SafeConnect’s Goal:
A baseline network of safer, continuous, and connected active transportation routes, free of gaps and danger zones, maintained appropriately, linking common Saskatoon destinations. 

Moving around your community should be safe for everyone

ghost bike at college and wiggins

For years, Saskatoon has struggled to make active travel a truly welcoming option for its physical mobility users. Many people feel unsafe when navigating the city without a vehicle, and with the deaths of Natasha Fox and Darin Kinniewess in 2023, their sense of vulnerability seems justified.

SafeConnect wants everyone to get safely to the places where they live, work, or play no matter what method of travel they use.

The time for action is now!

The City of Saskatoon transportation department has extensive, and laudable, plans for creating corridors throughout the city that are designed to accommodate all ages and abilities and connect major destinations. However, many of these projects will require significant funding, take years to complete, and still lack detailed features to make them useful for both vehicles and physical mobility users. 

The implementation of these plans requires our energy and input.

2024 – Push for 3 safer intersections

Fix 3 Dangerous Intersections each year

There are dozens (if not hundreds) of dangerous intersections in Saskatoon. At the Ride For Your Life 2024 event we launched the first major SafeConnect initiative. To have the City of Saskatoon make changes to 3 intersections this year, and every year following, so they are safer for everyone to use!

Safeconnect 2024

We’re here to provide ideas, today

SafeConnect seeks to establish a baseline network of safer, continuous, and connected active transportation routes, free of gaps and danger zones, maintained appropriately, linking common Saskatoon destinations.

We aim to work collaboratively with our City Administration to address shortcomings in the current active transportation network, educate all stakeholders on the issues, and develop potential solutions that can be rapidly implemented ahead of, as well as alongside scheduled projects.

There should be no more delays or excuses when it comes to safer infrastructure.

Everyone gets peace on the roads when everyone has a piece of the roads.

We are the community.

SafeConnect is a Saskatoon Cycles advocacy initiative, representing a growing coalition of clubs, organizations, advocacy groups, businesses, and individuals committed to a safer and more welcoming active transportation network. We are your neighbours and friends, working together to make smarter, sustainable transportation options a reality.

Making our transportation system inclusive of all modes of travel is a complicated process that requires leadership, cooperation, and alignment at every level. City administration has to navigate physical, financial, and political realities, road users of all modes often have diverse opinions about what is the best way forward, and lack of education and awareness can sow confusion. 

Early efforts to improve the network in Saskatoon did not have a coordinated approach and left many stakeholders frustrated and unsatisfied. Progress since has been slow and tentative.

The current Saskatoon physical mobility landscape is a hodgepodge that includes elements of mixed use paths, bikeways, painted lanes, one designated bike lane, 30 km/h bikeways, and vehicular streets. Most of this infrastructure is disconnected, incomplete, or riddled with dangerous spots that make them difficult for many users to navigate confidently.  

The City of Saskatoon’s Active Transportation Plan of 2016 was designed to provide more choices for moving around Saskatoon and provides infrastructure plans for improved physical mobility like cycling, walking and other modes of active transportation. It is an ambitious, aspirational document with strategic, measurable goals that covers a wide range of issues, including connectivity, safety, and convenience.

A few parts of the plan have been implemented since 2016, but progress has been slow and there are a number of overlooked areas of concern in the current document.

While the Active Transportation (AT) Plan looks ahead, SafeConnect is about today. The city’s AT Plan is a long term effort focusing on larger, expensive projects that won’t address many of the safety concerns for years, nor does it address some acute problems, like the intersections where Natasha Fox and Darin Kinniewess died at.

SafeConnect is designed to complement the long term vision of the City of Saskatoon with concrete, co-operative, community led ideas that can increase actual and perceived safety for all users, right now.

No, like the AT Plan, it is meant to help establish a safer and more welcoming physical mobility network. SafeConnect will provide continuous guidance and priorities for the implementation of the AT Plan, offering new ideas, and be ever evolving with changing needs and realities as highlighted by the community.

There are powerful and differing opinions on this, but the truthful answer is that “it depends.” Every method has strengths and weaknesses, and SafeConnect will embrace whatever works. The finished product will likely be a mix of fully separated lanes which are 5A focused (5A – All Ages and Abilities, Always Available), and painted lanes that appeal to commuter style cyclists, e-bikers and e-scooter riders. 

To augment physical infrastructure there are other means such as requiring higher safety standards for turns, specific bike traffic lights, painted bicycle boxes, and more.

Yes, the active transportation community has a lot of influence—and now is the time to use it vigorously. We don’t want to see another unnecessary tragedy on our streets. Not ever. 

SafeConnect aims to provide clarity to our voices, so that the messages we send are consistent and powerful.

Develop a relationship with your city councilor! Talk to them or write letters to show the importance of a good mobility network. You can find your councilor’s contact information here.

Write letters, or talk, to businesses you frequent about their role in civic development. Encourage them to have secure bike and stroller parking.

Engage in the civic elections to support councillor and mayoral candidates who actively support the development of mobility transportation infrastructure.

Talk to your friends and family about mobility infrastructure and how it can be done effectively. More safety, less stress, is the desire of almost everyone who’s going anywhere in the city using any method of transportation.

Be a positive ambassador when you ride. Cyclists are one of the highest visibility mobility infrastructure users.

Volunteer for or participate in cycling events. You can subscribe to our newsletter to hear about Saskatoon Cycle events.

Donate financially to Saskatoon Cycles. We can’t give you a charitable receipt, because we’re not a charity. However, with your help  and financial support we will keep working toward a Saskatoon where physical mobility (Cycling in particular) is a viable, year-round, possibility that can be safe and convenient for all ages and abilities.

One of the biggest missing pieces we face is a lack of information that indicates how much cycling is happening and where our bikes are taking us. You can get started on the remedy for this gap today.

Install Strava on your phone and track every ride or walk you take.

You only need a free account. And if you already use a tracking app, check to see if it has a Strava integration. There are more than 100 apps that Strava connects with.

Strava anonymizes the data from all users in an area and creates the Strava heatmap. Images from these heatmaps are a powerful visual to show that there are cyclists and walkers using streets throughout Saskatoon. But we need as many cyclists as possible to be using that system!

Bookmark and report there every time you have a cycling crash, a near-miss, see a cycling hazard, or have your bike stolen.

This is NOT instead of calling an ambulance or the police. Absolutely do that first if it’s needed!! is a system that aims to catch as many as possible of the almost 70% of all cycling incidents or near misses that don’t get reported officially.

Every time you report a near miss or collision it helps identify danger spots. The more people who use the system to report whenever they experience something unpleasant the more accurately we can see the dangerous spots that need priority attention.