City unveils finalized plan for cycle track network

CALGARY – The City of Calgary unveiled the recommended route for a proposed downtown cycle track network on Tuesday.

Cycle tracks are on-street bike lanes separated by physical barriers, such as the 7 Street S.W. cycle track, which opened in July 2013.

The Centre City cycle track pilot project would cost $11.5 million, and — if approved by city council — would open in the summer of 2015.

Council would then monitor how the cycle track is working for one year, before re-evaluating it in the fall of 2016.

“We can make changes during the pilots,” explains Blanka Bracic, City of Calgary. “We can watch how things are working, we can make small adjustments, we plan to use temporary barrier separators, that we can easily move around or interchange with other devices.”

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“We also want to collect information on how it’s working,” adds Bracic “Then we can decide if it’s working, to leave it, to change it – or to remove some things that aren’t working so well.”

CLICK HERE to see the recommended route for the Centre City cycle track released on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014.

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An initial outline of the cycle network was previously released in February, and has already caused a divide between cyclists, motorists and city councillors.

While some believe there is a great need for a downtown cycle track, others worry it will slow traffic in the core – and question if the numbers support the need for such a large project.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the cycle network will be used by many Calgarians when it’s built.

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“One of the challenges that we’ve had with the cycle track discussion is everyone is fighting about the data,” explains Nenshi. “[Some people are saying] this number is inflated, or this number is deflated. The point is, of course the numbers are low because there’s no cycle track network.”

The finalized route is remarkably similar to the initial design; the biggest change is the shortening of the proposed route along 12th Avenue S.W.

City Administration will be recommending the use of the updated Centre City cycle track route to the Transportation and Transit Committee on April 16th, before taking it to city council on April 28th.

Open houses

The City has scheduled open house events to showcase the streets and avenues proposed for cycle tracks:

  • Hotel Arts (119-12 Avenue S.W.); Wednesday April 9th, 5-8 p.m.
  • Devonian Gardens (#400, 3177 7th Avenue S.W.); Thursday April 10th, 11:30-1:30 p.m.
  • Dragon City Mall (328 Centre Street S.E.); Thursday April 10th, 2:30-5 p.m.

A display summarizing the recommended cycle track network will be set up at the CORE Shopping Centre, +15 level by Holt Renfrew (324-8 Avenue S.W.), from Thursday, April 10, to Friday, April 18.

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The display boards and feedback form will be available on this web page from Wednesday, April 9. The online feedback form will remain available until April 28.

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