By Kalinowski, Tim on November 13, 2019.
While some pieces of the City’s Cycling Master Plan are coming into focus, there are other pieces which may have to be put off for a time until larger grant funding becomes available, admits Adam St. Amant, a transportation engineer with the City of Lethbridge.
St. Amant gave an update to city council on the state of the Cycling Master Plan during Tuesday’s public meeting.
“Some of the things are accomplishable within existing budgets, and some of the larger projects may need specific capital funding,” St. Amand confirms. “I think connecting into the downtown is going to be top of the list, and trying to make sure people who want to get to those downtown destinations are able to, and able to feel safe doing so.”
St. Amant says the City is focusing on connector paths like the one it hopes to build across 13 Street and 5 Avenue to increase accessibility and safety for cyclists to increase ridership going forward.
“We are building for the future here,” he says. “We’re trying to make sure we’ve got this as an option for people to take other than single-occupancy vehicles. We want to make sure we develop safe infrastructure, because what we are doing is targeting the ‘interested-but-concerned’ group of cyclists in the city.
“When we first developed the cycling master plan we conducted a survey and took all the results, and figured out four different categories of cyclists. And there is over 50 per cent of respondents that fall into the interested-but-concerned category – where they are interested in cycling more, but they are concerned for their safety and how long it takes, and how direct they are able to get to destination while still feeling safe doing so.”
St. Amant says many of the city’s current bike paths are designed for recreational and scenic riding, and are not efficient for commuter cycling transport.
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