I rode downtown with the kids this morning for the official grand opening of the 23rd Street Protected Bike Lane Demonstration Project in Saskatoon.
We actually USED the lanes to get downtown.
Don Cook, Manager of Long Range Planning at the City of Saskatoon speaking to a rather large crowd of cyclists!
His Worshipleness Don Atchinson, Mayor of Saskatoon, was present for the ribbon cutting. Sadly he didn't jump on a bike and ride the new lane with everyone else... at least he didn't drive down it in a convertible...
After the ribbon-cutting we did a complete tour of the lane from city hall to Idylwyld Drive, back all the way to Spadina Crescent and back to City Hall.
I'm pretty excited about these. My only concern was the placement of the turning boxes 9for cyclists travelling along the bike lane - like the one in the pictures above and below... then look a bit... exposed...?
The cyclist basically has to turn into an area where there could be cars going straight through the intersection...
This turning box - where there's been a traffic calming bulge installed - worked out a lot better.
It's a new development for Saskatoon and there will be some growing pains and lessons to be learned - which is why it's called a "demonstration project"...
of course, it being Saskatoon, we couldn't have an official opening of a bycicle facility without at least one person parking their car in the middle of it... (actually a bus stop they've pulled into and parked...)
or two... (again, bus stop...)
Oh and these signs, that are supposed to be reminding people driving motor vehicles to watch for - and yield to - cyclists in the bike lane... can you see it there? In the mess of parking signs...? yeah, I'm not entirely sure anyone in their car is seeing it - I rode half the length of the bike lane before I noticed them... If I were king of the world I'd try and put them in the buffer zone between the cars and the cyclists.
Overall I'm feeling pretty positive about the whole project at the moment (I was a bit apprehensive at first, for... reasons...). Overall I think the city's done a pretty darned good job at this one and I'm relly looking forward to them adding 4th Avenue next summer!
This may become my new route to get down to the library!