Tag Archives: The Partnership

The Partnership’s position on Bike Lanes

From The Partnership’s Chairman, Dave Denny

The Partnership’s position on Bike Lanes has been consistent.We endorse the idea of protected bike lanes, but only with adequate consideration of traffic flow, special needs safety, and with minimal cost to parking convenience. We have several ideas for how to make this possible by reducing the number of lost parking spots, by making up for lost spots, by providing affordable options for employees to move their cars out of prime spaces, and by enhancing the commercial benefit to downtown businesses. We hope for a chance to collaborate with the city and with the bicycle community to make safe bike lanes come true in a way that all interests can support.

We believe that it is worthwhile to pursue a demonstration of parking-protected bike lanes in downtown Saskatoon because it could simplify safe access for bicyclists. Safe bike lanes would be an additional amenity for downtown employees, customers and residents and would help enhance our downtown brand as youthful, fun, progressive, and healthy. We recognize that every visitor to downtown who switches from driving to biking will have opened up a new parking space for the other drivers.

We simultaneously believe that convenient parking downtown is one of our most critical challenges. The vast majority of employees and shoppers in our winter city currently drive. Many drivers view downtown as more fun, but less convenient. As convenience decreases they may be attracted to our suburban competitors, as has already happened in many other Canadian cities. The parking issue is more complex than simply the question of how long it takes for shoppers to find a metered space. It also involves finding acceptable parking solutions for employees. It involves finding alternatives to unsightly gravel surface parking lots which currently are heavily relied upon to serve a legitimate need. Proper parking management should involve measuring and projecting parking needs as our economy changes and as people’s transit choices change. It should involve finding solutions when there is a deficiency. We categorically reject a philosophy of “management by neglect” whereby car convenience is left unmanaged with the hope that its deterioration will drive visitors to other transit methods. Downtown is too important to take that chance.

For these reasons we hope for an opportunity to collaborate with the city and with the bicycle community to make safe bike lanes come true in a way that all communities can support, thus ensuring the longevity of this demonstration project.

Bike Lanes in Saskatoon

Francois Biber joins David Kirton to talk about bike lanes on the Saskatoon Afternoon Show.

Listen

Excellent summary of the issues by both of them.

Just previous to this segment, Kirton expressed his frustration with city councillors, the mayor, and city administration being pro-car.  Listen below.

Listen

Good for Saskatoon

I don’t know if you remember the scene from The Empire Strikes Back where Darth Vader sends out all of the imperial probe droids to find the secret Rebel base on Hoth (Han Solo and Chewbacca destroyed it) but I am thinking of getting one.

ProbeDroid TSWA

They would come in extremely useful in doing anything social downtown.  One of my favourite places in Saskatoon is the Rook & Raven.  Last summer you could go down at anytime and get a table.  Now you can’t get in if your life depended on it.  Of course there is always State & Main but from the day it started, you can’t get in.  Winston’s is as busy as it is loud and this is even after they opened the basement up.  I don’t even like the The Woods Ale House and it is always busy.  O’Shea’s Irish Pub often has room but it smells like deep fryer grease and we never want to go there.   There is a new pub going into where Scratch used to be and that could help a bit but the opening of The Woods Ale House and State & Main has only made it busier.

It’s good for Saskatoon to have a vibrant downtown at night and I can think of many big cities that would like to have a similar feel downtown but it’s awfully annoying when you try to go out with friends.  That is where these droids would come in useful.  They could scout ahead, save some seats, and if there is a deflector shield or ion cannon, I would know in advance.  It would also be a new revenue source for Saskatoon Cycles… droid valet.