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Bike gross sales could have boomed through the pandemic, however municipal candidates hoping to get into the hearts of voters would possibly suppose twice earlier than promising model new bike lanes.

A brand new survey by CBC Edmonton on group points discovered robust help for highway upkeep and public transport enlargement, in addition to weak help for the creation of extra bike lanes.

82 % of these surveyed mentioned that sustaining town’s streets is essential, whereas the enlargement of native public transport is seen as essential by 61 % of these surveyed.

The keenness for the enlargement of cycle paths was considerably decrease, solely 26 % of the respondents mentioned it was essential and 42 % mentioned that it was not necessary.

Rocky roads

Highway upkeep was not the general essential subject for many of the 900 respondents (that honor went to COVID-19). Nonetheless, there was widespread help from all demographics – and significantly excessive help from individuals who additionally disapproved of Don Iveson’s efficiency as mayor.

90 % of this group rated highway upkeep as essential.

Some metropolis council hopes have already campaigned for highway repairs. 5 candidates even began a contest to attract extra consideration to the situation of town’s streets.

Public transport priorities

Emily Grisé, a transportation researcher and assistant professor on the College of Alberta’s College of City and Regional Planning, mentioned the survey outcomes had been tough to interpret.

The enlargement of native public transport means various things to completely different folks, she mentioned. For some, it may imply constructing extra LRT traces; for others it may imply an elevated bus frequency or modified tariffs.

Passenger numbers fell through the pandemic, which price town $ 14 million in misplaced income final yr, and a few concern {that a} shift to make money working from home threatens the way forward for city transportation.

Increasing transit can imply a variety of various things to completely different folks, an skilled mentioned. (Andrea Ross / CBC)

Sean Lee, a Toronto-based Edmonton planner who beforehand chaired the Edmonton Transit Service Advisory Board, is extra optimistic.

“It looks as if the development is that the majority employers need folks to nonetheless come to the workplace more often than not when it is 4 out of 5 days every week or a minimum of two or three days every week,” he mentioned.

He mentioned town’s economic system is dependent upon quick, environment friendly and clear native public transport.

“Even areas which have historically been extra car-centric and have not invested a lot in public transportation have seen the worth and are investing the {dollars},” he mentioned.

“We’ve got to be there if we wish to sustain at this degree.”

Brooke Jacobs lives in Ward Métis and takes a 30 minute bus experience to her job in a 7-Eleven in South Edmonton.

At election time, Jacobs mentioned, her public transport priorities will embody accessibility and decreasing the space between the bus cease and residential.

“After I get house from work late at night time, I do not wish to must stroll 10 minutes longer as a result of I have been on my toes all day,” she mentioned.

Brooke Jacobs is a frequent bus driver. (Madeleine Cummings / CBC)

Little love for bike paths

The dearth of affection for bike trails, in keeping with the CBC Edmonton survey, was biggest amongst these aged 65 and over and those that anticipated their family funds to deteriorate over the following yr.

“One of many challenges within the elections is that bike lanes and paths for shared use have been closely politicized,” mentioned Yasin Cetin, a member of the non-profit “Paths for Folks”.

On the subject of funding candidates for different technique of transport, he does not rely on a giant center floor: they’re going to both prefer it or not.

Nonetheless, he hopes the conversations will shift from transferring automobiles to transferring folks.

“When this dialog – this paradigm shift – takes place, we are able to suppose extra creatively about options to congestion,” he mentioned.


CBC Information’ random survey of 900 Metropolis of Edmonton residents was carried out between March 29 and April 14, 2021 by Edmonton-based Pattern Analysis, led by Janet Brown Opinion Analysis. The margin of error is +/- 3.3 proportion factors, 19 out of 20. The margin of error is bigger for partial portions. The survey used a hybrid technique the place respondents had been contacted by cellphone and given the choice to finish the survey at the moment or at one other handy time, or to obtain an e-mail hyperlink and full the survey on-line.

information.google.com

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