The city may build temporary bike lanes along 102nd Avenue to help cyclists in the west end get downtown before permanent lanes are put in place.
Construction of new shared-use bike paths along parts of 102nd Avenue will begin in June, but separate bike lanes between 136th Street and 111th Street, won’t be completed until 2018.
However its east of 111th Street that critics say is the most crucial.
“Right now it’s extremely dangerous to ride downtown,” said Conrad Nobert with Paths for People, an advocacy group for cyclist and pedestrian friendly infrastructure.
Some of the downtown segments of the route will be constructed along with the Valley Line of the LRT.
That means 99th Street to 102nd Street may not be finished until 2020, while there are no timelines at all for the leg between 102nd and 107th Streets.
“It could be 10 years, it could be 2024 easily,” Nobert said. “Which is way too long.”
His group has called for a temporary solution in the meantime.
“There’s plenty of room on the road to put something that separates people on bikes from cars physically, that’s also temporary,” he said.
He said there are relatively inexpensive solutions, such as temporary concrete barriers that would protect cyclists until the final infrastructure is installed.
Daniel Vriend, general supervisor with urban planning, said the city is taking the suggestion to heart.
“We’re actively considering installing some temporary lanes for the interim to help cyclists get from Oliver … into the downtown,” Vriend said.
He said his department plans to work with the cycling community to determine what temporary lanes may look like and where they would be installed.
“It is an exciting opportunity to do have some cyclists facility that connects our new work in Oliver to the downtown before LRT work may come in the future,” he said.
The city has planned pre-construction open houses for the 102nd Avenue and 83rd Avenue bike lanes, which are both scheduled to start construction this summer.
The city will present the final design plans and construction staging for the downtown and Strathcona routes.