E-scooter, pedestrian and bike boom = space crunch on sidewalks
With e-scooter usage exploding through the roof and a reinvigorated bicycle boom, Beltline residents and visitors are travelling using active modes of transportation now more than ever. However, getting around the Beltline and visiting businesses on 17 Avenue S using these modes is also more challenging with extended patios on sidewalks and road lanes now being used to provide safe physical distancing for people walking.
In light of the space shortage on 17 Avenue, more residents and visitors have been using the unprotected bike lanes or riding on sidewalks along 14/15 Avenue South as an east/west travel route close to 17 Avenue. While the unprotected bike lanes have helped some more confident bike and scooter users, they do little for the safety of less confident riders, particularly women and children, and are all but buried in snow and ice during the snowy winter months.
We need to do better.
The unprotected 14/15 Ave bike lane after a light snowfall, showing not so safe for people riding bikes.
15 Avenue safety improvements in the works
The City is currently investigating safety improvements along 14/15 Avenue south to make a better neighbourhood streetscape that considers the safety of people walking, scooting and biking year round. We know from experience in Calgary that after protected cycle tracks were installed on 12 Avenue, the proportion of female bike riders increased and families also felt more comfortable riding in the protected space.
A protected cycle track on 15th Avenue S could do the same while freeing up space on sidewalks for people walking.
But is there a way to do this on 15 Avenue?
Spoiler alert: Edmonton has already… twice!
Case Study #1: 83rd Ave in Edmonton
One block north of bustling Whyte Ave, Edmonton’s equivalent to Calgary’s 17 Avenue, Edmonton built a two-way protected cycle track along the one way street with parking.
Edmonton’s 83rd Avenue protected cycle track runs east/west parallel to their busy Whyte Ave with one-way traffic for cars and parking.
Case Study #2: Edmonton’s “Oliverbaun”
Edmonton’s 83rd Avenue protected cycle track was so popular they built another on 102nd Ave also known as the “Oliverbaun” as it passes through the charming urban neighbourhood of Oliver.
Edmonton’s “Oliverbaun” protected cycle track on 102 Ave is another successful example of a one way road with parking and a two-way protected cycle track.
Add your name in support!
15th Avenue South needs safety improvements that a cycle track to make it safer and faster for people to travel east-west by bike, e-scooter, skateboard, etc. close to 17th Avenue.