Bike 9

Eating my words? Or having my cake and eating it too?

When they announced plans to put a cycle track on Assiniboine, I felt strongly it was a bad idea. The street doesn't have enough traffic to warrant a dedicated lane (Pembina, on the other hand....) -- all it needed was a proper resurfacing.

Well, it got the former without the latter. But while I maintain the street conversion was unnecessary and is needlessly antagonistic to motorists, I have enjoyed cycling down the track blowing past stop signs with impunity (they don't apply to the track).

When they announced plans to put an at-grade lighted crossing at the Osborne bridge, I felt strongly it was a bad idea. It's already a bottleneck in rush hour -- for all but a week or two each year (except flood years, which are their own ball of wax), pedestrians and cyclists can cross beneath the bridge, an area that could use some infrastructure improvement.

Well, apparently it's better to enrage motorists at rush hour than make pedestrians cross under a bridge. But, while I maintain that I'd just as soon they fixed up the "underpass" (deal with that drain from the bridge that causes a huge ice buildup on the pad most of winter, add some lighting, widen the path leading up and down the bank), I have found the curb cuts for cyclists at the at-grade crossing to be fantastic. At the non-rush-hour times I've attempted to cross, it's only taken a few moments of waiting to get a long enough break in traffic to cross (now that you can easily wait in the median without having to leap up a curb and balance there), without having to trouble anyone with forcing the light.

Perhaps my harsh words for city planners were a tad too strong.


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