Active Transportation Advisory Group
The Active Transportation Advisory Group (ATAG) provides advice and feedback to the Transportation Department on active transportation policies, programs, education and awareness initiatives. The ATAG represents the perspectives of active transportation users, residents, partners and stakeholders in Saskatoon and is made up of organizational representatives, community representatives and City of Saskatoon representatives. The ATAG meets approximately five times a year to discuss active transportation topics in Saskatoon.
The ATAG is comprised of appointed representatives of stakeholder groups that represent multiple perspectives and/or user groups:
Verna Gallen (Walking Saskatoon)
I am a retired researcher, writer and policy analyst with a love of learning that has led me to university studies in fields like medieval literature, historical archaeology and art. Raised in Saskatchewan, I have lived in Saskatoon most of my adult life but have also spent time in Finland with my Finnish-born husband. Concerned about what life will be like in the future for my four grandchildren, I now concentrate on living locally and no longer drive a car, relying instead on active transportation and public transit. On ATAG, I represent Walking Saskatoon, a non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of pedestrians in Saskatoon. I am also an active member of a variety of other committees and groups that are working to address the climate crisis, improve life in Saskatoon for all of its residents, and adapt our city to the changing circumstances of the 21st Century.
Cora Janzen (Saskatchewan Health Authority) - Public Health
Cora Janzen lives in Treaty 6 territory and homeland of the Métis and has called Saskatoon home for almost 30 years. She works for the Saskatchewan Health Authority in the Population Health Department and has been an organizational representative for the Active Transportation Advisory Group since it was created. Cycling is the main mode of active transportation she uses but walking is a close second for shorter distance. She is a big supporter of all-ages-and-abilities and protected cycling facilities as well as creating a network as this will help encourage others to use that mode for some of their trips.
Kelly Klassen (Saskatchewan Government Insurance) - Road Safety
My name is Kelly Klassen, the Manager of Driver Education and Training at SGI, I have worked at SGI for 26 years and during that time I worked in various departments including, Driver Examinations, Auto Claims, Carrier & Vehicle Safety Services and Issuer Relations. Each department has provided me with a good understanding of the many safety programs SGI has in place.
Outside of work I enjoy spending time at the Lake located in Northern Saskatchewan riding ATV’s, kayaking and sitting by the fire. Over the past summer I was only able to enjoy a bike ride on a couple of occasions, but I am going to make an effort to ride more next summer, although I was not able to get my bike out I was able to go for a walk in the downtown area during my lunch and coffee breaks.
I have been a member of the ATAG for a couple of years now, when I was offered the opportunity came to be a part of the ATAG I quickly accepted. I am happy to share my knowledge about driver education and traffic safety with the group from both a class 5 and class 1 vehicle perspective.
I am looking forward exploring the bike lanes as they continue to expand around the city.
Alan Otterbein (Meewasin Valley Authority)
Alan Otterbein is a Landscape Architect in Saskatoon and has been the Manager of Design and Development at the Meewasin Valley Authority for close to ten years. He has lived and worked in Saskatoon with his family for over 20 years, and has been involved with improvements to the public realm in many parks and natural areas. Originally from northern Alberta, he has gained valuable education and experience in landscape construction and design at various locations, including Ontario, British Columbia, Montana, Alberta and Saskatchewan. His grandparents farmed west of Saskatoon and eventually retired in Delisle. In his current role, his focus has been on enhancing Meewasin’s trail network, that now runs over 100 km in total length, and gets over 2.24 million visits annually. Besides building trail, he is an avid user – biking and walking the trails regularly.
Darby Sutherland (Discover Saskatoon)
Darby Sutherland is the Earned Media Lead at Discover Saskatoon. She loves the City of Saskatoon and is passionate about telling the stories of its residents to anyone who will listen. She is especially interested in how the work ATAG does makes it easier for visitors and residents to explore our wonderful city.
Merlin Toth (Saskatoon Cycles)
My name is Merlin Toth. I have lived in Saskatoon since 2012 and have recently retired. Prior to coming to Saskatoon I lived in Yorkton where I started the Sunrise Cycling club and as it’s president, sat on the Yorkton Active Transportation Collaborative where we worked on designing and implementing a network of active transportation routes in the city. Since moving to Saskatoon I have been involved in the cycling community through many cycling clubs and organizations. My wife and I live in Saskatoon’s Exhibition Neighbourhood, which we love, because it gives us easy cycling and walking access to the Meewasin Trail network, Riversdale, the Broadway area and Downtown. We would much rather use our bikes for errands to any of these areas instead of searching for parking spots. For holidays we enjoy loading up our bikes, heading out from Saskatoon and bikepacking the backroads of Saskatchewan, linking some of our many great Provincial and Regional Parks on trips of up to two weeks. We do own a car but most years we put far more kilometres on our bikes than we do on our poor neglected vehicle. : )
I am excited to have been appointed to the Active Transportation Advisory Group, where along with representatives from many other Active Transportation organizations, I can play a part in developing policy within the City of Saskatoon and help to advocate for safe and efficient all season Active Transportation in our wonderful city.
Adam Bue (Commuter/Recreational Cycling)
My name is Adam Bue and I'm the community cycling representative for the ATAG. I was born and raised in Saskatoon although I've lived and worked on the East coast and in B.C. as well. I work as a physiotherapist at Royal University Hospital. What really motivated me to apply to be part of the ATAG was having two young daughters. Trying to get around with kids really highlights how wonderfully easy it can be with good infrastructure, and how uncomfortable and exposed you can feel without it. My main interest is advocating for dedicated active transport infrastructure. I'd like as many people as possible to be able to reap the benefits of active transport without having to feel like they're in danger or stressed by being forced into close contact with vehicles.
Graham Corsar (Business community)
Renata Cosic (Post-secondary institutions)
I am currently a part time student at the University of Saskatchewan finishing up my Certificate in Urban Design. I graduated from U of S twice already with a bachelor's degree in Psychology, bachelor's in Sociology, and a Certificate in Sustainability. I came to Canada as a refugee in 1996. I also identify as queer. I had experienced the Saskatchewan public transit system as a newcomer during my first winter and realized that we need to do better.
I do have a personal vehicle, but I mainly walk or ride by bicycle to commute. As a Sustainability and Urban Design student, I am very interested in providing my input in the improvement of our active transportation systems and making sure that everyone regardless of class, age, gender, and ability can safely and efficiently get to and from where they need to go.
Lisa Franks (People of all abilities)
Lisa has lived, studied, worked, and played in Saskatoon for more than twenty years and could not be prouder to call it her home. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has worked on the design of mechanical systems in commercial buildings. As a wheelchair user, Lisa has seen firsthand the impact that accessibility can have on one’s quality of life. She has always had a love of the outdoors and can often be found navigating the city using her hand cycle, adaptive mountain bike, or motorized wheelchair attachments. In 2021, Lisa made a major shift in her career focus and completed the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification course and she hopes one day she can say she had a hand in enhancing Saskatoon’s accessibility so all people can enjoy what the city has to offer.
Derek Friesen (Commuter/Recreational Walking)
Derek Friesen has made Saskatoon his home since 2013 when he moved from Regina to complete a B.A. from the U of S. He is a letter carrier for Canada Post and walks 15-20 km per day on Saskatoon's west side. His eyes were further opened to the needs of pedestrians when he started using a stroller with his children. He first used Saskatoon Transit as a student and started bike commuting during the driver's strike of 2014. He loves the freedom of using a bus/bike combo, but now lives too close to work and has biked year-round for the past four winters.
Jeananne Klein (People of all ages)
I grew up in a rural community in southern Saskatchewan and completed both a Degree and Masters in Nursing from the University of Saskatchewan. I held a variety of management positions within the former Saskatoon Health Region. Since my retirement in 2012 I have been an active member of Saskatoon Council on Aging whose focus is positive aging for all in an age friendly community.
I believe keeping physically and mentally active by engaged in meaningful community participation provides an opportunity to contribute to the development of a community that meets the needs of all ages and ability.
Jasmine Liska (Resident representative)
Tyler Rittinger (Elementary/High School students)
I spend my days teaching in a grade 8 outdoor program called Ecoquest. It allows me to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle and share these values with youth. We commit to active transportation to, from and during school. Sharing these student voices is a key reason I appreciate my inclusion on the Active Transportation Advisory Group.
When not at school I’m typically found with my family and often on a bike…Gravel road meandering, fat bike trail riding and cyclocross racing are some of our favourite adventures!
Berenice Romero (Public Transit users)
My name is Berenice and I am a graduate student at the University of Saskatchewan. Before moving to Saskatoon a few years ago, I lived most of my life in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I am the public transit representative, yet there are other ways of active transportation that I use often. Depending on the day (and how windy it might be), I might take the bus, bike, or even walk to campus and shops nearby. After my first attempt at winter cycling last year, I am looking forward to switching my regular tires for the studded ones this upcoming winter.
Kloey Shanay Bells (People of all ages)
Kloey is a fifth year Regional and Urban Planning student at the University of Saskatchewan. She is an executive member of the Planning Students' Association and is in her second year of project directing MOMENTUM; an annual student-led planning conference. Her interest in cities and transportation was discovered through travel, and spurred her to enter the field of planning. Her work in consulting has centered around planning for Indigenous communities, as well as design.
An avid cyclist, skier, equestrian, and yogi, Kloey enjoys staying active and being outdoors as much as possible. She is passionate about equitable and sustainable cities, and was excited to join ATAG to represent the youths voice for Saskatoon.
Depending on the season, Kloey gets around the city via a combination of her bike, rollerblades, bus, or cross-country skis. As a gaming enthusiast, her dream job is to design maps for video games. Kloey has roots in Watrous, Saskatchewan.
Stephanie Siemens (Resident representative)
My name is Stephanie Siemens. I was raised in Warman, Saskatchewan, and have lived in Saskatoon off and on for the last 10 years. Through travelling and living abroad I've experienced the benefits of functional public transit and active transport. I'm excited to be part of the ATAG because I see the potential for Saskatoon to be a great city for all modes of transportation, and I want to be a part of building that.
I cycle year-round as my main mode of transportation. When I'm not biking places, I enjoy volunteering with girl guides, reading, playing roller derby, and staying in touch with family and friends.
Curtis Standing (Indigenous community)
City of Saskatoon
Councillor Bev Dubois
Bev Dubois is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and is serving her 5th term as City Councillor. Bev represented Ward 10 for three successive terms on Council from 2003-2012, and was elected in Ward 9 in 2016 and 2020.
Bev has served on numerous local, civic, provincial and national Boards, Commissions and Committees. Her extensive business acumen and passion for her community has served Bev well as former CEO of the Meewasin Foundation, Vice President of Sales & Operations for Canadian Digital Network Ltd., Manager of Investor Relations for SREDA, and Business & Marketing Manager for Ernst & Young.
Bev is a proud recipient of the Governor General’s Canada 125 Medal for Community Service, the Lieutenant Governor’s Saskatchewan Centennial Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Nathalie Baudais, Active Transportation Program Manager (interim)
Nathalie Baudais joined the City of Saskatoon Transportation Department in July 2017 as a senior transportation engineer. She is responsible for neighbourhood traffic including the neighbourhood traffic review program, pedestrian safety, traffic calming, signage and pavement marking. Nathalie is also the engineering lead for active transportation projects. She is excited to be working with the ATAG to improve the infrastructure in the city to support walking, biking, and other active modes. She secretly cheers every time she sees someone cycling in the city!
Amanda Lindgren, Public Engagement Consultant
Other representatives of the City’s Administration, as needed