Saskatoon City Council is considering a pilot project to add dedicated, protected bike lanes to two downtown streets. This actually sounds like a great idea. By concentrating biking down two streets, traveling downtown will be safer for everyone. Mayor Atchison seems to be against the idea as he emphasized possible economic impact. (The source for his estimate of $100,000 lost per parking space is not specific for Saskatoon. It appears to be a general estimate from the International Downtown Association.) I hate trying to find parking downtown as much as anyone but 4th Avenue and 24th Street seem to be less desirable for parking and ideal for testing this plan.
Back to the question at the beginning. When is summer in Saskatoon? According to the StarPhoenix article, “The committee supported a resolution stipulating that work on the lanes must begin by July 15 in order for the lanes to be installed in time to study usage and patterns during summer months.” (Emphasis mine.) What? Summer in Saskatoon is basically June to August. July 15th is the middle of summer. If they want to study usage during our summer, they really should start installing the lanes next week. I assume that it will take a few weeks at least to get them fully installed and operational. If they start in mid-July, everything will be ready for a fall test. I won’t be at all surprised if this gets postponed until 2015.
Related annual Saskatoon joke: “I hope that summer falls on a weekend this year.”