I went for a Bike Regina ride around Regina with the City Manager, other City staff, and Councillors Burnett and Fraser. We went from City Hall to the RSM, through Wascana Park at the Legislature to 23rd Ave., and up Wascana Parkway and Wascana Dr. to Candy Cane Park. Along the way we saw how difficult it was to travel that route without running afoul of overly courteous truck drivers stopping for us, a sidewalk bylaw, an impatient jogger, and high speed traffic. Everyone seemed to have a great time enjoying the perfect weather, and learned a fair bit.
Councillor Burnett told me about the difficult year he’s had, with parents passing away, the recent loss of a pet, and his significant personal health problems. Still, he made the effort to go for a bike ride, and he said he was glad he did. I appreciate it when people make the effort to see our city from 2 wheels. I got to chat a moment with Chris Holden the new City Manager. He’s recently taken up biking again, and has been enjoying it. I asked if he was able to participate in the Commuter Challenge this week, but his schedule didn’t make him feel it was possible. Also, there are no showers available at City Hall, that huge office tower, and that gives new riders pause when they’re used to having one available following a workout that might have them sweating.
Connecting the southbound bike lane downtown with Saskatchewan Dr., and making it jog a block east at College Ave. to connect with Wascana Dr., would be a simple fix to add more value to the lane. The wide lane helps keep cyclists out of the “door zone” made by parked cars. There is also the example of Saskatoon’s safer protected lanes to consider on Wascana Parkway and elsewhere.
I joked to Councillor Fraser that if the City made it legal for bikes to be on the sidewalk soon, it could become legal before marijuana is in Canada.