The Problem

The recent City Plan talks about automobile levers as a way to deal with traffic So what are these automobile levers?  Well a report earlier this year (CR_7477) highlighted exactly was automobile levers are.  Here are exact quotes from the document:

  • “Double the costs associated with operating a car”
  • “Road Pricing”
  • “Tolls”
  • “Congestion Charges”
  • “Fuel Taxes”
  • “Vehicle Registration Costs”
  • “Permanently banning certain motor vehicle traffic”
  • “Reduced parking supply / parking pricing”

This is pretty scary stuff if you rely on a private vehicle in Edmonton, which is the majority of us.

There are emerging technologies which help to reduce our carbon footprint, which I am personally excited about, but in a period of economic challenge should we be focusing on ideas which will make the cost of goods more expensive and chase business opportunity from our city?

The City of Edmonton spends a significant amount of resources, including personnel and financial, focusing on removing lanes of traffic and installing dedicated bike lanes.  Earlier this year, I talked about how bike lanes receive priority 1 snow clearing, ahead of other major arterial roads. As a winter city, we must ask the question: does this make sense?  This photo, that someone sent in to me, went viral:

Over the last few years, some bike lanes were removed, because they weren’t being used.  The lanes on 95ave (west) and the 97 street (south) were removed.  This is why it is important to measure what we do.  I’m sure there were more appropriate places for bike lanes, but members of council let ideology get in the way of data-driven decision making.

The Solution

As a City, we need to bring some common sense back to transportation.  Removing traffic lanes, in a growing city, to put in dedicated bike lanes is not the best use of our tax dollars.  This war on cars that strives to make it more expensive and difficult to get around Edmonton is also not helpful.  Making things easier has to get the goal, not more difficult!

Those cannot be the only solutions for Edmontonians, but sadly, that is what the City Plan strives to do.  We must change direction!

As Mayor, I’m not going to go in and rip out bike lanes that are being used in our core.  I won’t create a war on bike lanes, so the bike lobby can relax a bit.  I’m also not going to remove anymore roadways to install new bike lanes.  Here are my commitments:

  • Reject the recent City Plan and it’s Automobile Levers
    • This includes the subsequent policy document:
      • “Double the costs associated with operating a car”
      • “Road Pricing”
      • “Tolls”
      • “Congestion Charges”
      • “Fuel Taxes”
      • “Vehicle Registration Costs”
      • “Permanently banning certain motor vehicle traffic”
      • “Reduced parking supply / parking pricing”
  • Snow clearing for bike lanes will be changed from priority #1 to priority #4
  • Focus on expanded our trail network
  • Low-cost asphalt trails connecting our city
  • Cyclists can safely access virtually every part of the city
  • Widen city side walks to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, and those with accessibility considerations
  • No more pitting cars against cyclists; let there be peace