Businesses complain about new Calgary bike lanes

ABOVE WATCH: As we get closer to opening day of the downtown cycle track and more and more lanes close anxiety over the project is ramping up. Mia Sosiak reports.

CALGARY – The new bike lanes in Calgary’s downtown core are causing anxiety for downtown businesses as construction is underway.

City crews have been changing signal patterns, painting lines and putting up curbs to create new lanes to separate bicycles and traffic.

The pilot project is set to begin June 30, and will include new cycling routes on:

  • 5 Street (on the east side from 3 Ave. S.W. to 17 Ave. S.W.)
  • 12 Avenue (on the north side from 11 St. S.W. to 4 St. S.E.)
  • 8 Avenue / 9 Avenue (on the north and south sides from 11 St. S.W. to 3 St. S.W. and Macleod Trail to 4 St. S.E.)
Downtown Calgary Cycle Track Network is a pilot project set to start June 30, 2015. Global News / Cody Coates

The city hopes to change current bylaws to allow cycling on Stephen Avenue (from 3 St. S.W. to 1 St. S.E.) and Olympic Plaza during off-peak times, though no physical track will be built. On Wednesday, a city committee will discuss a bylaw change to allow bikes on Stephen Avenue during the day.

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Now that cycle track infrastructure is going in, the Downtown Calgary Association says it’s getting lots of complaints.

“They’re starting to see the physical impact in front of their buildings, where their customers can’t get to their buildings and they can’t park,” said spokesperson Maggie Schofield. “That’s not something that’s a big surprise for those of us who have been in the trenches with this, but now they’re really starting to understand that it’s reality for them.”

The city says it’s relocating every lost street parking space to another spot downtown.

Bike Calgary says cyclists are thrilled to see more tracks going in, and that many riders are eager to try them, because they make cycling downtown significantly safer.

City workers programming traffic lights at 12 Ave. S.W. at 1 St. S.W. to accommodate a new dedicated two-way bike lane on the north side of the avenue. May 19, 2015. Mia Sosiak / Global News

With files from Erika Tucker


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