The creation of a new cycle track in Calgary’s East Village begins on Monday.
Construction of the track will complete a gap in the bicycle network between 9 Avenue Southeast and the Bow River Pathway.
The track will be located along Riverfront Lane Southeast, 7 Avenue Southeast and 4 Street Southeast.
It’s expected the work will be completed by the end of October.
This project is a collaboration between the City of Calgary and the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC).
Where will the cycle track be located?
According to the City of Calgary, two uni-directional cycle tracks will be constructed along 4 Street between 9 Avenue Southeast and 7 Avenue Southeast.
The track will then merge and run east on the south side of 7 Avenue to Riverfront Lane, at which point bicycles will share the sidewalk with pedestrians.
The cycle track will then continue north on the west side of Riverfront Lane Southeast between 7 Avenue and 6 Avenue, before connecting to the Bow River Pathway.
That construction of the new cycle track will reduce southbound 4 Street to one lane from 5 Avenue Southeast to 7 Avenue Southeast, and reduce westbound 9 Avenue Southeast to two lanes between 4 Street and 5 Street.
Concerns over cyclists and pedestrians sharing the sidewalk
There are some concerns being raised about the section of cycle track on 7 Avenue which will see cyclists and pedestrians sharing the sidewalk.
Gary Millard of Bike Calgary told Global News they’re happy with construction of the cycle track in general, but the stretch along 7 Avenue isn’t ideal.
“The reality is we’ve got to try and squeeze new cycling infrastructure into an existing road development … That sort of mixing always complicates things a little,” Millard explained. “It takes people a while to figure out how to behave there. So we hope it goes smoothly. We hope there’s good signage.
“Ideally, it would be great to keep them separated, but in an existing space like this we have to deal with what we’ve got.”
Clare LePan from CMLC said the section of track along 7 Avenue where cyclists and pedestrians share the sidewalk was a better alternative than if the track were to run straight along 4 Street, where it would encounter the LRT line.
“We’ve got one of the most complex train crossings in the downtown network,” LePan explained. “The challenges with that intersection is we’ve got trains crossing and a four-way intersection of cars.”
On a positive note, LePan says the construction of the new East Village cycle track will add on-street parking and traffic-calming measures to 4 Street Southeast.