WATCH ABOVE: On Tuesday night, Edmonton city council voted to remove bike lanes from a busy west end road. Jessica Kent reports on the decision, and Slav Kornik provides reaction on social media.
EDMONTON — Edmonton’s city council made a controversial decision Tuesday night to remove bike lanes from a busy road in the city’s west end.
Eight councillors voted in favour of removing bike lanes on 95th Ave. from 142nd to 189th St.
Those who helped pass the vote said the lanes are not adequate. They are argue the lanes are fading, covered in gravel, and poorly situated.
“The bike lanes have been getting 10-12 users a day compared to the tens of thousands of vehicles, so this gives us the option to start fresh,” said Michael Oshry.
“We’re so fortunate 95th Avenue is wide enough at least from 156th Street west to do a dedicated cycle track or multi use trail,” said Andrew Knack.
The cost of the removal will be $475,000 and could take up to two years, which is the primary reason Mayor Don Iveson opposed the removal.
“My practical objection is taking $450,000 out of the road fixing budget to do this,” he said.
However, according to Councillor Michael Walters, the plan doesn’t go far enough. He wants the southside lanes on 40th Ave. from 119th to 106th St., and 106th St. from Whitemud Dr. to 34th Ave. removed as well.
He said most of the people he’s talked to in his ward support bike lanes, as long as they are done right.
“We’re for a bike plan, we’re for investing money into some infrastructure. Just not here on the roads where you have cars, mixed in with city buses, mixed in with parents dropping off kids at school then bike lanes in there, it’s just not working for anyone. So I think we have an opportunity to fix all that.”
City council will decide the fate of those lanes Wednesday.
With files from Jessica Kent