Winter Cycling Congress highlights

Board members Dave and Florence went to the Winter Cycling Congress earlier this year, hosted in Edmonton. Excited as we are about riding through the summer, we’re also thinking hard about what they learned.

This street used to have on-street parking. It now has a bidirectional segregated bike lane that is part of a priority one winter cycling route (cleared within 24 hours). It is also part of a connected grid between the three neighbourhoods. Weather was mild while we were there.
Snow clearing equipment exists for clearing paths and sidewalks. What equipment gets used depends on the kind of snowfall. Adapt to the weather to maintain the network. Nice!
Edmonton has found ways to free the stairs! Not only that, there is a ramp up one side so you can walk your bike up, and a funicular so people with mobility issues can get up too. You can find runnels at many stair cases around the River Valley.
Edmonton has excellent wayfinding for cycling and public transit. We saw it everywhere we went. Ottawa should definitely emulate that.
Walterdale Bridge is parted between motorized traffic (in-between those arches) and active transportation. The active transportation side is very wide, which makes it practical and pleasant to ride side-by-side. It’s well connected to trails in the River Valley as well as to the cycling grid. And it’s maintained year-round. Imagine!
Beautiful active transit options can be built alongside public transit infrastructure. Or in this case, underneath. The LRT line above provides some protection from the weather for people below. It’s well designed: boardwalks on the sides, cycling in the middle and benches half way across for people to rest and enjoy the view. Tawatinâ Bridge also has beautiful indigenous art on the ceiling.
Bikes are welcome on the LRT system: any car any time of day. Wayfinding on the platforms is great. Watch out for balance when the train gets going. It leaves the station fast. Florence almost lost her balance right after this.
A connected network is great, but only really works if people can lock their bikes up safely at their destination. These models can be used by a range of regular, cargo and adaptive bikes.