There has been a great deal of talk about how bicycle lanes were simply sprung on the citizens of Red Deer by city council with no consultation from the public. Nothing could be farther than the truth.
City council has been having workshops and meetings open to the public about alternative forms of transportation for a long time.
Each year for the past four years, there has been a bike ride by cyclists supporting the idea of bike lanes. Every year the ride was covered on the front page of the Advocate. Not once can I remember a voice being raised in opposition when these rides were taking place.
Last summer, the first bike lanes actually appeared in Red Deer in four locations. Again there was lots of news coverage and the citizens of Red Deer were asked to participate in a survey as to how they liked the bike lanes. Big red and white placards were placed all over the city asking for public input.
This year again, before the bike lanes made their appearance, there was considerable news coverage.
I cannot imagine how much more city council or city administration could have done short of knocking on every door to ask citizens what they wanted.
Some have been very vocal about what a terrible city council we have. In fact, if anyone was to blame, it is those very people who are doing the complaining now.
No matter how you feel about bike lanes, whether you are for or against them, please do not fault city council. These people have been working very diligently to listen to the community and act on the feedback that they have received.
Red Deer County