Home > Advocacy

Edmonton councillors to spend $170 million on new bike lanes and of course some people hate it

100 km of cycling infrastructure could be added

Edmonton police are targeting the homeless who ride on sidewalks, and advocates say it's unfair.

Edmonton city councillors voted 4-0 on Tuesday to approve a huge increase in bike lanes in Alberta’s capital, but not everyone is thrilled.

The additional bike lanes are well-needed, according to locals. Currently Edmonton only has around 10 km of bike lanes in the city, mostly downtown.

“We have to get serious about building out our active transportation network,” Councillor Ashley Salvador said. City representatives showed four different options that ranged in costs between $25 million to $170 million. There will be an additional $11 million in annual operating costs.

Despite cycling advocates saying this would be great for safer riding in the city, some locals are speaking up.

Vanessa Antoniuk tweeted that the money should go elsewhere. “Maybe we could use this money to help the homeless instead? “

Of course, others chimed in that two things can be true at once. Election Gal pointed out that
“The city can and does focus on more than one thing at a time.”

Edmonton implements new bike passing distance requirements

Others wondered where the money was coming from, forgetting that cyclists are also taxpayers.
@Mur_maduro asked, “how are cyclists paying for this?”

Others used the often-cited, and incorrect notion, that you can’t ride in the winter in Canada.
@GTamburrino tweeted, “this is ridiculous. We have winter 7 months of the year, fall for 2, spring and summer split the remaining time. Why is it we continue to elect the most unqualified individuals to run cities, provinces and countries.”

Why can’t Canada clear its bike paths like Finland does?

Many cyclists chimed in about riding in all four seasons.

“I bike year round as well and see loads of others out there, all seasons. But yeah some areas of the city are sketchy af for cyclists. More safe options, more ridership,” @SUNGLASSii tweeted.

Some were quick to add, that in the grand scheme of expenditures, the money spent on bike lanes is quite minor.