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Thread: Intercity Cycling Infrastructure

  1. #1
    highlander
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    Default Intercity Cycling Infrastructure

    It's very difficult to ride a bike from one city or town in Alberta. Even to get from Edmonton to Sherwood Park or St. Albert is an ordeal that requires the use of major roads that are not at all suitable for bicycle use.

    But it could be different. It would take a fairly small investment to create a network of cycling routes across Alberta. there are some locations where abandoned rail lines are available, in others a new path beside a highway would be required, and in a few places there are already rough paths that could be upgraded, like the Athabasca landing trail.

    In other parts of the country there are paved, quiet back roads that are OK for cycling, at least for fast cyclists, but it seems to me that around here the side roads are either gravel or are too busy and too fast for safe cycling, so other than for a few organized mass rides and fundraisers people end to stay off the roads. Despite that, Cyclists are hit and killed on Alberta roads every year.

    While any intercity path network should be designed for cyclists simply due to the distances involved, paths could also be used by trekkers and even local walkers in stretches. How many places in Alberta have signs warning drivers of pedestrians on roadway? Those places would be made safer.

    Really, I just want to be able to bike to Wabamun or Pigeon lake or Elk Island without placing my life in the hands of all the speeding and inattentive drivers out there.

  2. #2

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    What I suggest you do is get someone with a web-cam to drive to Pigeon Lake and then to Elk Island. Download the footage onto a computer then get a stationary bike and watch as you peddle.
    I don't think you will see any bike trails of that magnitude in your lifetime.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  3. #3
    highlander
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    I don't expect a network like that either, but there are some precedents out there. Some European nations have whole networks of dedicated paths, and Quebec has a decent network too, although parts of it are on shoulders.

    The Banff-Canmore Legacy trail is a good example close to home, and it gets good use. I expect that similar trails from Edmonton out to it's suburbs and to the nearby lakes and parks would also be well used, not only by recreational riders but as transportation.

    If there were just a little political will it's amazing what could be done for very little money. The ROW is already there, all that's needed is a little flat spot on the back-side of the ditch and a layer of asphalt.

  4. #4
    C2E SME
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    I wonder if there could be a bike bridge between Sherwood Park and Edmonton, perhaps north of Sherwood Park Freeway, crossing Henday at around Township Road 524A/84 Avenue (next to Outlaws Rugby Park). People could bike along the connector roads to 17 Street (west) or Fir Street (east).
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  5. #5
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    There are plenty of intercity/town multi use trails in Ontario, though mainly all are gravel. Repurposing abandoned rail ROWs is a very popular way of creating these linkages and the same should be able to be done in Alberta

  6. #6
    I'd rather C2E than work!
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    There is a cross Canada bike trail that's in progress. It goes through Edmonton, but the part of the trail I was familiar with was a poorly maintained sidewalk. Maybe it's in the works here, but I haven't heard anything about it.

    http://www.bikingacrosscanada.ca/rou...nada_trail.php

    I rode my one speed bike to Wabamun when I was a kid No problems, but I got a bad sunburn
    Last edited by Jimbo; 28-05-2015 at 12:08 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cat View Post
    I wonder if there could be a bike bridge between Sherwood Park and Edmonton, perhaps north of Sherwood Park Freeway, crossing Henday at around Township Road 524A/84 Avenue (next to Outlaws Rugby Park). People could bike along the connector roads to 17 Street (west) or Fir Street (east).
    Isn't there a bike/pedestrian bridge between Rundle Park and Strathcona Science Park? With some effort and configuration a trail can be extended to Millennium Place.

  8. #8

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    I'm completely in favour.
    Let's make Edmonton better.

  9. #9
    highlander
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    There is a cross Canada bike trail that's in progress. It goes through Edmonton, but the part of the trail I was familiar with was a poorly maintained sidewalk. Maybe it's in the works here, but I haven't heard anything about it.

    http://www.bikingacrosscanada.ca/rou...nada_trail.php

    I rode my one speed bike to Wabamun when I was a kid No problems, but I got a bad sunburn
    Thanks for the link to the TransCanada Trail. I know it exists thanks to the pavillion in Louise McKinney park, but I don't think there's been any real progress in years. It's also pretty clear that it really is just stringing a bunch of small town's recreation paths together. Look at the route through Red Deer or Wetaskewin and it's pretty clear that it's pretty much useless as a transportation route within those towns, let along being a rational part of a long-distance trail.

    The portion of the trail in PEI is much more well-considered; there they took the whole ROW of their defunct rail line and made it into a trail. It doesn't go everywhere and it's not necessarily the most direct route even where it does go, but it's reasonably direct and pretty much continuous.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    The Banff-Canmore Legacy trail is a good example close to home, and it gets good use. I expect that similar trails from Edmonton out to it's suburbs and to the nearby lakes and parks would also be well used, not only by recreational riders but as transportation.
    I thought of that one too, re Banff. Calgary to Chestermere would be an example to follow re nearby lakes, in that case it follows the old irrigation canal (that was built a crazy long time ago). You can ride from Chestemere to downtown Calgary without having to traverse a single road. It would be nice if could do that from Sherwood Park, or St Albert, for example.

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