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2013 Transportation Category ― Co-winner 1

City of Red Deer, Alberta

Commuter Bike Pilot Project

Population: 91,877
Project duration: 2010‒2013
Total project value: $800,000

The City of Red Deer is pilot-testing a 20-kilometre network of bike lanes on its city streets. The lanes connect with 100 kilometres of existing trails, giving cyclists viable travel routes to a range of destinations, including 11 city schools.

The city believes that providing residents with transportation options will reduce the number of cars on the roads, encourage healthy and active lifestyles, increase the use of public and green spaces, and improve the community's environmental stewardship. With the new lanes, Red Deer's cycling networks now compare to those in Calgary and Edmonton, the province's largest cities.

The pilot project is scheduled to run until 2013. The city put in four kilometres of bike lanes in 2011, and another 16 kilometres in 2012. Staff members have been evaluating the project and will report on the results to city council at the end of 2013.

Results

Environmental

Economic 

Social 

  • Lower GHG emissions by reducing motor vehicle use
  • Increased public use of green space
  • Built environmental awareness
  • Reduced road maintenance and expansion costs
  • Reduced health care costs
  • Reduced cost of installing bike lanes by cutting the width of traffic, parking and bike lanes 
  • Reduced traffic congestion
  • Encouraged active lifestyles
  • Improved the health of community members

Challenges

  • The city had to retrofit existing roads to accommodate bike lanes without reducing vehicle or parking capacity.
  • Project plans were adjusted to accommodate public concerns on issues such as parking in some districts.
  • Drivers unaccustomed to sharing the road with cyclists needed to be informed and educated before, during and after the installation.

Lessons learned

  • There is no single solution for accommodating cyclists. Evaluate local needs and develop the best solutions for each situation.
  • Set up a steering committee with representatives from municipal departments and public interest groups. This ensures that the project will be an administrative priority and reflects viewpoints from the community.
  • Focus on the "five E's": engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation. The Red Deer steering committee created subcommittees to deal with each of these areas.

Partners and collaboration

Resources

Page Updated: 21/12/2015