Safe Cycling, E-scooters and High Density Mixed Use Zoning
I hope you are enjoying spring. It’s so great to see gardens growing and flowers in bloom.
I wanted to provide a brief update on a few things.
At this month’s public hearing the City is recommending a new type of zoning for Saskatoon, called “High Density Mixed Use”. All development in a municipality must comply with existing zoning before an application can be considered. This form exists in the downtown business improvement district, but as part of the overall downtown zoning – not as a stand-alone. Council will be asked to approve the new category in areas near the downtown, including the parcel below Nutana Collegiate. I want to be clear this does not mean approval of any specific development, and proponents would still be required to go through the full planning process at City Hall, including a public meeting and a public hearing. To learn more, you can read the report here: https://saskatoon.escribemeetings.com/eamm/CITY%20COUNCIL%20AGENDA%20-%20PUBLIC%20HEARING%20MEETING_May31_2023/Pages/ParticipantView.aspx?itemID=12
Note that the public hearing for this zoning amendment will take place on Wednesday, May 31st at 6pm in Council chambers.
Many of you have contacted me with concerns about the e-scooter rentals that began earlier this month. Saskatoon’s bylaw prohibits the use of private e-scooters as this is a pilot project designed to measure and evaluate how the new form of transportation can be effectively managed, with safety the primary goal. (And in case you are wondering, the City does not receive revenue from this program.) The bylaw also prohibits e-scooters on sidewalks and roadways with speeds more than 50 kmh. Each e-scooter has geo-signalling to enforce return of the machines to a designated containment area. Failure to follow this rule means credit card charges continue.
Like many of you who reached out to me over the past few days, I was devastated to learn of the fatal bicycle/truck crash at College Drive and Wiggins Avenue. I want to extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Natasha Fox.
City Council has approved an All Ages and Abilities cycling network and is also working on a corridor plan in the Varsity View area that will support better active transportation, however both will take years to complete. At City Council on Wednesday morning I will be asking questions about what can be done now to better support safe cycling.
Thanks to everyone who is staying engaged on civic issues and reaching out to support a better way forward for our neighbourhoods and our city.