Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cycle Tracks pilot project under construction, open by end of June

Calgarians will soon have more transportation options available to them with the opening of the Centre City Cycle Track Network pilot project.

Scheduled to open by the end of June this year, the pilot project includes the installation of four new cycle track routes through the Centre City.

Cycle tracks are different from bike lanes in that they are separated from vehicle lanes by a physical, on-street barrier. The physical barrier increases safety and comfort on the road for cyclists, drivers and pedestrians alike.

“These new cycle track routes will be very similar to the cycle track that was installed on 7 Street S.W. in 2013,” said Tom Thivener, Bike Coordinator at The City of Calgary. “After the 7 Street cycle track was built, we saw the number of people bicycling quadruple, making it the busiest on-street bikeway in Centre City. We also saw sidewalk riding go down significantly. We hope to see the same success with these new cycle track routes.”

Instead of a concrete barrier the new cycle tracks will have a barrier that is not permanent because of the pilot nature of the project.

The new cycle track routes are:
  • 5 Street (from 3 Avenue S.W. to 17 Avenue S.W.)
  • 12 Avenue (from 11 Street S.W. to 4 Street S.E.)
  • 8 Avenue (from 11 Street S.W. to 3 Street S.W.)
  • 9 Avenue (from  Macleod Trail to 4 Street S.E.)
Stephen Avenue and the Olympic Plaza block will not have a cycle track but will be a shared space between people cycling and walking during the daytime hours and will be shared between people cycling and driving in the evening hours. It will be designed to be a slow and safe street for those who walk, bicycle and drive.

Construction will begin on the new routes in mid-April.  The City will aim to minimize traffic disruptions by working in the off hours as much as possible.

Members of the public are invited to see the final cycle track network design at one of four public information sessions:

April 14, 2015 
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Bankers Hall, 315 8 Ave S.W. (+15 level, next to The Source)
April 21, 2015
5 – 7 p.m.
Kahanoff Conference Centre, 105 12 Ave S.E., Jim Hume Room
April 16, 2015
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Calgary City Hall, 800 Macleod Trail S.E.
April 22, 2015
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Western Canadian Place, 801 6 Street S.W.

For more information about the Centre City Cycle Track Network pilot program, visit:    


  1. Stupid - we can not afford to lose a lane off 5ST North of 10th Ave. I speak as a cyclist!

  2. Why do we need to add additional bike lanes? The one on 7th street took away a whole lane of traffic and the bike lane is empty all the time. Same thing will happen on 8th avenue. We will loose a traffic lane (or parking), right turns on red will not be allowed which will also cause big hold ups. All for a few bikes. Glad I'm retiring soon and won't have to drive downtown any more.

    1. Cycle tracks give Calgarians more transportation choices in the centre city, which is important as the city continues to grow. Choices give people the option to leave their car at home to avoid traffic congestion. The street now handles more traffic than ever; car and pedestrian volumes have not changed, and there are now more than 1,100 bike trips per day, compared to 240 trips per day before the track was installed. If you’re interested in the usage of the 7 Street cycle track, you can see the data counter here:

      The cycle track routes have been designed with overall traffic efficiency in mind and, in addition to keeping on-street parking wherever possible, we’ve managed to replace all the lost parking on adjacent streets.

  3. This makes it dangerous if cyclist just drive across and not watch for traffic turning right. Which in turn will delay traffic flow. Also if we are losing lanes and roadways to bicycle traffic, maybe licensing should return like we had in Calgary in the 60's for bikes. Along with mandatory insurance. I do ride but I use the bike paths.

  4. Why do you continue to provide lanes for bikes when we do not have enough room for cars? If bikes are so important to this city with 2 seasons winter and summer they should be licensed. I can't believe that the majority of people want all this bike access in our city.

    1. Cycle tracks give Calgarians more transportation choices in the centre city, which is important as the city continues to grow. Choices give people the option to leave their car at home to avoid traffic congestion. The cycle track routes have been designed with overall traffic efficiency in mind and are based on Calgary’s long term transportation plan.

  5. While there are some bottlenecks, the city does a relatively good job of making it easy to get around by car. Similarily it does a passable job for pedestrians. Over the past few years it's been great to see some space being allocated to bicycle travel as well so that it's easier and safer to cycle to and from work, run errands, attend appointments, etc. Please continue to build and maintain quality bicycle infrastructure.

  6. If bikes are going to have their own lanes then they should be licensed to help pay for all these changes. Just like a car is licensed. And if bikes are going to now be considered a vehicle, then they need to start acting like vehicles, and be ticketed just like a driver of a car if they are not abiding by the law.

  7. As someone who works in the furthest tower to the West in downtown and has little access to services such as food courts, the cycle track on 8th Avenue has made the simple few joys we have disappear. For example we can no longer find a Car2Go as there is no parking for this shared car service. Which by the way is also a form of transportation sharing and helpful to those with without cars, and should also be supported by the city and not pushed our for bicycles which can only be used part of the year. Also the lack of parking has stopped the summer time treat of being able to access the Calgary Food Trucks, as again, they have no place to park. My husband and I live far SE, since the lack of public transit in our area forces us to carpool, (which again since it is car sharing, should be encouraged not punished by the city) these cycle tracks have caused an absolute traffic mess, which we are subjected to daily as all the cycle tracks are on the roads we need to travel AND on the alternate routes we use. The 8th avenue cycle track has made the left hand turn I do daily onto 10th street go from a 5 minute task up to 20 minutes. While the cycle track down the entire length of 12th Avenue is causing major traffic concerns and every day I see way too many close calls on collisions with the odd lane jogs over each intersection. Not to mention again the lack of parking for the entire distance of 12 Avenue, If I was a business owner I would be more than infuriated. My alternate routes to get to 12Avenue and 2nd street are messed up by cycle tracks on 5th street, 8th Avenue and the new crazy alternate traffic pattern on 5th avenue. You've made my already long 40+ minute commute home go to an hour in SUMMER traffic. God help us all when the traffic volumes pick up again in September.

  8. This is so stupid. Lets take away parking for a couple of cyclists and roads that wont be fully used. I agree with the person above that bikes should be licensed to use the track to help pay for them.

  9. Stupid and dangerous. Reduce already congested traffic by 50%, restrict access to the businesses, further reduce impossible parking situations, how can this possibly be “traffic efficiency planning”? Who dreamed up this make work project? Bicycles should be licensed to help pay for this.