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Route finder (Autumn, 2006)

at 12:45 pm posted by Scott H

Route Finder presents the “Heritage to Downtown” route, plus “Route Safety” and an introduction to the ‘way-cool’

Route Safety

According to the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics, high-traffic streets are not significantly more dangerous than low-traffic streets. One study raises the likelihood of having an accident on a busy road by about 25%, far below what you’d expect. And the real fear in heavy traffic - being hit from the rear - is mostly unfounded. Only 4% of bike-car collisions are of that type. Most of them are on turns at intersections.

Curiously, freeways are probably safer than any street - wide, smooth, flat shoulders, easy grades, limited access, and good distance from motorized traffic. Unfortunately, most do not permit bikes.

Whatever your route, work it out and stick to it, even if it gets dull. “The safest cycling records are held by commuters” says James C. McCullagh, editor and publisher of Bicycling magazine. “They travel the same route repeatedly, so they know where the dangers are and what to avoid.”

Heritage to Downtown

The route featured in this edition brings commuters on a 9.5 km route from south Edmonton into downtown. Commuters originating in the south west parts of Edmonton find that they can make their way towards downtown using a fast and wide path that parallels 111 Street from about 23 Avenue all the way up to Southgate Shopping Mall. It’s a sidewalk style path with plenty of room for safe passing of pedestrians and slower cyclists. It starts out on either side of 111 Street and jumps to the east side just north of the remains of Heritage Shopping Mall. Because 111 Street is a transportation corridor there are few intersections which makes for much uninterrupted cycling joy.
After crossing the Whitemud the route dips into the Southgate parking lot and emerges at 110 Street. One block north it’s over to 109 Street and a straight run to the High Level Bridge. In the morning, most of the northbound 109 Street has a restricted bus/taxi/bike lane ... good for legally blowing by the cars stuck in rush hour traffic.

At the “bicycle bottleneck” (Saskatchewan Drive and 109 Street), cross 109 Street to get to the west side of the High Level Bridge. On the north end, stay right and you’ll end up at the start of the “Rails to Trails” path, this path forms a corridor pretty much all the way to Grant MacEwan College. Getting across Jasper Avenue is a little tricky. While the trail appears to end before Jasper, it really dekes into a little alley, then down a short contra-flow bike lane on 110 Street. The trail continues on the north side of Jasper. You can, of course, jump off when you get to an avenue that leads to your eventual destination.
Bikely Rocks

For an online Google maps version of this route, check out the way-cool and search for “Edmonton,” then look for a route named “Heritage to Downtown.”

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