Edmonton man with cerebral palsy concerned about losing parking access due to incoming bike lane

Edmonton man with cerebral palsy concerned with losing parking access as new bike lane is set to coming in
WATCH: An Edmonton man with limited mobility is speaking out as the city is considering taking away parking on his street and replacing it with a bike lane. Chris Chacon has more.

An Edmonton resident born with limited mobility is concerned the city may take away parking and replace it with a bike lane.

It’s a change that he fears could impact his safety.

“I have cerebral palsy,” resident Charles Evans said. “I’m over 60 now. When I was younger, it didn’t affect me too much. I’ve always had limitation on how far I can walk, but as I get older, they get more severe.”

Evans lives in the neighbourhood of Garneau and has owned his home on 110th Street for nearly 30 years.

He is frustrated that he could be losing his access to street parking as part of a bike lane approved by city council in April.

“The fact that I wasn’t informed about it so that I could have intervened earlier and spoken my thoughts, that upsets me even more,” Evans said.

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But the city said it reached out.

“We knew this was going to be something that they would really care about,” said Jen Rutledge with the City of Edmonton. “We actually hand-delivered notices to every single residence on 110 Street just to make sure they knew about this event.”

That’s also why the city held an open house Saturday, to share information and offer alternatives.

“We have lots of options for the bike lane that do include parking as well,” Rutledge said.

“It doesn’t have to be a bike lane; it can be a shared-use path. There [are] other areas in the city where we’ve talked to residents where there could be some smaller or unhealthy trees in the area where you actually remove them and create parking bays along the street.”

While parking bays are a possibility, it is the distance that worries Evans.

“The thought of having to park potentially a block or more away is just ridiculous for me,” Evans said.

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With the feedback gathered Saturday, the city said staff will prepare a draft design. Then, they will present that to the public before construction begins in 2021.

As for Evans, he hopes his voice was heard in the decision process.

“If I lose parking here, I’ll probably have to sell [my house]. How can I live in a place where I can’t park anywhere nearby?” Evans said.