Bikes line up to celebrate the completion of Calgary’s cycling track

Bikes lined the streets downtown Sunday, to show support for the city's newly opened cycle track. Global News

CALGARY – Despite the soggy conditions, bike lovers gathered at a Beltline park Sunday, to show support for the city’s newly opened cycle track.

The project’s completion comes just in time for Calgary’s outdoor festival season.

Bikes lined the streets, from standard issue to some with a more exotic flare.

Why buy a bike, when you can make one like Craig Landry who made a wooden bike.

“It’s 100 per cent palate wood and I built it myself.  It’s very sturdy, it’s oak wood, so it’s reclaimed, up cycling, recycling,” Landry said.

A barrage of bikes were all around the park, all to celebrate the completion of the cycle track, a network of bike lanes through the downtown core.

“I love it, I was really impressed. I didn’t know what it was going to look like when I first went out on it and I felt very safe, I was really impressed how comfortable it was to ride on,” Lesley Kalmakoff said.

Story continues below advertisement

The final phase of the track opened last week and ridership is above what anyone expected.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

Evan Woolley, Councillor for Ward 8 says their goal after 18 months was to hit 800 on 12th avenue.

“We’ve blown those out of the water. We’ve seen days with 12 to 1300,  5th street was supposed to hit 1600 counts, we’re already exceeding those counts,” Woolley said.

But the pilot project has put the squeeze on drivers with a reduction in lanes.

The city says its’ added about a minute to people’s rush hour commute.

“It’s 2 per cent of our downtown streets that we’re taking up for our cycle tracks and we’re testing it for a year. So work with us and see if it works. This is a culmination of a lot of work from a lot of people,” Druh Farrell, councillor for Ward 7 said.

“The challenge with cars is when you’re driving in any new city it’s kind of weird to get around at first, I was driving on 12th avenue myself and it’s a little bit weird but people get used to it,” Woolley said.

Love them or hate them, the lanes are expected to be even busier as summer progresses and festival season gets underway.

Story continues below advertisement

Starting Wednesday, more than 250 bands will perform in Calgary’s inner city.

“Sled Island opened the weekend before, so we worked really, really hard and they have worked so diligently to open these tracks because one of the things Sled Island is famous for, is the immense amount of bikes everywhere,” Woolley said.

The cycle track was completed about 2 weeks ahead of schedule.

A final decision on the lanes will be made in December 2016.







Sponsored content