ensure that we respond to concerns as they arise.

For those living in affected neighborhoods, mapped out above, speak up about your support for these changes! Talk to your neighbors, show up to meetings, talk about it on social media, and more. We know that major street changes like this can be challenging to accept for some of our neighbors, and we need to demonstrate the positive, life changing aspects this investment will have for our community.