Edmonton Bikegrid: to the Brewery District & 124st

In the last post, I talked about how easy it would be to expand Edmonton's fantastic new bikegrid west into Oliver along 100ave and Victoria Promenade.

This map shows the new cycletrack network that will be installed this year in light green, and older, relatively high-quality bike infrastructure is in darker green. The orange line is the quick-win extension that we looked at last time.

Next we're going to continue north along 121st to connect to the Brewery district, the downtown grid on 105ave, the multi-use pathway on 121st, 124st, and the 127st cycletrack in Westmount. In this section things won't be quite as painless as they were last time.

Warning: this is all complete make-believe, but it doesn't have to be.

121 Street North of 102 Avenue

Last time we looked at two options for 121st south of 102ave - either a 2-way protected cycletrack on the eastside of the street, or 1-way protected cycletracks on both sides.

Things are more complicated further north, because the wide median with mature trees means that the road is much narrower. South of 102ave we can add protected cycletracks without losing any parking, but north of 102ave something has to be sacrificed.

If the on-street parking is removed that would give us room for a 2-way cycletrack, and one driving lane.

A 1-way cycletrack is narrower than a 2-way, but it isn't narrow enough to keep the on-street parking. So if we went with 1-way cycletracks on both sides of the street that would mean losing parking on both sides of the street.

This area of Oliver isn't particularly dense - from 102ave to 103ave is just a small walkup and a few houses; and from 103ave to 104ave has houses on the westside, and on the eastside are some lowrises and the Lamplighter highrise.

So it's pretty quiet as far as Oliver goes, but losing on-street parking on both sides probably isn't great. This isn't a quick-win, but of the two options replacing the on-street parking on the eastside of 121st with a 2-way cycletrack probably makes the most sense.

The Brewery District

Whether walking or biking, the Brewery District is currently a wasteland.

A decade ago the area was nothing but security gatehouses, loading docks and used car lots. Today it's trying to be a fancy, hip urban village, but the active transportation connections have not been updated at all: 0 new bikelanes, 0 new path connections, 0 new crosswalks or pedestrian crossings. To walk to the fancy new MEC and Starbucks there is an unmarked crosswalk across 5 lanes of traffic.

Lets fix some of that:

Right now the roads around the Brewery District are massively overbuilt.

On 121st we just saw that it makes the most sense to have a 2-way cycletrack on the eastside of the street. This image shows that, and for the sake of completion it also shows the option of 1-way cycletracks on bothsides.

In either case, there's plenty of room. Extending the cycletrack network is a perfect occasion to narrow these huge roads, and to provide crosswalks and curb-bulbs to improve the walkability of the area as well.

105 Avenue or 106 Avenue

To connect from 121st to 124st we could take either 105ave or 106ave. 105ave is probably better, but the images here will all show 106ave (it was easier to draw).

Both 105ave and 106ave are huge, and have more than enough space to add a protected 2-way cycletrack, without losing any parking or travel lanes.

124 Street

Continuing west on either 105ave or 106ave we reach 124st.

There are traffic lights on 124st at both 105ave and 106ave, and so at either location a pushbutton would need to be installed for easy access from the cycletrack.

And 106ave would require a little bit more work here than 105ave would, because it has a curb-bulb and some trees that would need to be removed.

Connection to 127 Street Cycletrack in Westmount

And finally, here we are continuing west through Westmount to the cycletrack at 127st. This section also isn't pain-free, because it would mean removing on-street parking for 3 blocks.

Westmount is quiet enough that maybe a protected cycletrack isn't needed? But if the goal is a well-connected, all-ages-and-abilities network then this is an important link.

The Updated Map

Last time we looked at extending the cycletrack network west down 100ave and Victoria Promenade, which really could be done with minimal effort.

Here we've continued that extension through the Brewery District and into Westmount. This one isn't quite so easy, but it is important:
  • add 1.4km of protected bikelanes to the network.
  • connect to 105ave cycletrack and the downtown grid
  • connect to 121st mult-use path and 127st cycletrack, providing access further north
  • connect to 124st
  • fix the Brewery District wasteland
  • lose on-street parking along 2 blocks of 121st
  • lose on-street parking along 3 block of 105ave or 106ave
With these additions we'd have a pretty nice grid in place for the 40,000+ people who live in the Downtown, Oliver, Queen Mary Park, and Westmount.

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