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Your Board Members for 2023-2024 are:

President: John Johnston

Vice-President: Ken Williamson

Secretary: Greg Neiman

Treasurer: Pearl Franz

Member: Tatiana Tilly

Member: Andy Lamb

Member: Greg Young

Member: Bill Macrae


Thank you to our Board members

for continuing to represent us.

RDABC 2023 President's Message - John Johnston

The RDABC has not been particularly active in the last couple of years, but our existence has allowed us to be reactive when issues come up related to cyclists’ safety. It also allows us an official liaison with the City engineers and Red Deer County councillors to express our concerns. In order to continue, we need to have an AGM each year. It is not a big time commitment and it allows us to continue on, so I would very much appreciate your continued support.


Your Board Members for 2022-2023 are:

President: John Johnston

Secretary: Greg Neiman

Treasurer: Pearl Franz

Member: Tatiana Tilly

Member: Andy Lamb

Member: Ken Williamson


Thank you to our Board members

for continuing to represent us.

RDABC 2022 President’s Message - John Johnston



Last year, Bill Franz stepped down as President of the RDABC after almost seven years on the Board. In this last year as Vice-President, he represented RDABC in the City of Red Deer consultations for "Vision for Red Deer 2042" for the Downtown. The City heard our voice with respect to improved cycling infrastructure, free and/or affordable parking, and increased security measures for bikes and vehicles.


Also, under Bill’s supervision, the RDABC participated for the second year in Pedal Poll 2022, a national event led by Vélo Canada Bikes. Using the data from the Poll, he was able to provide the information that helped Red Deer be named Canada’s most active community in 2022 and take home the grand prize of $100,000.


I began the year by trying to determine what goals we should set for future directions. I met with Russ Watts and Niki Burkinshaw who work with the City and are our contacts with the City administration. Based on their work and suggestions, our executive identified what they felt were the City’s most pressing needs. These included a plan to construct on the west side of Taylor Drive between the Lowe St. development and 28 Street (to be completed in 2023), a trail along 19th Street trail from 40th Avenue to the Westerner entrance on the north side, and a trail along Range Road 271 from 55th Street (by St. Joseph High School) north to 70th Street. The first two trails are already in the planning stage, but the trail from 55th to 70th is still in the conceptual stage.


I met with various City Councillors including, Dianne Wyntjes, Cindy Jeffries, Lawrence Lee, and Mayor Ken Johnston. The goal was to let these people know that there is still a demand, and a need, for improved infrastructure for commuter cycling. We hope to find a new project such as the above mentioned for future use. Russ Watts also showed an interest in improving the bike lanes downtown along 48th Street from the top of Spruce Drive to 55th Ave.


As well, there was a cyclist killed in the county this summer. The RDABC erected a ghost bike in her honour and organized a Memorial Ride for her. Also, as a consequence of the unfortunate event, we met with Lonnie Kennett, a County Councillor, to discuss bike safety in the county and the possibility of more bike paths to connect communities. One such bike path would go from 22nd Street in Red Deer to Slack Slough and the route has already been identified.




RDABC Spring 2021 Update


Spring is early this year and lots more bikes are out and about! Here’s some of the highlights from RDABC:


30 Days of Biking is a pledge to ride your bike every day in April and share your adventures online with the hashtag #30daysofbiking. There’s no minimum distance — down a hill and around your garage count just like a 20-mile commute or a 350-mile charity ride. If you miss a day, no worries. Just keep riding and don’t give up! It's all for fun, or as serious as you want it to be. What matters is we’re all in this together. Virtual Kickoff is Sunday, March 28! Registration is open online at


We have applied for a grant from the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative to purchase and install bike racks at 18 Community Association facilities and 2 disc golf facilities in Red Deer. If we are successful in getting funded, the City will install the bike racks. We should know by mid-May if we will get the grant! There’s also a 2nd round, so if you have any ideas of what you might like to see in Red Deer, please email us at Here’s the links for more info: and


RDABC has been selected to conduct a PedalPoll during the 1st week in June. Red Deer is one of 14 cities across Canada participating. The count locations are being finalized now and there will be a call for volunteers as we get closer to the date. In addition to counting cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles, we will be collecting qualitative data on age groups, gender, and visible minorities.


The City of Red Deer’s Engineering Department has plans again this year to improve safety and accessibility for cyclists. They’ve been happy to incorporate feedback from us, and in particular, the results from our October 2020 Bike Survey conducted after our Cycling Through COVID Photo Contest were especially valuable! Thank you again to all who submitted their photos and took part in the survey.


Here’s some of the City construction projects that are either in the design stage or will get underway this year:

  • 77 St. Multi-Use Trail (MUT) between Gaetz Ave. and Riverside Drive;

  • Evergreen MUT extension on 30 Ave (north of 67 St.);

  • 39 St. bike lane improvements east of 30 Ave.;

  • 19 St. MUT (on the north side) from 40 Ave. to the Westerner.


Finally, the Government of Canada has announced Canada’s First National Active Transportation Strategy is being developed, with a $400 million active transportation fund over 5 years (also a first). Here’s the link:


Have a great spring, everyone, and thank you for your support of RDABC.


Best wishes, Bill


Bill Franz

President, Red Deer Association for Bicycle Commuting

Congratulations to our new 2020-2021 RDABC Board!

Returning Directors and Officers are:

Bill Franz (President)

Liz Hagell (Vice-President)

Greg Neiman (Secretary)

Pearl Franz (Treasurer)

Directors: John Johnston and Tatiana Tilly.

Newly elected Directors: Ken Lewis and Andy Lamb.

A big thank you to outgoing Directors Ken Williamson and Bill Macrae for their service on the Board and their many contributions to Red Deer's cycling community. Keep up the good work, RDABC!

RDABC President’s message AGM November 3, 2020


This has been a good year for RDABC, actually! COVID-19 did mean we couldn’t host an in-person Strategic Planning session in April. We couldn’t host a Cyclovia 2020 in June as part of the Wellness Alliance. Other events got cancelled also, including the Berry Architecture Community Wellness Ride.


But we did organize the Cycling Through COVID-19 Photo Contest which supported local bike shops AND we engaged over 1000 citizens which is 1% of the population of Red Deer! This was followed up recently by our End of Summer Bike Survey to which 52 people responded with what they liked about bicycling in Red Deer and other comments.


On the negative side, we proposed an Active Transportation Advisory Committee to the City of Red Deer. Two Councillors, Ken Johnston and Dianne Wyntjes, supported this but City Manager Allan Seabrooke and the other Councillors did not. Our goal would have been to work with the City to develop an Active Transportation Master Plan.


Subsequently the Engineering Department contacted us and asked to meet. They proposed to consult with RDABC regarding transportation projects three times a year, pre-budget, pre-construction, and post-construction. Several RDABC Board members then did a field review with one of the city engineers of the top two priorities for the City: the bottom of Spruce Drive hill and the concrete bulb-outs on 39 St. east of 30 Ave. that force cyclists from the bike lane into the driving lane.


RDABC has been working on the bottom of Spruce Drive hill for four years, initially with the Engineering Department, then with Report-a-Problem, a scathing Letter to the Editor of the Red Deer Advocate requesting action, emails to Mayor and Council, as well as public advocacy on our website and Facebook. The median on 48 Ave. at the bottom of Spruce Drive hill has now been narrowed and the bike lane extends through, improving safety for cyclists and reducing the potential for conflict with motorists. Improving 39 St. is a little more complicated and will be in design stage this winter and hopefully reconstructed in 2021.


We are well poised to continue building on our achievements. In particular, the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative announced in August 2020 will provide up to $31 million over the next two years to create safe and vibrant public spaces and to improve mobility options. Eligible community projects will be awarded no less than $5000 and no more than $250,000. The City is very interested in this. RDABC will be pursuing this in conjunction with the City and our community partners.


When I look back at the past 4 and 1/2 years as RDABC President, I can recall challenges met and opportunities seized. I am thankful for the support of the Board and RDABC members. In particular, hosting a Cyclovia (Open Streets project) in 2018 and 2019 has really upped our profile with the City and in the community, including with the Downtown Business Association.


We are well positioned to carry on the work of advocating for improved bicycle facilities and to help with the continued growth of cycling in Red Deer for both commuting and recreation.


Let’s keep up the good work, RDABC!


Respectfully submitted, Bill


Bill Franz

President, Red Deer Association for Bicycle Commuting

RDABC Fall 2020 Update and Notice of virtual AGM Tuesday Nov. 3 at 7:00 p.m.


Good day, RDABC members and supporters! Looks like summer is winding down now, but it’s been great weather for cycling and nice to see so many people out and about. A brief survey will be sent out shortly to you asking about your cycling experiences.


Here’s some of the RDABC highlights of the past year. We could not host a Cyclovia (Open Streets Project) in 2020 because of COVID-19, but we were able to build support for hosting the next one when that will be possible again.


When the Parks Department rebuilt the stairs from Barrett Park to Mountview last fall, they did not include a bike ramp on the side. RDABC requested this oversight be corrected and Parks added a bike ramp this spring.


Our Cycling Through COVID-19 Photo Contest was a huge success! We engaged over 1000 people on our social media (1% of the population of Red Deer)! Monthly draw prizes to local bike shops were provided for the contest which ran from June to August.


We proposed an Active Transportation Advisory Committee to City Council, but the City is in the process of reviewing the role of Advisory Committees and was reluctant to take on another one.


The Engineering Department is now consulting with us in respect to active transportation projects. Two high priority locations, the bottom of Spruce Drive hill and the concrete bulb-outs on 39 St. (east of 30 Ave.) are in the design stage for improvement, subject to budget considerations.


This is an exciting time for RDABC and active transportation! The Federal Government has announced two infrastructure funding streams, one for Provinces ($3.3 billion) and one for non-government (non-profit) organizations ($31 million). RDABC will be pursuing the latter.


Our virtual AGM will be held by ZOOM on

Tuesday November 3 at 7:00 p.m.

You will need to pre-register so please respond by e-mail to if you are planning to attend.

Please consider whether you can lend your support to the Board as a Director. For further information please contact me or one of the other Directors.


Bill Franz

President, Red Deer Association for Bicycle Commuting

Message from Bill Franz, RDABC President 2016 -                        

January 21, 2020 AGM Dawe Branch-Red Deer Public Library at 6pm

RDABC’s AGM was well attended with several new faces including a new member signup.

We celebrated the successes of 2019 and the anticipation of exciting events in 2020!

The RDABC Board of Directors and Officers for 2020 are as follows:

Bill Franz, President

John Johnson, Vice-President

Greg Neiman, Secretary

Pearl Franz, Treasurer

Tatiana Tilly, Director

Liz Hagell, Director

Bill Macrae, Director

Ken Williamson, Director

Matthew Kuehne, Director

January 22, 2019 AGM Dawe Branch-Red Deer Public Library at 7pm

RDABC’s AGM was well attended with several new faces including a new member signup.

We celebrated the successes of 2018 and and the anticipation of exciting events in 2019!

The RDABC Board of Directors and Officers for 2019 are as follows:

Bill Franz, President

John Johnson, Vice-President

Greg Neiman, Secretary

Pearl Franz, Treasurer

Tatiana Tilly, Director

Liz Hagell, Director

Bill Macrae, Director

Ken Williamson, Director

Matthew Kuehne, Director

January 24, 2018 AGM Dawe Branch-Red Deer Public Library at 7:30pm

RDABC’s AGM was well attended with several new faces including a new member signup. We celebrated the successes of 2017 and and the anticipation of exciting events in 2018!

The RDABC Board of Directors and Officers for 2018 are as follows:

Bill Franz, President
John Johnston, Vice-President
Greg Neiman, Secretary
Pearl Franz, Treasurer
Tatiana Tilly, Director
Liz Hagell, Director
Bill Macrae, Director
Ken Williamson, Director

Liz Hagell has joined the Board as a Director. She is the lead on the Cyclovia Organizing Committee planning on putting on a Cyclovia in Red Deer in August 2018! Much work has been done in lining up partnerships, sponsors, and funding. A Special Event Permit Application has been made by the Downtown Business Association on our behalf to the City of Red Deer. Pending approval from the City, further communications on this exciting event will be made public.

For an example of what Cyclovia Red Deer might look like, check out

Bill Franz
President, RDABC

Come to celebrate our successes of 2017, elect Officers for the 2018 Executive, and hear about the exciting events planned for 2018! Anticipate a big announcement for a Special Event. Bring a friend or two! New members welcome (lifetime memberships still available for $5).




On behalf of the members of the Red Deer Association for Bicycle Commuting and all vulnerable road users, the RDABC board would like to express our appreciation to the 2013-2017 City Council, administration, and staff (particularly Engineering, Public Works, and Parks) for progress made on improving safety for all road users. Accomplishments include the Multi-Modal Transportation Plan, the RRFB's (Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons) at marked crosswalks, countdown timers for traffic signals at major intersections, new multi-use trail along the future 20th Avenue and the east side of 30th Ave. adjacent to the Collicutt Centre and the new fire hall where there are several schools, connecting gaps in the multi-use trail system, and the maintenance and repainting of bike lanes. RDABC looks forward to continued collaboration with the City in promoting active transportation and improving road safety for all users. Congratulations to the successful candidates for the new Council!

Sincerely, Bill Franz, President, RDABC



Spring Update - Easter Monday April 17, 2017 - RDABC


Although we had some snow leading into the Easter weekend, the sun came out on Easter morning and we had a beautiful day! Lots of cyclists out and about these days which is great to see… Here’s a brief update on recent activities by your RDABC board:


  • Budget 2018 Open House will be held at Festival Hall this Wednesday April 19th from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Don’t miss your chance to voice your vision for the city!

  • Let’s Talk was hosted by the City of Red Deer at Parkland Mall on Saturday April 8th. Promising conversations about bicycle facilities in Red Deer and upcoming events were held with Mayor Tara Veer, Councillors, and staff.

  • The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has a grant program for municipal governments and partners (not-for-profit organizations) for new climate change funding.

  • The Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program is a new five-year, $75-million program designed to encourage Canadian municipalities to better prepare for and adapt to the new realities of climate change as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program is offered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada. Funding is available for plans and studies, with funds becoming available later in 2017 for demonstration projects and staffing support.  Under Transportation and Land Use Plans Funding, eligible plans include :   


Happy riding, everybody!


Bill Franz, President, Red Deer Association for Bicycle Commuting (RDABC)



December 21, 2016



Calling all members of RDABC and wannabe's! RDABC is updating its membership email list. If you are a member, please send a note to with your current email address and we will update our email list. For followers on Facebook or otherwise who are not yet members, lifetime membership in RDABC is still available for $5.00. Please email us to request a membership and we will be in touch with you. Many thanks!

These are exciting times for cyclists in Alberta with Calgary's separated cycle track pilot program now made permanent by City Council as of Dec. 19th! Edmonton's City Council has also approved separated bike lanes for 2017. The City of Red Deer continues to invest in bicycle facilities. Expect more RDABC involvement with the City of Red Deer as the City consults on the Multi-Modal Transportation Framework. 

From a recent communication with the City of Red Deer's Frieda McDougall, Manager of Legislative Services, "You may recall that the Mobility Playbook was adopted by The City of Red Deer as a guide for transportation planning. We are currently in the process of taking that vision document – along with other vision documents/planning tools – and articulating it into applicable, measureable investments into our transportation network – both on and off road.

Our work on the Mobility Playbook – both with the public and with Council – highlighted safety to be considered as a critical component of transportation planning. Along with accessibility and choice, safety will be top of mind as the plan is built going forward."



November 3, 2016  Talk with Cole


Ken, Pearl, and I were able to meet with the City of Red Deer's Cole Hendrigan on Oct. 31st for an hour.  Just to recap the conversation before it fades much more from memory:


Cole advised that this current Council's focus is on multi-use trails. Pearl brought up the issue of intersection safety, in particular that encountered when riding on multi-use trails that parallel collector routes, but also when riding on roads. John had reminded us of this critical juncture also.


Much of the conversation focused on design improvements that can be made to intersections. Cole referred to an American design manual (developed by the big cities), and advised that a Canadian design manual is also under development, by the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC). Some of the design improvements under consideration by the City for protected intersections include refuge islands, cycling-specific paint markings at crossings, and signage.


I asked Cole about progress on the Alberta design manual under development. It has hit a roadblock, namely the Alberta Traffic Safety Act, which includes bicycles under the definition of motor vehicles. This limits the kinds of designs that can be constructed. In BC, a bicycle is defined as a bicycle and that gives municipalities a lot more options in designing bicycle facilities, especially with regard to intersection crossings. Amendments to the Act are required, but the committee is uncertain how to proceed (wait for the legislation to be amended or proceed with the design manual in the absence of supporting legislation).


The Integrated Movement Strategy's Mobility Playbook is currently under internal review by the City. Subsequently, citizens of Red Deer will be consulted (including RDABC).


Cole attended the Canmore "Alberta Bikes Conference" in September and found it really worthwhile. He spoke with Edmonton MLA David Shepherd about the need for someone to champion bicycling safety in the Province.


I have posted a snapshot of our conversation with Cole on RDABC's Facebook pages. He also requested that folks call City Hall to speak to a Councillor or a staff person if they are happy with any of the improvements the City is making, e.g. the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB's) installed at nine pedestrian crossings. I advised Cole I had commented on the City's Facebook page and had also sent in a letter to the editor of the Red Deer Advocate. So feel free to call someone at the City to express your appreciation!


There will be more conversations with Cole in the future. He hasn't called on us too much yet, but he certainly appreciates our local knowledge and commitment to improving safety.


Best wishes, Bill


September 2016 Update - RDABC

With summer almost over and glorious fall colours about to paint Red Deer with yellows and reds and browns, here’s a brief update on recent activities by your RDABC board:


  • Participating in the Community Bike Fair and Repair Café at the Dawe Branch of the Red Deer Public Library;

  • Participating in several free webinars hosted by Simon Fraser University (SFU) on cycling:

  • #BIKETORIA: How the City of Victoria aims to be one of the best small cities in the world for cycling; 

  • Another View on Urban Transportation: Scenes and Details, Policy and Action from cities of Africa, Asia, and Australia, by Dr. Cole Hendrigan, City of Red Deer;

  • From Spaces for Cars to Spaces for People: How Shared Space in Auckland Moves us Towards People-Oriented Spaces;

  • WEBCAST "Cycling at the Crossroads: advocacy, policy and tools for change from London, UK”.

  • Meeting and interacting subsequently with Dr. Cole Hendrigan of the City of Red Deer’s Engineering Services Department. Cole is the Project Manager - Land Use and Transportation Integration and is responsible for advancing the CIty’s Mobility Playbook as part of the Integrated Movement Strategy. Cole is responsible for “coordinating a long-ranged Land Use and Transportation plan, language, budget, construction details, multi-modal Level of Service tool development, modelling urban growth and the modes of transportation required.” Cole was the second presenter in the SFU webinar series;

  • Promoting Alberta Health Services and their delivery of the “Learn to Ride” Program, also known as “You Can Ride Too”;

  • Meeting with several City Councillors at the request of Bike Calgary to learn about the funding request to be presented to the Alberta government for annual dedicated funding to municipalities for bicycle infrastructure. In addition, Alberta Transportation in partnership with municipalities including the City of Red Deer is developing a Design Guide for bicycle facilities. The Design Guide will be prepared by an engineering consultant with input from the municipalities and bicycle advocacy groups (including RDABC). The Design Guide is to be completed by next year (summer 2017).

  • A telephone conversation with Wayne Gustafson, City of Red Deer’s Engineering Services Manager, about the roadwork planned along Taylor Drive between 28th Street and 19th Street to accommodate the development of Southpointe Junction. Wayne advised that the developer is required to provide some form of pedestrian/cyclist pathway along the frontage of the development. We also discussed the lack of sidewalk/multi-use trail along 19th Street between Gaetz Avenue and Taylor Drive. Wayne advised that the City is currently looking at different options to improve connectivity along this route and to stay tuned; he anticipates construction of same will occur along this stretch in the next two to three years.

  • The 4th Annual Alberta Bikes Conference will be held in Canmore again the weekend of September 17th. A couple of RDABC directors are planning to attend. The focus of this year’s conference will be on promoting cycle tourism. Last year’s event was attended by more than 80 people, including municipal councillors and staff, Alberta Transportation and Alberta Tourism staff, engineering consultants, and advocacy groups (including RDABC). Two MLA’s (one from Edmonton and also the local MLA) spoke at the conference.  The 1st and 2nd annual conferences were held in Red Deer at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre.


Bill Franz, President, Red Deer Association for Bicycle Commuting (RDABC)

Past Messages from our Past-Prez, Greg Neiman

President's Report 2016 AGM


The Red Deer Association for Bicycle Commuting began as a small group of

people dedicated to improving bike infrastructure in Red Deer. They wanted to

make Red Deer a safer, more efficient and more pleasant city in which to ride

one's bike, as opposed to having to drive for every errand. They recognized that

Red Deer would follow the route of many other cities around the world where

ever-growing numbers of people were choosing to travel through their daily lives

by bike.


They were right in their vision. The past few years has seen a slow but

perceptible rise in the number of cyclists on the streets and cycle paths, going

about their daily business. That steady rise, year over year, in Red Deer's

cycling population includes a rise in the number of cyclists who have discovered

it's possible — even desirable — to commute by bike here all year round.


Today, there is a real awareness on city council and among city planners that a

steady increase in active non-car commuting has a long list of benefits for the

city. These benefits are not just for the subgroup of bike commuters, but for the

city as a whole. There are demonstrable bang-for-buck returns to taxpayers in

transportation cost efficiency, in productivity gains in the workplace, lower health

care costs, increased spending at local small businesses — even a slowing of

the rise of auto insurance claims. Thanks to our efforts and by the experience

and example of other cities around the world, Red Deer City Council and

planners have been shown that a healthy growth of bike commuting as a portion

of the entire transportation mix simply puts more dollars in everyone's pockets.


The message is being received; city council and planners express more favour

today for changes in infrastructure to help our growing community of cyclists

grow even more. But the message is not translating into action; the favour may

be there, but the infrastructure dollars are not.


RDABC began as a small group of individuals seeking to speak for the whole of

the biking community in Red Deer. It worked informally, with virtually no budget.

Our strength was our dedication and our conviction that the changes we seek

really are in the best interests of everyone in the city.

That remains our strength today. But if we are to translate messages into action,

our small group of dedicated individuals will need greater support from the

community we represent.


RDABC needs the involvement of every member. We need new enthusiasm for

the work we are doing to help put more people on bikes every day, and to help

them be on their way safely.


We need a new group of leaders and volunteers to bring new energy to our



If the favourable conditions that exist in City Hall are to result in action, we need

new faces in the meeting rooms, not just the same small group carrying the

same message.


RDABC members are ambassadors for a community that has never been

counted in Red Deer. It is important that we remain active, because there are

still ambassadors working in City Hall who do not believe the facts.


As of this annual general meeting, I intend to step down as president of RDABC.

I believe as strongly as ever in our association, but we need new energies and

ideas to help us grow and achieve our goals.


I still wish to be active in RDABC; to represent RDABC at events and in our

relationship with other organizations, like CARTS. But our executive needs

some new people in it.


This is a call to membership to step up. We will need a new executive this year,

including people willing to take signing authority to use our budget that has

grown this year through two generous sponsorships and through annual growth

in memberships taken.


I'm asking you to make your membership count for more. It would be a loss to

this city if the progress made by that small group of dedicated individuals who

founded RDABC was lost, because the association itself did not step up to

support it.


Respectfully submitted,

Greg Neiman, president RDABC



November 4, 2014 Annual President's Report:


One important lesson I will take from my experience this year in RDABC was emphasized at the second annual Alberta Bike Commuters Conference held recently in Red Deer. That lesson says it's time for advocacy groups like ours to shift away from simply taking requests to city councillors, engineers and planners, seeking the changes that we want to see.


That approach has become too adversarial. Instead, we need to build relationships with decision makers on the many things we already agree on, and become partners in solutions that all sides already agree need to be found and implemented.


The case has already been made ― and has generally been accepted ― that Red Deer's future will see cycling and walking as ever larger components of our daily transportation mix. The benefits to the taxpayer of this trend are already proven and are just too great to ignore. 


Besides, our whole culture is shifting toward a more active, healthy and sustainable way of living. Riding a bike or walking on our daily commutes are just the most visible expressions of a broad societal trend ― this is not just something dreamed up by RDABC.


RDABC activities this year included member participation in a spring bike swap, which resulted in organizers providing us with a large stack of printed cards containing safety rules for cyclists, plus a checklist of items to record, if things go wrong. 


These cards can be more than a simple handout; they show that RDABC is serious about bike safety. They bring our names and our brand to other cyclists, and potential new members.


Another activity was to take part in a consultation headed by Mike Roma, a consultant building a concept proposal for a commuter and recreational trail in Red Deer county. Beyond the obvious benefit of our participation, the meeting confirms that decision-makers regard our input as important in the planning process.


We also had a meeting with Mayor Tara Veer, in which we shared our mission and our views for the future. There, we found a wide range of concepts upon which RDABC, the mayor and city administration find broad agreement. I believe RDABC has a basis for more consultation in the future, looking at  solutions for accessibility and safety in specific areas of the city.


And, as mentioned, we participated in the second annual provincial commuters conference this fall. Alberta is poised for some real growth regarding better planning for active commuting in our cities. Information gathered from the Ontario experience at the meeting was very helpful.


In our mission going forward, we will seek to work more within our political and social system to find the best ways to help decision makers bring in changes that work for cyclists in Red Deer. Solutions that won't be scaled back before they can even be fully tested.


That job will require more from us as an executive and from our members as volunteers. It may also require changes to our internal constitution and bylaws, so that we can gain resources we need to move our case forward.


Justin Jones is the manager of a non-profit in Ontario, called Bike Friendly Communities. That group is a partner in that province's Share the Road Cycling Coalition. Both are well-funded (including with government funding) with paid staff who work through municipalities to create local solutions that make bike commuting safer and more pleasant.


Their successes build one on top of another, as communities copy the better policies and practices of their neighbours. When we saw his presentation on what has been accomplished in Ontario in the last few years . . . I'll just say it's pretty impressive, and far ahead of anything in Alberta.


Jones's top three lessons mirror ours (they're just worked on a larger scale): 


• You have to be at the table;

• You need to be a partner with decision-makers, not an opponent;

• You find common ground, and build on that.


Their coalition also found a very highly-placed champion, who could open doors to both dialog with decision-makers and to significant funding. I suspect Alberta will need to find a champion of its own, who understands the corridors of power, and who can find the ways to get urban cycling onto the provincial agenda, not just the disparate agendas of municipalities.


Safe access to the road requires changes in provincial statutes governing urban planning, as much as it requires work at the local level to ensure that it arrives. That looks like a huge mountain to climb. But in Red Deer, Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and many other centres, it's one we will need to eventually climb. One step at a time.


Locally, here are some projects that RDABC can consider for the coming year:

• partnering with Alberta Bike Swap on its local event in Red Deer;

• consider supporting a local CanBike safety training event;

• consider changing our membership requirements, to include an annual membership fee, to give us seed money to find other resources.


One step at a time.


September 8, 2014  From our Vice-Prez John Johnston:


Today the executive of the Red Deer Association for Bicycle Commuting met with Mayor Tara Veer to discuss bicycle commuting in our city. We came away from the meeting feeling that there is an interest in planning more bike infrastructure in the future. However, there was such a backlash to bike lanes by those who are angry with cyclists that there is some reluctance by Council to do too much too soon. Some councillors have lamented that we, as the cycling community, were rather quiet in reaction when we should have let everyone know how important an issue it is to us. 

It is important for us to show some active support for safe cycling in Red Deer.  An easy way to do that would be to join us on a short bike ride this Saturday morning, September 13, for our fifth annual bike ride. Meet at 10:00 am at the Cultural Services Centre(3827-39th Street, the building just west of St. Thomas Aquinas School) and we will ride down Spruce Drive to City Hall. We need enough riders to get a good picture for the Advocate, and your participation would be greatly appreciated. It would be even better if you could bring a friend.



September 11, 2014



I'd like to remind you one more time that our annual Bike Parade will be running this Saturday. We'll be gathering at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of the Cultural Service Centre, 3827-39th Street. Come a bit early so we can get new members registered. We'll head west, and see where the former 39th Street bike lane is now a multipurpose trail, moving onto the street to cross 40th Ave., and from there connecting with the freshly-painted existing bike lane that will take us around and down Spruce Drive and along 48th Avenue, to City Hall Park.

We'll regroup there for a while, and then we're done!

Your participation is very important to RDABC. We need to remind the whole city that the numbers of people who commute by bike every day in Red Deer is growing constantly, and that cyclists need  safe, accesible routes to go to work, shopping and on their daily errands. So please plan to come out and join the ride — and to be a real hero bring some friends along with you, so that we can get them registered as members of RDABC.

See you Saturday!

Greg Neiman
president RDABC


And this:




If you wish to get a wider view on issues around urban cycling and commuting, you will have a great opportunity to meet cyclist and community organizers from around the province Oct. 4-5 in Red Deer! This will be the second time Red Deer has hosted the conference, thanks to the staff at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre, where the conference will take place.



There are two speakers lined up from a cycling organization in Ontario, who have extensive backgrounds in connecting with the local governments and working with municipalities to integrate cycling into the community. Similar to last year, there will be ample opportunity to discuss the topics with the speakers and break off to talk about how to incorporate the ideas into your own organizations. 


Please fill out the form from the link below and they will get back to you to confirm your registration. Registration costs $50.  Please act quickly, space is limited!



Readers Advocate


Tuesday, 5 August 2014



Lament for a bike lane lost — why we need your help to find solutions for cyclists




Early this summer, city road crews brought out their grinder and erased the lines and road symbols on the bike lane on 39th Street. Just one more overpayment on the so-called $800,000 pilot project looking to examine solutions for safe, accessible bike commuter transit in the city.


The money was spent; expensive lines were painted — and more expensively erased — but the pilot project itself never really existed. Other than the torrent of online rants to the city's web site and calls of outrage to city staff and councillors about the project, no data was collected.


As with other lanes similarly erased in other parts of the city, there was zero enforcement of the painted lines anyway, so they may as well have never existed, even as an experiment to see if they could work.


So was the whole project a waste of time and money? Only if you look at the erasures, and only if you want to believe the issue is dead.


There are still parts of the pilot project in existence, some of them freshened up with new paint. Parts of Phase One of the pilot, the unheralded “bike lanes to nowhere” are still there. For the most part unnoticed by auto traffic, which flows as it has always done.


But of the project as a whole, the section on 39th Street was a special case.


That particular street directly feeds students to two elementary schools and two middle schools. It is a regional neighbourhood passage to three high schools, and a link to bike lanes leading downtown. As well, it is a link eastward to bike lanes leading out of town, to some of the most favoured recreational and fitness cycling routes in all of Central Alberta.


It still is, though without the (unenforced) protection of even painted lines, cycling there when the traffic is busy takes a certain amount of confidence. You can forgive parents for adding to that area's well-documented traffic congestion by driving their kids to school.


That's why 39th Street, along with several other sections of city pavement, remain of special interest to groups like the Red Deer Association for Bicycle Commuting (of which I happen to be president).


You can look at the erasure of the bike lanes on 39th as a waste, a loss. Or you can look at it as an opportunity to try something else, that works better.


The documented experience of cities around the world shows that the many benefits of increasing bike traffic are best achieved when solutions are introduced by increments, with different solutions used in different areas, depending on local conditions. Experience also shows that physical separation of cars, bikes and pedestrian traffic works best for all concerned.


The part of 39th Street where the lanes have been erased wold be an ideal place to demonstrate lessons learned from the experience of other cities.


For those few blocks, we could make use of the space between sidewalks (where they exist) and the road, to add a road-level bike path separated from traffic by a physical barrier — a curb, series of pylons or series of parking barriers.


No space to traffic would be lost. No conflict with pedestrians would occur. Safety laws would become more clear, especially at intersections, which are the greatest danger zones in any city.


Bikes would be off the sidewalks, and auto traffic would plainly see them at intersections, which become zones of shared use. Bikes and pedestrians would have the right of way moving straight through, with auto traffic waiting for the intersection to be clear before turning.


Would there be a cost to trying this? Of course. But given the many millions spent just this summer on city road improvements, with many millions more planned for the years to come, when did safe traffic flow come with such a low price tag, that trying this solution in this short section of the city becomes untenable?


Especially when this idea has demonstrated itself to work well in many other cities?


RDABC and city cyclists haven't “lost” with the erasure of the lines on 39th. Our “to-do” list just got a little longer. There is still plenty of room for civil discussion in this city, and lots of opportunity to find ways for Red Deer to realize the well-proven benefits of increased bike commuting.


That increase is going to happen anyway, with or without a serious look at the means to make this safe, accessible and pleasant for all.


On Saturday, Sept. 13, RDABC will host its fifth annual bike parade. We will meet at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of the Cultural Services Centre at 3827 39th Street.


We'll ride westward, down a part of the area where the bike lanes were erased, across 40th Avenue, to link up with a bike lane that still exists. We'll follow it to Spruce Drive, and from there to City Hall Park.


There will be the usual speechification, and a chance for people to meet other cyclists, and to join RDABC.


And with your help, the quest for workable solutions will continue.



Posted by Greg Neiman at 10:23 



May 22, 2014



I hope you're taking full advantage of our semi-spring to get out on your bikes! Here are a few notes on opportunities coming up to celebrate cycling in Red Deer.


-- On May 31, Clara Hughes will ride into town on her cross-country tour. RDABC members will be at her reception at an active living fair in the parking lot in front of Safeway at the Parkland Mall. We expect her to arrive at 5 p.m., depending on riding conditions that day. RDABC and Optimist Club members will be on hand to do quick bike tune-ups for anyone who requests it, near the Primary Care Network Bike Corral.


-- June 1 starts the National Commuter Challenge, in which people are encouraged to leave their cars at home to walk, bike, car pool or take transit for their commutes for the week. You can register now at commuter, as either an individual, or for your workplace. Or you can register as a member of RDABC, which is a nominal "employer" for the Challenge database. Track your distance daily online, and it will calculate your fuel savings, carbon savings and even calories burned for the week, adding it all to the entire national and city database. Log in, and ride!


-- On Sept. 4, the Tour of Alberta rolls into Red Deer, and if you act quickly, you can get a better-than-front-row view of the race. Perhaps, even two views. Volunteers are needed for the start of the race in Innisfail, a sprint in Sylvan Lake, and the sprint finish in Red Deer. You could possibly see the start at noon in Innisfail, and then return to the city to see the finish, or the same for the double-loop sprint through Sylvan Lake and then home for the finish, if you want.


Send an email to: George Berry <>  Tell him you wish to volunteer, and say you would like to be a street crossing marshal. He will forward your email to our volunteer co-ordinator. The job involves standing behind a city street barricade at an intersection that the race passes, to keep the street closed until the race passes your location, which should last half an hour or so. The local committee will attempt to give as many volunteers as possible their choice of jobs and locations on first-come first-served basis. There are the usual T shirts and a BBQ after the race for volunteers.


And in the meantime, ride safe, and ride a lot!


Greg Neiman,

President RDABC

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