Category Archives: Cycling

Suggestions, notices and ideas to help with your cycling transportation in Lethbridge.

BikeBridge Strategy Session Debrief

Under the guidance of the board of directors, we hosted a strategic planning session to solicit new ideas and priorities for BikeBridge on January 21, 2017. In addition to 7 members of the BikeBridge board of directors, 7 other individuals joined in the session for either part or all of the afternoon.

Held over the course of an afternoon at Coulee Brewing Company, the group gathered to discuss what can be done to more broadly support cycling in Lethbridge and what areas of focus BikeBridge members feel are most important in the coming months and years.

Here are the notes from the strategy session.

We did some planning, and now we need your help to make it happen! Email contactbikebridge@gmail.com if you have further ideas or comments or would like to volunteer.

Fourth Annual Lethbridge Bike Swap on April 30, 2016 in the Southminster United Church gymnasium!

Sellers, let Alberta Bike Swap do the work for you in exchange for a portion of the proceeds!  Just drop of your bike in the morning, pay a small rack fee, and receive a cheque in the mail shortly thereafter.  More info at: http://albertabikeswap.ca/location/lethbridge

Buyers, take advantage of a wide selection of bicycles at attractive prices. New bikes (from the Lethbridge shops), healthy used bikes (all checked on site for road-worthiness), and probably some fixer-uppers for the extreme bargain hunter or spare parts enthusiast.

Volunteers are needed to help with set up, intake, sales, tear down, and various work throughout the day. Alberta Bike Swap is two people (two!) who are most generous with their time and the proceeds from the swaps in order to promote safe and happy cycling for Albertans. They need our assistance to keep the swap running. Don’t be intimidated by the volunteer application:  http://albertabikeswap.ca/volunteer-form The skill offerings include “Other, and I don’t mind being assigned”. Also, pay no heed to any mention of an oversupply of volunteers. That happens in Calgary, not Lethbridge.

Hope to see you there!

Bikebridge and City Officials attend ABBCC!

On September 26-27, 2015, several members of Bikebridge had the great pleasure to attend the 3rd annual Alberta Bicycle Commuters’ Conference (ABBCC) in Canmore.

The two-day conference, dedicated to promoting bicycling as a means of transportation, explored a wide range of topics.  Among these were promoting safe bicycling, celebrating successful implementations of bicycle infrastructure (Calgary), reviewing bicycling initiatives already underway in Ontario and Quebec, and exploring possibilities for setting up an umbrella organization to promote bicycling as transportation in Alberta. It was all enormously interesting and very inspiring!

We were also very pleased that one Lethbridge council member, Jeff Coffman, and two officials from the City of Lethbridge Transportation Department attended.  They were able to hear first hand about what was happening to promote cycling in other jurisdictions, and participate in the general discussion sessions.

To explore further, click on the links for the slides from the ABBCC presentations:  ABBCC presentations.

Also, we were introduced to a number of other web sites where a wealth of information on bicycling can be found. Check it out for yourself!

Share the Road Cycling Coalition
http://www.sharetheroad.ca

Ontario Cycling Advocacy Network (OntarioCAN)
http://www.sharetheroad.ca/ontariocan-s16795

The League of American Bicyclists
http://bikeleague.org

Alberta TrailNet
http://www.albertatrailnet.com

Alberta Bicycle Network
http://www.albertabicycle.ab.ca

ALBERTA TRAFFIC SAFETY FUND (ATSF) – grants are available to Alberta communities for traffic safety initiatives.
http://www.saferoads.com/ATSF/traffic-safety-fund.htm

Large increases in people using bike valet service at Dragon Boat Festival, June 27-28, in Henderson Park, Lethbridge

This year saw a considerable increase in the number of people using Bikebridge’s bike valet service at the Lethbridge Dragon Boat Festival on June 27 -28 (2015) in Lethbridge.  Our usage numbers made it well into the triple digits — unofficially the count was ‘about 120’ — whereas other years we had only about 50 clients.  At one point, our allotted space was so jammed with bicycles, we were concerned that we were running out of capacity!  Unfortunately, we can’t show you any pictures of this because, the designated photographer who was so busy signing bicycles in, ahem . . . forgot to take a picture!!

Nonetheless, Dragon Boat Festival organizers who witnessed our over-loaded bike racks are already talking about how to increase our space and the number of racks for next year!  We’ll be ready to take on even more patrons next year.

We noticed that a large number of the patrons were from out-of-town. It seems that members of out-of-town teams are bringing their bicycles with them, and using them as transportation to and from their venues over the weekend.  Obviously, they have figured out that it is much easier to do that than hike down to Exhibition Park, all the way at the east end of Henderson Lake where there was free parking.  Especially if you have to do it several times a day!

We also had an increase in families making an outing of the Dragon Boat Festival. Their brightly coloured trailers and tiny bikes certainly added a festive air to our bike racks. It makes it easy for those with short legs, and parents loaded down with sun hats, suntan lotion and snacks, to get close to the action without a long, hot walk into the park.

For all, a lot of fun and an indication that bicycling, and the expectation that bicycling will be supported, is growing in Lethbridge!

City of Lethbridge unveils plan for a REAL bike boulevard for 7th Ave South at City Hall public forum held on June 18 !

City of Lethbridge officials have unveiled short and long term plans for the development of 6th and 7th Avenues South at the third and final public forum held in the city hall foyer on June 18. These plans, designed to address the need for all modes of transportation in this part of Lethbridge over the next 25 years, include significant enhancements to Infrastructure for pedestrian and bicycle modes of transportation.

Of special significance for cyclists is the recommendation for the entire length 7th Avenue South, from 4th Street South to Mayor McGrath Boulevard.  It will be turned into a bike boulevard where bicyclists and vehicles will use the street concurrently, with bicyclists having the priority!  This will finally give cyclists, especially cycling commuters, the crucial east-west safe-bicycling corridor across the central part of the city.

For more information and a link to the full presentation, click here.

Bridges and Pedways: Cities slowly adapt to pedestrians and cyclists. . .

Here are several pictures of a newly constructed pedway in Toronto – an example of how cities are slowly becoming more pedestrian and bike friendly.  This pedway is expected to spur retail and office developments around the Pickering Station.

It was designed to serve both pedestrians and bicyclists, crosses 14 lanes of traffic, is completely glass enclosed, and has elevators in addition to stairs at each of its access points. The $22.5-million project opened in January, 2012 and was constructed mainly at night to minimize traffic disruption.

In October 2012, the Lethbridge City Council was given projected figures of around $60 million to build what seems like a much simpler pedway (no glass enclosure, no elevators) across the Oldman River. Maybe this gives us a bit of hope that it wouldn’t be hard so expensive (?!) to bridge the Oldman after all!

You can comment on this post for up to thirty days after its post date. After that, you can always give us your comments through the Contact page. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Cycling Backbone Route Networks for Lethbridge

BikeBridge has been working on an idea we are calling a Cycling Backbone Route (CBR) network.  It is our hope that such a network would provide a planning basis for where (and how) the City focuses on cycling infrastructure developments.  The CBR network would allow cyclists to ride year-round from and to any part of the city within a bike-prioritized, uninterrupted framework.  Essentially, cyclists could use existing roads and trails to reach a backbone route and then the connected network to reach other sections of our city.

A CBR is infrastructure and other supporting structures and systems that give priority to city-wide travel by bicycle.

Backbone routes broadly connect all sections of the city to each other: West-East (including the river valley), North-South (including Crows Nest Trail/Rail corridor), Lethbridge College to Downtown, access to South East warehouse retailing, access to and throughout Industrial Parks, access to downtown, access to University, access to West Lethbridge retail centre.  The Backbone functions like a transit route in that the cyclist accesses the nearest route by utilizing existing and unspecified roadways, pathway, etc.

The CBR network allows cyclists to traverse the city quickly, directly, safely, using moderate to low energy, year round.

A CBR primarily utilizes existing roadways, augmented by dedicated bikeways where needed to maintain connectivity (satisfy standards).  In order of priority, the CBR is applied using the following infrastructure and supporting systems:

1. Secondary and residential streets as Bicycle Boulevards
2. Arterial roadways as designated bike lanes
3. Dedicated Bikeways

1. Bicycle Boulevards

A bicycle boulevard is a low speed street which has been optimized for bicycle traffic. Bicycle boulevards discourage cut-through motor vehicle traffic but allow local motor vehicle traffic. They are designed to give priority to cyclists as through-going traffic. They are intended to improve cyclist comfort and/or safety through various means:

  • discouragement of non-local motor vehicle traffic;
  •  low speed limits;
  •  low motor vehicle traffic volumes;
  •  free-flow travel for bikes by assigning the right-of-way to the bicycle boulevard at intersections wherever possible;
  • traffic control to help bicycles cross major arterial roads; and
  • a distinctive look and/or ambiance such that cyclists become aware of the existence of the bike boulevard and motorists are alerted that the street is a priority route for bicyclists.

Bicycle boulevards use a variety of traffic calming elements to achieve a safe environment. For instance, diverters with bicycle cut-outs at mid-block allow motorists to enter the block in order to park or otherwise access a property, and allow cyclists to continue to the next block as well, but do not allow motorists to continue.

Bicycle boulevards often have higher road surface standards than other residential streets, and encourage riders to use the full lane, encouraging parity between bicycles and motor vehicles.

Bicycle boulevards have a snow removal (winter maintenance) and cleaning priority.

2. Designated Bike Lane

Bike lanes should only be required where routes cannot be provided using bicycle boulevards (given overall standards of safety and directness). Dedicated bike lanes are specifically markers areas on existing arterial and collector roadways for use only by cyclists (except where it is necessary for access purposes by other transportation users). Bike lanes include on street standardized lane marked areas that are maintained for all season use and include considerable signage, left turn cycling boxes and traffic signal activation.

Bike lanes have a snow removal (winter maintenance) and cleaning priority.

3. Dedicated Bikeways

Dedicated bikeways should only be required where a route cannot be provided using a bike boulevards of bike lanes (given overall standards of safety, directness and fitness).

A dedicated bikeway is essentially a two way physically separated (by distance or structures) bicycle freeway maximizing speed and minimizing intersection with other transportation users and minimizing physical requirements (grades). Bikeways are not “multi-use” facilities and may therefore required provision of separated facilities for pedestrians.

Bikeways could utilize exiting roadways using physical separation of cars from bikes using: planters, motor vehicle parking, and medians.
Bikeways have a snow removal (winter maintenance) and cleaning priority.