His Worship the Mayor and Members of City Council:
We request the opportunity to speak at the next council meeting, 14 May 2012.
We’d like to thank and congratulate you on the new momentum improving cycling in Saskatoon. A city that invites cycling, is a healthier, happier and more attractive city. While this year’s cycling budget does not fund each cyclist on par with other street users, it is certainly a step in the right direction. We commend the effort.
We also welcome the development of a bicycle boulevard on 23rd St West. As it is, the design has some excellent elements: big signs showing distances and times to key destinations, road markings showing bicycles, and road narrowing on some arterials that the boulevard crosses. The latter help slow cars approaching 23rd, making it easier for cyclists and pedestrians to cross.
However we do have some concerns with the plan as currently proposed. A bike boulevard improves cycling safety by converting a through-motorway to local access only for cars. This encourages long-distance motor traffic to use arterials like 22nd St. A true Bicycle Boulevard is porous to bicycles along its entire length, while diverting motor vehicles at key points. Every home and business along a bike boulevard is accessible by car, but not in a continuous strip. Allowing only local car traffic quietens the street, making it safer and more inviting for cyclists, pedestrians, and home buyers. Property values rise on streets converted to bike boulevards.