Commuting Using the River Valley: Edmonton West End to Central

Want to get downtown or to Strathcona from west Edmonton without carbon emission but aren’t quite sure how to proceed? Want to use “active transportation” meaning human-powered travel such as cycling, running, walking, in-line skating, and skateboarding?

This blog contains tips on route planning and avoiding the traffic. Cycling is likely the most popular choice, although running, etc. works equally well. When West Edmonton is talked about it is the neighbourhoods shown on the map below.


Edmonton Cycle Paths

As a first step the city has multiple cycle paths to help you get around in your neighbourhood and beyond:

A favourite path of mine runs east west parallel to 100 Avenue, it is marked with an “A” on the map above. You can access it from 163 Street and go all the way east to 149 Street. This path is completely separated from cars and winds round trees and bushes (look out for pedestrians!). If you are fortunate enough to live in the Glenwood or West Jasper Place neighbourhoods you have direct access to this path which is not allowed for cars.

Residential Access Roads

A number of the main roads in the west end have the houses set back with a separate access road video running parallel to the main route. Examples are 87 and 95 Avenue, 142 and 163 Street. These separate access roads are only used by local residents so there are very few vehicles. Just make sure to keep an
eye out for traffic on the side roads that you cross as you cycle along these access roads. The drivers may not be as observant as they should.

River Valley Access

Once you can access the river valley paths, they will provide the most peaceful ride directly to downtown. The access points are not always that obvious especially if you are new to the city. The marked two main access points, “B” and “C” on the map above.

  • “B” is on 149 Street and ties in with the 100 Avenue bike path mentioned earlier.
  • “C” is on 142 Street and ties in with the 142 Street access roads mentioned earlier.

These routes will take you straight through MacKinnon Ravine, on to River Valley Road, past the Legislature then to downtown where more city bike lanes are available. Use the pedestrian bridge under the LRT line, marked “D” on the map below, to access the University and Whyte Avenue areas.

Edmonton Transit

The river valley paths are quite hilly so be prepared for that. Think you might not have enough energy to get home again? Edmonton Transit enables you to transport a bike free of charge on most buses and on the LRT system at non-peak times.

Author- Mike Pye