Bike lane project failed to consider all the angles

This letter is a reply/statement concerning our new bike lanes and outdoor exercise facilities. Let’s cover the bike lanes first. I have now lived in Red Deer 20 years and use the bike trails regularly on a recreational basis. They are, without question, the safest and quickest way on a bicycle to access most parts of the city from one end to the other. Any shortfall — build more like paths and keep them clear year round.

This letter is a reply/statement concerning our new bike lanes and outdoor exercise facilities. Let’s cover the bike lanes first.

I have now lived in Red Deer 20 years and use the bike trails regularly on a recreational basis. They are, without question, the safest and quickest way on a bicycle to access most parts of the city from one end to the other. Any shortfall — build more like paths and keep them clear year round.

I’ll put money on it that before Sept. 1, 2013, there is at least one bicycle/vehicle fatality in Red Deer. Motor vehicles and bicycles are not meant to be on the same road. And this considering that Red Deer traffic is relatively mild compared to Edmonton and Calgary, where I have ridden their bike paths extensively and have yet to cover every mile. With all the bike paths available, I would never in a million years consider riding in everyday traffic, just driving in it is daunting enough. Build them and they will ride!

Now let’s consider our outdoor exercise facilities. Useless for six months of the year whether anyone wants to admit or not.

The money for both the dangerous bike lanes and exercise equipment could have been used for more bike paths, and as far as pedestrians go, elevated pedways to cross over top Gaetz Avenue at both the Parkland and Bower malls. We could also build one between the two parkades in downtown Red Deer. These pedways would cost more, to be sure, but it’s certainly a lot better investment in the long run considering the safety factor and the use they would receive, not to speak of much smoother traffic flow up and down Gaetz Avenue.

Anyone who has attempted to be a pedestrian knows full well what I mean. And they would work so well in conjunction with our transit system.

It’s always the same old political facade — being green, the environment, etc. If we really want to get people out of cars, we’ve got to make the transition available and user friendly. Kind of like buying grocery bags in the store, and then buying packs of 100 garbage bags to put our garbage in.

Just because we’re not putting our garbage in a plastic grocery bag doesn’t mean we still aren’t filling the landfills with plastic. But the big box store saves a couple a million a year because they don’t supply the plastic, they just sell it.

You want to go green, think it through, implement it and make it work. And by the way, if I’m riding my bicycle downtown, you can be sure that it will be on the sidewalk, and the time it takes some dedicated hardworking RCMP officer to stop and issue me a ticket could probably be much better used to rail the SOB right around the corner selling some teenager a handful of crack cocaine, or similar.

Maybe puts a little different perspective on it all, hey?

Brian Lowe

Red Deer