“I’m just trying to encapsulate the frustration of folks who have strollers or on bikes, and just the frustration they feel”

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Cyclists and stroller-pushers shouldn’t have to dismount or fold up their equipment when navigating construction sites, Coun. Aaron Paquette says.

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Paquette raised the issue during the city’s urban planning committee meeting Tuesday after it received an information report on how pedestrians and cyclists are being accommodated during construction to ensure safety, accessibility and equity.

He said while cyclists and others have to accommodate spaces by dismounting or folding up strollers in order to get around construction, “we don’t ask car drivers to get out and push their cars.”

“I’m just trying to encapsulate the frustration of folks who have strollers or on bikes, and just the frustration they feel when they’re asked to dismount or they have to even fold up their stroller because it’s not going to fit through the path that’s given,” he said.

Paquette asked city officials if, going forward, there will be a different approach with expectations of making space for users of different modes of transportation.

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“We’ve been taking efforts to improve that and there will continue to be. I will flag that for some of these larger civil projects that we have, there are space limitations,” said deputy city manager Adam Laughlin, noting there are sometimes constraints with larger civil projects like LRT construction.

Laughlin also noted the city has been making efforts to improve signage.

“We have been making efforts to improve our wayfinding as well, to ensure that folks, as they’re approaching construction sites, can understand that it’s not just at this location, but there are other locations that are part of the construction zone,” he said. “But again, an ongoing effort to try and improve that user experience as it relates to construction impacts.”

The report states the city has a number of plans, policies and strategies that directs how to provide the infrastructure that allows Edmontonians to be mobile.

Laughlin said the city is working hard to accommodate active transportation during construction projects.

“(We) know that we still have some work to do but are working to improve that in terms of holistic traffic accommodation,” he said.

The committee was also told pedestrians are prioritized first, then cyclists, then other modes of transportation when accommodation is needed.

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