As part of providing Calgarians with more transportation choices in Calgary’s busiest area, the Centre City, Council approved the recommended Cycle Track pilot network on Monday, April 28. Here are some highlights:
- The cost of the project is expected to be lower than the original cost of $9.3 million by removing 1 Street S.E. and Administration’s commitment to lower the cost of the pilot.
- The monitoring program report for the pilot network will be presented to the SPC on Transportation and Transit in June 2014.
- A cycling connection is needed to connect the 8 Avenue bikeway and 9 Avenue cycle track.
- Conversations with citizens who work and live along the pilot network is expected to begin in spring/summer 2014 to make sure the design provides access to businesses and destinations.
- Stephen Avenue is still closed to bikes until the cycle track pilot network opens in summer 2015. You can be fined up to $300 if you ride your bike on Stephen Avenue before then.
- Administration is reviewing if the 10 Avenue bike lane is still required while the 12 Avenue S. pilot cycle track is open and report back to council July 2014 on the status.
- Traffic signal work will begin in 2014. The four traffic lanes will turn to cycle tracks in summer 2015.
In April, we talked with Calgarians about the cycle track pilot network at three information sessions and a 10-day display at the CORE shopping mall. A presentation was made to SPC on Transportation and Transit on April 16:
Cycle track will connect the Elbow River and Bow River pathways through the Centre City, and to its many destinations, such as office buildings, commercial districts, arts and recreation places, and residential communities. Ultimately, the cycle track network will improve transportation choices for Calgarians and make roadways safer for people who walk, bike or drive in the Centre City.
The Centre City cycle track network fulfills the Council motion (July 2011) to, “determine, through engaging with the Cycle Community, an updated East-West-North-South separated Cycle Route Network through the Centre City, as part of the implementation plan for the Bike Strategy.” It is also supported by the Council-approved Calgary Transportation Plan and Cycling Strategy.
Public engagement summary
Since June 2013, The City has been out talking with Calgarians who live, work and play in the downtown area about cycle tracks and how to improve cycling in the Centre City. Feedback received was taken into consideration when locating and designing the cycle track network.
In February, The City showed a recommended cycle track network and an update on project. People who attended commented on a number of items:
- level of support for cycle tracks
- missing cycle tracks
- concerns about cycle tracks
The City hosted events and set up open houses in the Centre City. People who attended saw and provided feedback on cycle track location options and how they can fit in the downtown.
The City had an information booth at a number of downtown events and locations where Calgarians gather in June and then again in August and September to get feedback on cycling themes:
- What cycling in the Centre City should look like
- What are the best locations for cycle tracks
- What should we consider when choosing cycle track locations
See more information on cycle tracks that the project team discussed with Calgarians in spring 2013:
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What is a cycle track?
A cycle track is a bike lane protected by a physical barrier from moving cars, parked cars and sidewalks. It provides a predictable space and minimizes potential conflicts between people who walk, bicycle, and drive.
The 7 Street S.W. cycle track between the Bow River Pathway and 8 Avenue S.W.
Why are cycle tracks needed?
There are a number of reasons for cycle tracks in the Centre City:
- Provides more transportation choices in Calgary’s busiest area
- More destinations have bike facilities, such as secure parking and shower/locker rooms in office buildings, parkades, festivals and schools.
- Roads become safer and more predictable for people who walk, ride, or drive.
After 11 months of designing, planning and engaging Calgarians, The City is recommending a cycle track network to SPC on Transportation and Transit on April 16 and then to Council on April 28.
Cycle tracks are expected to open in spring 2015 and 2016. Please see the project schedule for more information.