March 10, 2015
Dr. David Atkinson,
10700 - 104 Avenue
Canada T5J 4S2
submitted via email and by letter
Re: Bicycle Infrastructure, MacEwan City Centre Campus
The Edmonton Bike Coalition is a group of Edmontonians that advocates for better bicycle infrastructure within the city limits. In just over a month last year, more than 1100 Edmontonians submitted pictures of themselves to show their support for better, safer infrastructure during our “I Bike” campaign. Over 30% of those supporters are students or staff at MacEwan University. As a group representing a large constituency of people who are important stakeholders in your organization, please accept our request as outlined in this letter.
Cycling rates are high and growing in and around the MacEwan City Centre Campus. Furthermore, once the planned 102 Avenue bike route is constructed, the campus will be in the unique position of being situated near the crossroads of Edmonton’s two most important bike routes (102 Avenue and the Railtown bike path that connects to the High Level Bridge). This proximity will make MacEwan a premiere destination for people on bikes.
Unfortunately, at the moment the City Centre Campus currently provides no sanctioned space on which to ride one’s bike. If someone on a bicycle arrives on campus at 109 Street and needs to access the 105 Street Building, for example, he or she has two legal choices: to ride eastwards on 104 Avenue or to walk their bike 400 metres along the sidewalk. The first choice is extremely dangerous, and the second will not realistically be chosen (the cyclist will probably ride on one of the sidewalks illegally).
Please consider adding some sanctioned bicycle infrastructure to the City Centre Campus. It would increase safety for both pedestrians and cyclists on campus, decrease the potential for conflicts between all users, and signal that MacEwan University invites and encourages its staff and students to use this healthy, cheap form of transportation.
Luckily, the space for cyclists already exists on the Campus’ southern boundary. The northernmost of the two parallel sidewalks there could be repurposed as a bike lane at little expense. With some signage, paint, and a few curb cuts at the driveways, it could be allocated exclusively for bikes.
Please consider this suggestion as a way to include all forms of transportation in MacEwan’s City Centre Campus, and to support a vulnerable user group in its healthy, environmentally-friendly choice of getting to school/work by bike.
Conrad Nobert, Edmonton Bike Coalition
Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society
Audra Jones, Director, City of Edmonton Sustainable Transportation
Cameron McCoy, SAMU President
David Buchanan, Instructor, English Department, MacEwan University