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Edmonton Bicycle Numbers On Rise 3

Amsterdam winter bicycling

Bicycling comfortably in the winter in Amsterdam – photo courtesy of Marc / Amsterdamize

In Edmonton, the number of bicyclists is on the rise after the city approved in 2009 the addition of almost 500 kilometres of bicycle infrastructure to the city’s bicycle route network.

The Edmonton Journal reports:

A long-term plan to add almost 500 kilometres to Edmonton’s network of bicycle routes appears to be paying off, a transportation planner says.

Counts last year showed the number of riders had increased between two per cent and 47 per cent, depending on the route, since the city’s bike plan was approved in 2009, said Tyler Golly, a general supervisor in sustainable transportation.

On the High Level Bridge, one of Edmonton’s busiest corridors, there were about 1,200 cyclists a day in both directions, a 20-per-cent increase in three years, he said Monday.

A recent telephone survey found that bicycle lanes may be influencing people’s decisions to ride a bicycle for transportation. From the Journal:

Preliminary results from a December telephone survey of 900 Edmonton residents indicated about one in five respondents was riding more because of bike lanes, Golly said.

Slightly more than half the people surveyed pedal at least once a year, while about one-third ride weekly during the summer and three per cent take two-wheeled transportation in all seasons, he said.

I happen to be in Edmonton this week for work, but unfortunately I am not commuting by bicycle while here.

I did however spot one year-round bicyclist here in Edmonton yesterday who had an extra wide tire installed on his bicycle to help navigate through Edmonton’s snowy winter:

Edmonton Winter Bicycling

Photo of Edmonton fat tire bicycle by James Schwartz / The Urban Country

Edmonton winter bicycling

Photo of Edmonton fat tire bicycle by James Schwartz / The Urban Country 

Certainly not everyone would be willing to ride year-round in a city like Edmonton, but the city’s approval of almost 500km of bike routes is a great step in the right direction, so we hope the upward trend in the number of bicyclists will continue in this northern city.

Hat tip to Al for pointing us to this article.

James D. Schwartz is based in Toronto, Canada and the Editor of The Urban Country. You can contact James at james.schwartz@theurbancountry.com or follow him on Twitter.

i share the road

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  • Jesse

    Riding in snow and ice, even with the right tires, is something you can’t really do comfortably without the right infrastructure. I’m never afraid riding on a street without a bike lane in New York except when there’s snow or ice on the ground. Then I’m acutely aware of the possibility of slipping and falling under a car’s wheel (sorry for the gruesome image). Of course the downside of separated infrastructure is that here in NYC it never gets plowed. Not a problem in cities where bikes are prioritized.

  • http://bicyclestc.blogspot.com/ Ryan

    At least in Edmonton and Calgary they clear the pathways for cyclists. Something that rarely happens here (although in credit to my city, the bike lanes were cleared within hours of the snow storm last Friday).