The 10 Street N.W. bike lane pilot has generated a lot of attention and discussion over the past few months. Although 10 Street N.W. was adopted by City Council in 2001 as a major cycle route, it took over 10 years for policy to be implemented with physical changes to the road way.
The response from cyclists is generally very positive, however many citizens are wondering about the timing and rationale of the project. A lack of proper notice, signage instructing both motorists and cyclists on how to use the new lanes and Calgary's first "bike box," as well as the fact that the project took several weeks to complete due to weather and technical delays, added to the confusion. While the preferred timing for the pilot would have been springtime, it was far cheaper to implement at the same time as paving. The Roads Department has already done a post mortem on how to do a better job next time.
For the first few weeks of the project we saw significant traffic delays. Motorists seem to be adapting to the change and delays have been reduced considerably. Vehicles are getting through the traffic lights in one cycle and city staff are monitoring the project, collecting data, and will be making tweaks as necessary. We are asking cyclists and motorists to note specific hot spots and share recommended improvements with 3-1-1.
Pilot projects are an important way to introduce new ideas, monitor success, and fine-tune. The rush hour lane reversal on Memorial Drive and 10 Street is a good example: the first week was chaotic as drivers adjusted, several tweaks were made, and now it is considered a model of efficiency, reducing cut-through traffic in the neighbouring community and moving increased volumes in a very cost effective way.
City Council is committed to Calgary's Cycling Strategy. While we are lucky to have an extensive recreational pathway system, Calgarians have expressed a desire for safe and direct routes for on-street cycling lanes for commuting and getting about their neighbourhoods.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.