The Transportation Division at the City of Saskatoon has developed a vision, a strategy, and a series of projects to improve traffic in our city with the use of technology. This is done through creating an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), or a way to make the best use of the streets, sidewalks, traffic lights, and freeways that we already have by creating connectivity, making our systems adaptable, and making information as open and accessible to residents as we can about routes and options.
At October’s meeting of City Council, we moved forward with a decision to establish a city-wide curbside organics collection program.
This is a huge step forward for our city and it will have a significant impact on extending the life of the landfill—an estimated additional 23 years. The current (and optional) green cart program has been successful, but the City’s research has shown that 58% of what ends up in the black bin is organic material that could be diverted.
Council has been hearing questions about what will be happening at the June 20 Special Governance and Priorities meeting, in particular around the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes and the future of bike lanes in the downtown. Below is a quick overview of what to expect on June 20th.
City Council commissioned a study to look at the costs and benefits minimizing or even removing train delays in Saskatoon through underpasses, overpasses, and relocating the rail lines out of the city. There are a number of different issues regarding the rail study that make it somewhat confusing.
While I think there is broad agreement that there would be many benefits to getting trains out of the City—from safety, to travel times, to new opportunities for redevelopment—the bottom line from the study is that there are very large hurdles to either relocating or building overpasses and underpasses.
This week, City Council voted to retain the current protected bike lanes downtown on 4th Avenue and 23rd Street.
The downtown protected bike lanes have been controversial for Saskatoon, with strong and vocal advocates on both sides of the issue. Debates have occurred throughout Saskatoon at kitchen tables, around water coolers and in our City Council Chambers.
I voted in favour of continuing with the current bike lane arrangement until we receive more comprehensive information in June, when a plan for a connected cycling network will be presented to City Council. In voting this way, I was thinking about the safety of all road users, about creating a downtown that works for everyone and making the right decision for Saskatoon now and into the future.