Saskatoon Cyclists Question Safety of City Bike Lanes amid Vehicle Damage

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In the continued controversy circling bike lanes, concerns have surfaced about the seeming futility of the posts demarcating Saskatoon’s current lanes. Designed to segregate cyclists from the motor traffic, these white posts are now precariously flattened by passing vehicles, casting doubt over their effectiveness.

Such an issue is far from astonishing to James Arnold, a staunch advocate of cycling from Saskatoon Cycles. Arnold is a keen city cyclist who avows that the ruined posts only serve as evidence of the city’s half-hearted attempts at ensuring road safety for cyclists. He suggests that a dedicated cycling infrastructure could have mitigated cycling accidents, such as the fatal incident involving Saskatoon resident Natasha Fox on College Drive in May.

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While the white posts offer some semblance of safety for cyclists as opposed to mere painted lanes, there’s an acknowledgment that more substantial measures are required. The instillation of the posts back in 2015 was purportedly part of a pilot project that failed to implement complementary safety measures like specific bike signals at intersections, leaving the overall safety plan wanting.

The issue became noticeable enough to be featured on a Facebook page dedicated to Saskatoon’s traffic issues. Pros and cons of the bike lane issue were hotly debated amongst dozens of comments in response to photos of the fallen posts along 23rd Street. The city’s transportation department discloses that these posts are typically replaced once or twice a year, each at a cost of approximately $75.

Ward 10 city councillor, Zach Jeffries recommends any reports of compromised posts directed to the city’s customer care centre. However, he is keen on improving active transportation in the downtown area, drawing attention to the Meewasin trail, which provides a safe route for pedestrians, cyclists, and scooter users alike.

Despite revealing plans for permanent bike lanes in March 2022, any decisions were postponed until plans for bus rapid transit and the downtown arena were finalized. As of now, there has been no set schedule to reconvene discussions regarding permanent downtown protected bike lanes.

But for cyclists like Arnold, the Meewasin trail serves as a lifeline, used daily for his commutes. A passionate believer in alternative transport modes, Arnold insists that for the betterment of the city, fatal bike accidents must be averted by accommodating transportation forms other than just vehicles.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.