YAY! Edmonton has a bunch of spiffy new bike lanes! That’s good right? I recently moved, and now have a 25 min commute, by car, to work each day. In doing so, I cover a lot of ground, much of it on a freeway, called the Whitemud. Once I get off it though and back onto ‘city’ streets, it’s impossible not to notice how many bike commuters are out there. During my drive, I see at least a dozen cyclists, doing their thing. And that’s just on the route I take. Extrapolate that city-wide and you have a serious number, which I think is really cool.

So, with that in mind, yeah, you’d have to assume more bike lanes would be a really good thing, and that cyclists would be over-joyed, wouldn’t you… Well, not so fast. This article and interview with my friend Carly Coleman was posted in the Edmonton Journal today:

EDMONTON – City crews painted the first of hundreds of kilometres of new bike lanes on city streets this summer, but critics say that’s adding a layer of confusion to a road system people should simply learn to use properly.

“So what do you do when the bike lane ends?” said Can-Bike instructor Karly Coleman, standing in the middle of what she called an especially confusing patch of new white lines on 76th Avenue.

“You have a huge population base that only leisure rides or doesn’t ride at all,” said Coleman. “You’re taking a knowledge base we don’t have, putting lines on city streets and hoping people figure it out.”

You can read the rest the article here.

Personally, I think their is clearly more work to do here. A bike lane to nowhere doesn’t sound like a very good scenario. But I have to admit, in general, new lanes are a big win for both cyclists, and motorists even if it’s not perfect, yet. There is no avoiding each other, and we’re just going to have to work things out, even if that means some ‘learning’ of new street rules and routes..