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Regina cyclists take part in commuter challenge but is the infrastructure there?

WATCH MORE: Commuter Challenge's goal is to get people cycling to work, but Regina infrastructure lacking

From June 5 – June 11, Regina residents are taking part in a countrywide commuter challenge that encourages Canadians to take public transit, carpool or ride their bikes to work.

The goal is to raise awareness and encourage people to use more environmentally modes of transportation.

In Regina, cycling has become increasingly more popular.

“I think we have a more aware population that [they] don’t have to jump in a car to go two blocks,” Fred Vandelinden of Dutch Cycle said.

He also noted that bike sales at his shop is up 30 per cent this year.

“It’s our single largest year increase that we’ve seen in the history of the business,” Vandelinden said.

While bike sales are up substantially, the city’s infrastructure for bike lanes hasn’t quite caught up.

“Some cities obviously have really strong networks, we’re working on improving ours,” City of Regina long range planning manager, Shanie Leugner said.

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The city said there are currently five bike lanes, spanning 17 kilometers. But for cycling advocates, it’s inadequate.

“No, definitely not enough,” Bike Regina’s Luke Nichols explained.

“We are starting to fall behind other cities of similar sizes.”

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Most notably, neighbouring Saskatoon, which has recently installed another pair of bike lanes in their downtown core.

READ MORE – City of Saskatoon building an Active Transportation Plan

Still, the city maintains there are plans to address those issues.

“We have identified the need to add new bike lanes to our network,” Leugner said.

“We have a Transportation Master Plan that actually proposes to increase that number to 190 kilometers over the next 25 years.”

READ MORE: Regina planning for fewer cars, more cyclists by 2039

Until then, all of the city’s 115 buses can carry two bikes on the racks.

While there are plans in motion, cyclists explained it’s simply not fast enough.

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“It’s a good start, I know that other cities in Canada are expanding their networks at that rate, every two years,” Nichols said.

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