Business owners want changes to a south Edmonton bike lane

WATCH ABOVE: Local business owners are calling on the city to fix what they see as a mistake. Vinesh Pratap has more on a south Edmonton bike lane debate.

EDMONTON — Local business owners are calling on the city to fix what they see as a mistake. The concern is over a south Edmonton bike lane.

The 97 Street bike route was installed in 2011. It runs from 63 Avenue, south to 34 Avenue right through a major industrial commercial area.

It’s estimated 9,000 vehicles use the route each day. But, only 43 to 89 cycle the route.


READ MORE: Edmonton community continues its fight against bike lanes 

One business owner argues the bike lane has impacted his ability to grow his establishment.

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“I’m just one of many, many businesses that have been hurt,” says restaurant owner Dennis Fitzgerald.

“The bike use is very, very limited and in the winter almost non-existent,” he adds.

The restaurant owner says he isn’t against bike routes, however, he thinks they should be put in a more appropriate location. Ward 11 Councillor Mike Nickel agrees.

“There’s got to be some common sense application to where the bike lanes go and right through the middle of a commercial industrial area… that doesn’t make sense to me and a lot of other people.”

READ MORE: City admits ‘we could have planned better’ before implementing bike lanes 

And although 97 Street is an important part of the city bike route network, the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters’ Society acknowledges the city should look into the lane’s impact.

“We need to look at solutions that involve not necessarily abandoning safe cycling infrastructure,” explains Christopher Chan with the cycling group.

According to the city, moving the bike lane to 91 Street would cost between $450,000 and $770,000. The cost of moving it to 99 Street is not known at this time. However, it’s described as significantly complex.

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