A bicycling-friendly city provides transportation choices with an increased focus on sustainability, health and the environment. In the Centre City, a cycle track network promotes this approach and contributes to a place where people want to live, work and play; such as a vibrant, liveable Centre City. A cycle track network also encourages people, who want to ride but may have concerns about riding in traffic, to try bicycling.
What is a cycle track?
A cycle track is an enhanced bike lane that is 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.
Cycle track downtown Ottawa
Why are cycle tracks needed?
An east-west and north-south cycle track network will carry thousands of people riding bicycles daily to within a block or two of their Centre City destination. Currently, more than 12,000 daily cycling trips are recorded in and out of the Centre City - an increase of 35 per cent from 2006. There is little on-street bike infrastructure in the Centre City. Some people brave it and ride with traffic in the narrow travel lanes, some dismount and walk, while others ride on the sidewalk.
A cycle track network will provide a protected space from travel lanes and sidewalks, encouraging people who want to ride but have concerns about riding with traffic. It offers Calgarians transportation choice, in bicycling.
More and more office towers in the Centre City provide end-of-trip bicycling facilities such as bike storage and showers for their tenants and employees. New residential developments such as the East Village and in the Beltline will bring more people looking for alternative ways of traveling in and through the Centre City instead of a vehicle. Cycle tracks will improve mobility in the Centre City, ultimately increasing the attractiveness and comfort of bicycling as a transportation choice.
A cycle track network in Calgary’s Centre City is an important component of the Council-approved Cycling Strategy. It is further supported by a Council motion in 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.”
Cycle tracks - a balancing act
Design of a transportation system requires consideration of various factors. Some key factors to consider in developing a cycle track network include:
- Calgary Transit & Access Calgary
- Motor vehicle traffic
- Movement of goods and services
- Parking and loading zones
- Visibility and access to businesses
- Traffic flow at intersections for all modes
- Education and communications
Next steps for a Centre City cycle track network
In early July 2013, Phase one of the cycle track network (7 Street S.W.) is scheduled to open. Through 2013, The City will continue to work with the cycling community, Centre City business representatives, community representatives, and other City departments to identify and design the Centre City cycle track network. City Administration will present a proposed Centre City cycle track network to Council in late fall 2013.
Transportation staff welcomes comments or questions about this bikeway improvement.