June 19, 2017 7:22 pm
Updated: June 19, 2017 7:48 pm

Long-awaited bike lanes coming to east Calgary this summer

WATCH ABOVE: Residents of east Calgary say their area has been overlooked when it comes to bike lanes. But as Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, construction is now set to begin this summer on the first bike lanes east of Marlborough Mall.

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The City of Calgary is going ahead with plans to build bike lanes in the eastern part of the city this summer.

It’s part of the complete street improvement for East Central Calgary which includes a bike network, safer pedestrian crossings and intersection upgrades.

“It would be fantastic because a lot of people commute from here to get to downtown [and] we use our bikes. Not everybody has a vehicle,” said James Blood, a Fonda resident who often rides his bike on the sidewalk along Marlborough Way.

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READ MORE: Bike lane construction starts summer 2017 on Calgary’s Northmount Drive

He doesn’t like the idea of biking on the sidewalk because it’s not legal for adults to bike there, and there is always a danger of running into pedestrians. But for him, the danger on the road can be worse.

“I just don’t feel comfortable at this time of day. It’s too risky. I always get honked at and it freaks me out so I’m like shaking on my bike,” Blood said.

Phase 1 will include a North-South bike lane that will run from Marlborough Dr. in the north to 19 Ave. SE along Marlborough Way and 40 St. The bike lane will connect the communities of Marlborough, Fonda and Forest Lawn.

Calgarians can expect construction as the city adds bike lanes.

City of Calgary

 

Project manager Ali Zaidi said there will be minimal impact to on-street parking because most of the roads used are wide enough to accommodate the bike lanes.

Ward 10 Coun. Andre Chabot said he hoped for the same result with the upcoming East-West connectors.

“I would like to see a similar change to what we are doing on Marlborough Way incorporated onto 8 Avenue, where we are using boulevards to minimize the impact on the automobile movement,” Chabot said.

WATCH: Police respond after video captures Calgary cyclist flying off bike.

Forest Lawn resident Michael Foster said his part of the city has been overlooked when it comes to cyclist safety.

“I’m actually really glad to hear that they are putting in bike lanes. It’s going to make things a lot safer for cyclists,” Foster said.

“It’s a really good thing. It’s needed because a lot of drivers don’t pay attention for guys on bikes. There’s been a couple of times where people have tried to swerve me off the road because they think they are entitled to all the road and everyone else doesn’t matter.”

Two East-West connectors will be built when funding becomes available. One will run along 8 Ave. SE and the other on Marlborough Dr.

You can find more information on the city’s website.

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