St. Albert city council is looking to pare down the cost of putting up signs to remind cyclists to dismount on crosswalks.
At last Monday’s council meeting, the project was quoted at $101,200. That cost would cover 390 signs placed at crossings on collector roads, costing $17,500, and 154 at crossings on arterial roads, costing $7,000. Installation costs would run the city a cumulative $59,800 for all signs.
Broken down, costs are $45 per sign with an installation cost of $110 per sign.
The signs would help educate cyclists, particularly youth, on safety when crossing at collector and arterial roads, said Coun. Cam MacKay during the Aug. 28 council meeting.
It is illegal for cyclists to ride across a crosswalk at collector and arterial roads.
Although MacKay proposed the signage, he said the price tag the city came up with took him by surprise. That prompted him to revise his motion on Aug. 28 so city staff will propose “appropriate signage” to the next council instead of moving forward with erecting the signs.
City manager Kevin Scoble said the change would help staff refine proposed sign locations.
“They may not be appropriate at all … locations,” he said, adding staff should do fieldwork before narrowing down locations.
“If (no) bikes cross at certain places, there’s no need for a sign there.”
The decision to look at signage comes after a July 10 meeting where councillors failed a proposed bylaw to have cyclists dismount at all crosswalks, including unmarked residential crosswalks.
Some councillors felt that bylaw, which was moved by Coun. Bob Russell, would make cycling impractical.
MacKay said he felt signage would help educate cyclists as an alternative to enforcement, especially young cyclists who may not know the laws.
“I wasn’t too keen on the cost of $100,000, but if we target it toward locations that make more sense we should reduce some sign clutter and get better bang for our buck,” he said.
“If it helps save a life, it’s well worth it.”
Currently, cyclists are allowed to ride on sidewalks in St. Albert. Dale Bendfeld, general manager of community and protective services, said crosswalks are a separate issue since once a cyclist leaves the sidewalk they become a vehicle.
“You can ride on the sidewalk all you want … but once you enter the crosswalk, it’s part of the roadway again,” he explained.