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Battle over bike lanes

EDMONTON – The city’s plan to add more bike routes to roadways is sparking an outcry in the Richie neighbourhood from some who are upset that the cycling lanes will come at the expense of much needed parking spots. 

Corey Meyer of the Acme Meat Market is among those worried his business along 76 Avenue and 97 Street would be affected.

“We have limited parking as is, and if we lose parking on the other side of the street we’re not left with much,” he says.

The bike route along 76th Avenue, is part of 23 kilometres of bike routes the city has planned for this year. The total goal: 500 kilometres.

But Andrew Schatzke is passing around a petition, calling on the city to move the bike route somewhere else. His Ward 11 councillor, Kerry Diotte, shares some of the concerns.

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“I’m not certain painting stencils of bikes on roadways is the way to go,” he says. “Bikes and cyclists are allowed on every street in the city, save the Whitemud and streets like that. I question the spending of millions of dollars to map out certain streets they should be on.”

Diotte would rather see city cash spent on stand-alone bike paths.

Year-round cyclist and member of the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters’ Society, Chris Chan, believes it’s about time the city mapped out more routes.

“There’s not very much in the way of dedicated cycling infrastructure, Chan says.

“Having the signage on the road is a reminder to everyone, cyclists and car drivers, that we do share this space. We all pay property taxes.”

The city is hosting a meeting next week at Hazeldean school to gather feedback on the proposed routes.

With files from Kendra Slugoski, Global News 

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