Urban cycling in Red Deer
Over the past year, there has been some heated debate about the whole bike lane pilot project and its relevance for Red Deer, as if Red Deer is somehow relegated to act differently than other places.
I will go through some arguments against a few points of interest:
l One can only cycle for four to six months of the year. Many Scandinavian countries have higher rates of cycling with comparable seasons. Additionally, not seeing the lines during the winter months is not a problem. How have cars driven on a four-lane road during the winter months without seeing the lines for all these years?
l Very few people use the bike lanes. If we take a look at how many people rode on the street prior to the implementation of the lanes, then we would see an increase in riders today. Based off my limited experience, I saw maybe three riders using the road to cycle whereas after the bike lanes came into effect I saw a minimum of 15 people using them. That is a 400 per cent increase. I would say the bicycle lanes are creating more cyclists, and in time can create more.
l Bike lanes cause too much congestion. Many say that taking away a lane in each direction has contributed to the congestion, especially before and after school. The bicycle lanes act as a traffic calming measure. One can also notice there were no bike lanes implemented on major roadways, only roads that go 50 km/h or less.
To read more on the benefits of cycling, please go to reddeercycling.blogspot.ca.