Thursday, July 25, 2013

Election 2013 Issues Part 2 - Bike Lanes

I've noted over the past few months, several people who are really strong bike people, doing a lot of "rah rah" for the Iveson camp. Apparently Don enjoys the bike rides, as many people do. And lets face it, riding a bike is economical, and in some situations very practical.

We need to remember to keep the 'hype' factor under some control though. This is after all, Edmonton. We are not now, and never will be a city where using a bike for transportation is a "preferred mode". We just are not like many places where bikes rule, and no matter how you cut it, we never can be. The simple fact of the matter is Edmonton IS a winter city.

Sadly, city council has taken the steps to appease many bike folks, in a manner that has removed the unspoken rights of both residents and drivers. Oh I can hear the screams now... streets are public property, you don't have the right to park in front of your residence. And legally speaking, that is of course 100% true. So, since people don't have that right, lets be fair and tell all citizens they can no longer park in front of where they live. Nor can their guests. Nor can the care givers serving the elderly. Delivery trucks and moving vans are also banned. All of the residential type roads are now restricted to only allowing bike traffic.

The above is, of course, a most insane thought. But it is also just as insane to tell seniors that have lived in the same house for decades, they can't park in front anymore, because a bike lane needs to be done. And for people living in apartments, they have to tell their visitors (grandparents included) that they now have to park 2 blocks (or more) away, and have to walk the rest. And since several streets have many blocks where parking is no longer allowed, those "far away" places are jammed up with more people parking and walking, making it more difficult for friends and neighbors to to find a place to park.. well, we end up with a big shuffle, and a LOT of pissed off people who's property values have now crashed fallen..

The biggest problem in all of this, is the city. They have not put any type of valid thought into doing these bike lanes, and they certainly love to spend piles of money painting lines on roads that will never be seen in winter. Ah yes, here we are again, back dealing with city planners. Not only have city planners done some of the most insane things over the past decade, city council driven by Mayor Mandel, has been famous for holding public hearings and information sessions, and could care less what you have to say.

The other thing I've noticed is people seem to be bashing Kerry Diotte, trying to imply he hates the bike lanes. And as with the majority of issues in this election, Kerry has simply been saying that the implementation of this concept of bike lanes... is wrong. There has to be a better way, that doesn't eliminate parking for people who live where bike lanes are. And he's right.

We all know we should look at this issue, and try to figure out a better way. Most people don't want to live in an area where their friends and family are not allowed to visit with the same freedoms as other areas. And I've had these conversations with several bike people who have said "hell ya, I'd love to live in an area like that".. SO.. how about this for an idea then.. Why don't all of the bike folks band together and move to a certain area designated for just people with bikes? And only people with bikes can visit them? I mean, they are so passionate about it...

Yeah.. Right... some ideas are clearly really stupid... Including the current city (cough) plan. Kerry wants to find a different way. There has to be a better way. And no, I don't personally know what that would BE but someone out there must have a brilliant idea that will work. We can only FIND that, if we talk about it.

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