Posted by Editoress on 06/12/03
City of Edmonton to Ban Riding on Singletrack
Courtesy Mike Sarnecki, Off Road Trail Advocacy Director, Alberta Bicycle Association
The City of Edmonton is planning to effectively ban all singletrack riding in the river valley with the new parkland bylaw as the city's definition of trail does not include singletrack.
Excerpt from the bylaw proposal Q & A: What is meant by a "trail"? The Parkland Bylaw defines two types of trails, improved and unimproved. In both cases they refer to an identifiable path, track or public right-of-way on parkland intended for use by pedestrians and vehicles other than motor vehicles. Improved trails have a width equal to or greater than 1.5 metres and have an improved surface such as pavement, granular material or mulch, or a maintained grass surface. Unimproved trails have a width equal to or greater than 0.5 metre and have a natural surface. Unimproved trails are best suited to activities that can be done 'single file' or where a smoother surface is not required. (For a more complete definition of trails, please see the proposed Parkland Bylaw)
Paths or tracks that have a width of less than 0.5 metre are not trails, as defined in the Bylaw. Narrow 'animal paths' that often crisscross Edmonton's river valley are not considered trails, but are deemed to be part of natural areas. Individuals may only travel in natural areas if they remain on an improved or unimproved trail. This rule will ensure that animal paths don't become enlarged by human impacts.
Councillor Phair has expressed below, the current public feedback is very anti-bikes. "As you know Council is dealing with the proposed new parkland bylaw. Although the [Community Services] Committee again recommended passage to Council, I think it will be very close and may well lose. We are getting numerous e-mails and letters and phone calls and letters to the editor saying the 'cyclists' are bad or cause trouble and should not be allowed in the valley etc. I think if you know people or groups who would say differently you might want to get them to e-mail,call etc. Council will deal with this on Tuesday [June 17]--somehow the entire bylaw has gotten framed as a parkland for cyclists bylaw!"
If you want singletrack trails to become open to riding your are urged to contact the city. It is time for us quiet cyclists to make our voice hear. You can view the entire proposed bylaw at www.edmonton.ca/comm_services/parkland_services/parks/Bylaw2202/bylaw_2202.html and email your concerns and comments before council votes on this bylaw on June 17th to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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