Why cycle tracks?
Creating more travel choices
With Calgary's growing population, it’s important to provide more travel options in and out of downtown. Creating dedicated spaces for people to cycle increases transportation choices for all Calgarians by using the road in another way and allowing people to choose cycling as a safe way of traveling. With over 17,100 bicycle trips in and out of the downtown core per day, The City has seen a 40% increase in Calgarians arriving by bicycle since the cycle tracks were installed.
The cycle tracks were evaluated on over 80 performance measures including:
- Percentage of people satisfied with the pilot cycle track (evaluated using random phone surveys)
- Safety (number of collisions)
- Bicycle volumes (using automated counters and manual collection by trained data collectors)
- Travel time for cars during the peak periods
- Incidents of unlawful bicycle riding
To provide Calgarians with more transportation choices downtown, Council approved the Cycle Track Network pilot project in April 2014. The network fulfills the July 2011 Council motion 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 Cycling Strategy.” It is also supported by the Council-approved Calgary Transportation Plan and Cycle Strategy.
Extensive engagement took place from spring 2013 to spring 2014 prior to Council approval of the pilot project to select the routes. Open houses, information sessions, and public events allowed Calgarians to share their ideas, concerns, and expectations for the new cycle track routes. The approved cost of the pilot was $7.1 million, which is 1.1 per cent of The City’s transportation budget. The pilot was constructed for $5.75 million, $1.35 million under budget.
Final route designs
The route designs were finalized after hearing from the public and making adjustments where possible. The new cycle tracks were designed to include:
- Separated bicycle lanes for cyclists
- Travel lanes to keep vehicle traffic flowing
- Signage to direct cyclists and motorists
- Modifications to traffic signals to keep traffic flowing and improve safety for all road users
- More bicycle parking
- Maximum on-street parking where possible