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Thread: Stop building me private roads that nobody else uses

  1. #1
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    Default Stop building me private roads that nobody else uses

    EDMONTON I was a year-round cycling commuter when I lived in Toronto, once spending four months cycling a 70-minute, one-way commute to National Post headquarters in soul-withering heat.
    I did the same in Vancouver, regularly schlepping 50-pound loads of groceries in my pannier bags. Now living in Edmonton, I continued cycling all last winter, helped along by handmade winter tires that I studded myself.


    http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/tristin-hopper-take-it-from-a-cyclist-stop-building-me-private-roads-that-nobody-else-uses
    Go ahead, speed pass me... I'll meet you at the next red light.

  2. #2

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    Look at the awful, dangerous condition of our roads, including most of our bike infrastructure and you'll see why "no one" uses it. Conversely, in central areas there are substantial numbers already biking despite poor conditions and you might come to the opposite conclusion that he has: Just imagine how many people might bike if there were safe and pleasant options.

    It ain't for you and me, Tristan. That's what you don't understand. It's NOT for the seasoned road warriors, the fit adult men.

    It's for our kids and our parents and our future.
    There can only be one.

  3. #3

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    The article is so confusing. The author is conflicting points with his own observations. At one point rattling on about too many cyclists using paths "nobody else uses"

    He cites that 8.9% of Edmontonians prefer bikes and somehow concludes that this is not a significant amount. Wow, if close to 10% of a population is using a mode that is so easily serviced a municipality SHOULD do that. In many cases its as simple as putting an asphalt lane down.

    How much more do municipalities spend on the proportion of people that use public transportation? Per capita that amount would probably exceed 10 times what is spent for bicycle commuters (excluding the errant attempts in Edmonton in which bike users were not even consulted on some of the inane *bikelanes*)

    Finally, the authors harrowing description of his trip was a bad experience primarily because he didn't research his route adequately. Similarly drivers who take the worst route to get somewhere are probably going to have more difficulty on route. This guy took a recreational pathway with multiple hill gradients (a path that was designed to further exercise, not commute) and he used that instead of say crossing High Level bridge at grade (negligible elevation change), and then doubling back to say 98st which is a very bike friendly quiet road all the way to 68ave at which point a bike trail connects all the way to 91st and argyle, and then take 91south. Close to his destination.

    "Wayfinding" He was mostly on a contiguous Mill Creek bike ravine that I've seen 6yr old kids be able to navigate. Other than that he's traversing street numbered areas. He needs way finding to find a numbered address travelling southeast? Can he count backwards?
    Last edited by Replacement; 12-08-2016 at 09:24 AM.
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  4. #4

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    Confusing or not, fact checked or not, Edmonton's on fire with bad press in our national newspapers the past few weeks. I think this is the third article about cycling infrastructure, which I welcome, this city desperately needs a reality check in every respect

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    I really, really hope that the 83 ave route is a success and can be built upon, but man, they're moving slow! They started in May, and all that's been done is new sidewalks. Over 3 blocks. Seriously.
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry N View Post
    EDMONTON — I was a year-round cycling commuter when I lived in Toronto, once spending four months cycling a 70-minute, one-way commute to National Post headquarters in soul-withering heat.
    I did the same in Vancouver, regularly schlepping 50-pound loads of groceries in my pannier bags. Now living in Edmonton, I continued cycling all last winter, helped along by handmade winter tires that I studded myself.


    http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/tristin-hopper-take-it-from-a-cyclist-stop-building-me-private-roads-that-nobody-else-uses
    Stop listening to Tristan Trojan Horse Hoopper and build me safe roads that enable me to choose my mode of transportation.

    And Mr. Crybaby, you're neither welcome nor able to speak on my behalf.
    Let's make Edmonton better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perspective View Post
    Confusing or not, fact checked or not, Edmonton's on fire with bad press in our national newspapers the past few weeks. I think this is the third article about cycling infrastructure, which I welcome, this city desperately needs a reality check in every respect
    This thread is hilarious! Can't believe how many hard core cyclists live in this city. I could care less about our cycling "infrastructure." Just keep building them roads Etown!!!!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    The article is so confusing. The author is conflicting points with his own observations. At one point rattling on about too many cyclists using paths "nobody else uses"

    He cites that 8.9% of Edmontonians prefer bikes and somehow concludes that this is not a significant amount. Wow, if close to 10% of a population is using a mode that is so easily serviced a municipality SHOULD do that. In many cases its as simple as putting an asphalt lane down.

    How much more do municipalities spend on the proportion of people that use public transportation? Per capita that amount would probably exceed 10 times what is spent for bicycle commuters (excluding the errant attempts in Edmonton in which bike users were not even consulted on some of the inane *bikelanes*)

    Finally, the authors harrowing description of his trip was a bad experience primarily because he didn't research his route adequately. Similarly drivers who take the worst route to get somewhere are probably going to have more difficulty on route. This guy took a recreational pathway with multiple hill gradients (a path that was designed to further exercise, not commute) and he used that instead of say crossing High Level bridge at grade (negligible elevation change), and then doubling back to say 98st which is a very bike friendly quiet road all the way to 68ave at which point a bike trail connects all the way to 91st and argyle, and then take 91south. Close to his destination.

    "Wayfinding" He was mostly on a contiguous Mill Creek bike ravine that I've seen 6yr old kids be able to navigate. Other than that he's traversing street numbered areas. He needs way finding to find a numbered address travelling southeast? Can he count backwards?
    You make a couple of decent points Replacement, but Hopper's "harrowing" trip is not his fault. Hopper's premise - not building bike trails based on their perceived use - is a lazy, late nineties, purposefully cantankerous position (one which his editors at NP cling to mightily) but his conclusions are spot on. And throughout the article he echoes many of the sentiments that my "hardcore" (what a terrible word) cycling friends are on about all the time.

    All that being said, has anyone in this city ever expressed the opinion that bike lanes are for the poor? That was an incongruous assumption on Hopper's part. I see way more people on bikes in the Boyle street area than just about anywhere else in the city.

  9. #9

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    ^I agree with this as well. But the original Capital City parkway trails were build with fitness, more than utility, in mind, and at boom 70's crazed times where almost anybody had a vehicle and bikes were for pleasure.

    Different time and era where bike commuting wasn't as much a thing.

    Not sure if you've followed my posts on the subject but I really felt that the city should make LRT corridors also bike corridors. Century Park line was poorly executed in this regard as that ROW is almost unusable for cyclists and not sure the Valley line will be much better. Which is a shame because these are once only chances for the city to get this commuter bike infrastructure right.

    I think the main thing I posited is that 8.9% bike commuters is more than enough reason to get that done.

    Edmonton really does lack efficient bike corridors. Did not mean to downplay that in my post. Really I was responding to the salt in the article. It was just a whining piece. What flagged for me the most is how incongruent the points were. In the end I didn't know what the author was attempting to state.

    The other thing not considered is that Edmonton has a very deep bank river that is very subject to erosion. In many cases the original trail systems went where they could alternating between near river elevation to top of bank elevation and to traverse areas with sheer cliffs which the river has plenty of. The reality is that most traverse river trails here are going to involve a lot of elevation changes.
    Last edited by Replacement; 13-08-2016 at 11:00 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Finally, the authors harrowing description of his trip was a bad experience primarily because he didn't research his route adequately. Similarly drivers who take the worst route to get somewhere are probably going to have more difficulty on route. This guy took a recreational pathway with multiple hill gradients (a path that was designed to further exercise, not commute) and he used that instead of say crossing High Level bridge at grade (negligible elevation change), and then doubling back to say 98st which is a very bike friendly quiet road all the way to 68ave at which point a bike trail connects all the way to 91st and argyle, and then take 91south. Close to his destination.
    The Mill Creek ravine route between the Journal building and 630 CHED on Roper Road is the one recommended by Google Maps for bikes (and the one I would have used as well).

    Using the High Level bridge would have added considerable distance.

    The biggest problem with using Mill Creek ravine as a commuter route is the climb and descent over Connors Road. After descending the hill on the south side of the bridge, the grade is a very gentle uphill all the way to the end of the ravine just north of Argyll.

    Still don't understand why the City is rebuilding the bridge over Connors Road rather than building a tunnel for a multi-use trail under Connors Road to get rid of this annoying climb and descent.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajs View Post
    All that being said, has anyone in this city ever expressed the opinion that bike lanes are for the poor? That was an incongruous assumption on Hopper's part. I see way more people on bikes in the Boyle street area than just about anywhere else in the city.
    I used to see a lot of people trundling along 107th Ave when I lived there. They were clearly using their only form of transportation and their bikes were downmarket used bikes. They rode in all weathers and unfortunately would ride on the narrow cleared path on the sidewalk in winter. I'm sure if a semi-decent path were presented you'd see lots of them at all times of the year.

  12. #12

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    ^^I find google maps to be a poor source vs thinking out routes on ones own or getting actual information from users. For instance for reasons contained in this topic. Google maps countless times spits out route options that are poor at best.

    The High Level Bridge was suggested as the bike user is somewhat rotund and complained about sweating on the uphill portions. Its an easy jaunt that adds maybe a mile to the route, if that, considering that Millcreek ravine is not a straight line route in any sense.

    Another route of course would use low level bridge but in that instance wayfinding is a problem as one has to make multiple correct directions to hit Millcreek ravine from Low Level bridge. Plus having to cross main traffic multiple times.

    Finally, at this point in time, with the construction of the Valley line and decommissioning of the multi-use bridge options are problematic in river valley. At least as a stop gap solution way finding should be improved to link Low Level with the Milcreek ravine. Should be done anyway.
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    Pedestrians get "semi-private" right of ways in sidewalk spending, cars get their own infrastructure, why not bicycles? Us cyclists aren't welcome on the sidewalks or even, arguably, on the roads. It's time we got ours!

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    My reason for supporting separate bicycle lanes is not because I favour bicycles but precisely because I want them to have a place to travel aside from sidewalks. Bicycles on the sidewalks mean I can never relax during my walks. With cars, I only have to be super-cautious when crossing a road. With bicycles allowed on the sidewalks, I am never safe. It's all very well to talk of the desirability of yielding to pedestrians, but I never meet a cyclist who knows what that means. Does anyone? Some think that ringing their bells at me to get out of the way constitutes that. But I can't track sounds (it's part of the panoply of sensory disabilities I have). If I were deaf, I'd be totally helpless.

    So if there were separate laneways that could solve all our problems. It would eliminate the protest from the many cyclists who have near-misses with me that "they have to share my sidewalk because it's the only way for to stay safe themselves".

  15. #15

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    The city needs to rethink this and convert some sidewalks to wider multi-use asphalt paths. (separated from road). The City owns easement land on most adjoining properties anyway so simply convert sidewalks to wider paths. This affords enough space for all. These asphalt walks would also be cheaper to maintain/make, then the time intensive concrete sidewalks which are often poor walking surfaces anyway.


    As a cyclist i'm pretty considerate of pedestrians walking and all I prefer is people walking on a multi use trail don't take up the whole trail by walking right in the middle of it. Walk to the right side of a sidewalk, or multiuse path and you rarely have a problem.

    As a cyclist the solo walker that walks right in the middle represents a problem as you don't know which way to pass, and they often don't move one inch to move to either side. Right hand rule should exist always on sidewalks or paths.
    Last edited by Replacement; 13-08-2016 at 05:00 PM.
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    The problem with relying on wider mixed use paths is that those don't prevent problems either. I do stay on the right hand side of the path but often I find cyclists who pass me on the right even so. There is no training for cyclists and no agreed upon set of rules.

    In Calgary, where I actually had a usable path near my residence (I don't now), the paths were very very busy. So from my point of view, it didn't really matter if the majority of cyclists were responsible human beings. That one in twenty (or even a hundred) total jerk would destroy my walk anyway. One time, I encountered a group of about ten cyclists behind me. They alternated by passing very closely on the right and on the left. They thought this a great joke. Another time, I was walking behind a cyclist who was behind a fellow negotiating on crutches (he was on the right of the path). In spite of the fact that the way was perfectly clear otherwise, that cyclist kept ringing her bell at the fellow while doing this weird wobble that cyclists use instead of stopping and dismounting. She refused to go around and kept at it until the poor fellow had to navigate to the lawn at the right side.

    Recently, I used a wide path to go from the nearest bus stop to my relatives' hotel in south Edmonton. There were two cyclists riding side by side behind me. As they passed (one on each side), they commented on how awful it was that pedestrians used "their" paths.

    I could go on and on. There was the cyclist (during rush hour downtown Calgary) who quickly passed between me and the bus I was preparing to board. I was knocked back while I had my left lifted to climb on.

    No, I would feel safer if cyclists had their own pathways.
    Last edited by EveB; 14-08-2016 at 01:06 AM.

  17. #17

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    Shared only works with very low use - the shared path along the LRT could use a separate pedestrian path (or bike path, whoever doesn't get the old one) south of 111 Ave, and the fact that they didn't design separate paths onto 105ave at MacEwan station seems crazy. There are actually a lot of cyclist there but they have to use the same extremely narrow LRT crossing and curb ramps at 105t... that they're building new infrastructure like this speaks volumes.
    There can only be one.

  18. #18

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    Eve, I'm not questioning your concern, its valid, and unfortunate that not all cyclists are responsible, safe, or considerate in the slightest. I drive with a bell, let people audibly know I'm passing and whenever possible pass on right as that's what you're supposed to do. In fairness a lot of pedestrians don't follow right hand rule either, just saying.


    My worse pet peeve?

    When I'm being cautious passing people and some cyclist behind me is flying like a bat out of hell suddently trying to pass converge at that exact same moment without saying anything, without audible, anything,. Yes, I shoulder check now everytime to see if some aggressive cyclist isn't behind me when I'm passing.


    Oh, random, but heres a jerk driver of the day award. Senior citizen driving a truck. We're on a bike path, a marked path adjacent to roadway. we have the green so we're going straight through while making sure nobody is turning left into us. I make visual with the driver waiting to turn left to let him know I'm coming. (we're pointed same direction north) My wife is right behind me. The ahole goes and makes the left despite my wife being mere feet away. He makes the left between two of us cyclists. Unbelievable. Yeah, if you're reading this guy, you're an ahole. I almost got your licence plate #.
    Last edited by Replacement; 13-08-2016 at 09:22 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Like I said, pedestrians have their own infrastructure, motor vehicles have theirs, it's time bicycles had some of their own.

    And on multi-use trails; they're great for leisure but not great for commuters. Especially the ones in Edmonton which also happen to be designated off-leash dog parks. Don't get me wrong I like off-leash parks and support them but they shouldn't be in the same place where cyclists are.

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