Monday, December 5, 2016

Cycle track pilot project summary

The Council-approved 18 month Cycle Track Network Pilot Project will end in December. The final report and recommendations from Administration will be presented to the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit on December 8, 2016 and then to Council on December 19, 2016. At these meetings, Council will determine the future of the network.

The public can attend and speak at the December 8 meeting or submit a letter with their comments about the pilot. The December 8 meeting will be held in Council Chambers and will begin at 9:30 a.m. People interested in submitting a letter or presenting at Committee can find out how to do so online.

The cycle tracks give Calgarians a safer and more predictable way to travel by bike to downtown destinations. Over the past 18 months, the project team collected data on 82 performance measures while monitoring the operation and safety for all road users. Many of the performance targets were met and a report summarizing the results is available online. Here are a few highlights:
The primary performance measures for the pilot were:
  • Percentage of people cycling, walking and driving satisfied with the pilot (evaluated using a random phone survey)
  • Safety (evaluated using number of collisions)
  • Bicycle volumes (evaluated using automated counters and manual data collection)
  • Travel time for cars during the peak periods (evaluated using GPS and stopwatch trials)
  • Incidents of unlawful bicycle riding (evaluated using manual observation)
We found the following results for each of these metrics:

A third-party telephone survey was conducted city-wide in September 2016 to track awareness, understanding, attitude and support for the project.
  • 46% - 54% of people ‘liked’ their most recent driving experience on the routes (51% - 60% in 2014) 
  • 65% - 82% of people ‘liked’ their most recent cycling experience on the routes (12% - 71% in 2014)
The survey also found that 67% of people support the cycle track pilot and 68% support the Stephen Avenue bicycle pilot. The same survey was conducted in 2014 and 2015, and support remained consistent.

Safety along the network was closely monitored during the pilot period. Collision information was collected by Calgary Police Service, and during one year of the pilot (June 18, 2015 - June 18, 2016) there were 39 reported collisions between a bike and car and zero fatalities along cycle track corridors.

We reviewed locations where an incident occurred and put in dashed green paint, changed parking or added signs to raise awareness of potential conflicts at these locations.

Bicycle volumes
We have been using automated counters to count the number of bike trips taken each day since the network opened. To date, there have been 1.2 million bicycle trips since June 2015, based on the data at the three middle count locations. Ridership has tripled along the network, and the number of women and children riding has also increased.

Travel times
We anticipated travel time for drivers would increase on the roads with cycle tracks, since typically we had to remove a driving or parking lane to create the bikeway. The Transportation Department recorded travel time for drivers travelling from one end of each cycle track to the other for each route, during the morning and evening rush hours. They found that the longest delay was 90 seconds, on 12th Avenue from 11 Street S.W. to 4 Street S.E. during the morning drive.

Incidents of unlawful bicycle riding
Overall, unlawful sidewalk riding has decreased from an average of 16% (before the cycle tracks) to 2% after the cycle tracks. There were no observed instances of careless riding or near misses on Stephen Avenue during the time the data was collected.

You can learn more at our presentation to Committee on Thursday or visit


  1. Very skewed article.
    It could read: 46-54% 'didn't' like their bike ride, 33% strongly oppose the bike track, etc. Instead, you are presented an article to sell you on this failed bike experiment as so much $$$$$$$ has already been spent.
    As compared to car travel, the percentage is what? Are there a trillion car rides and 1 million bike rides? Compared to pedestrian traffic, of which bikes impact us walking across the street, are there 50 million pedestrians and a million bike rides?
    As we know, stats are skewed to SELL us on the bike lanes. Do YOU use them? Are they beneficial to YOU? Likely that answer is still a resounding NO.
    Please clarify: why is it 'unlawful' to ride your bike on the sidewalk? I called the police on someone riding on Glenmore Trail (VERY dangerous to them & motorists) and the police representative told me bikes can ride ANYWHERE they want. She even clarified with a colleague in the background. Misinformation?

    1. Hi Karen.

      The percentages were written out to reflect how the majority of the people surveyed responded. The mode split for people cycling into downtown during the morning rush hour, is at 3% (cars at 41%, transit at 49% and pedestrians at 8%) and there are cycle tracks on 2% of the roads in downtown. You can find more details on that here:

      There is a bylaw that states only people under the age of 14 can ride on the sidewalk: Anyone over the age of 14 must ride on the street – it is likely that CPS meant that someone can ride on any street, unless it signed otherwise.

    2. Hi Karen
      To answer your questions, yes I do use them and they are very beneficial. I like to be separate from car traffic when I ride my bike to commute downtown, and when I drive where there are bike lanes I like it that cyclists are separate from traffic; passing a cyclist is nerve wracking in a single lane, or delaying when one has to wait to pass safely. All in all I think separating the two is beneficial to both drivers and cyclists.

  2. I am a cyclist, pedestrian and transit user. I don't drive. I fail to see how pedestrians are affected negatively by cycle tracks. In fact, I've seen disabled with motorized wheelchairs and walkers travel a block or 2 in a bike lane. It was safest for that there is rocky, bumpy snowy sections of sidewalk. I live near a cycle track.

  3. I'm a pedestrian and drive a car. I used to live in downtown and walk to work everyday. I do agree on having the lanes on 8th ave. However the lanes on 11th and 12th Ave have increased traffic congestion. Cyclist do not follow the rules of the road and cycle on footpaths whenever it suits them. I have almost been hit by cyclist on 3 different instances. These lanes are a waste of tax payers dollars as half the time the cyclists don't even use them.

  4. I am a pedestrian and drive a car. I am also an avid cyclist who likes to use the river pathways. If it was practical to ride my bike to work I would do so but not in minus 25 weather. Calgary has very few major arteries in and out of downtown to drive on. If the city could somehow increase the ability to get out of downtown while providing the bike lanes for the few who choose to ride then I am all for it. However, the bike lanes were put in without any thoughts on how to make the major traffic routes more efficient and now there are more delays. There should be a study on how to make the trip out of downtown more efficient for the folks who have no choice but to drive. This was ill conceived in concept and a knee jerk reaction to a perceived problem that doesn't address the real issue and wastes tax payer dollars in the process.

  5. Okay put it to vote!

    You ignore travel delays along 5th and 7th ST SE, you did not ask in the poll how many disapproved of the Tracks??? WHY?

    Can you tell why $12,500,000.00 was diverted from over capacity Shelters and the empty Food Bank is unfunded?

    Pretty shamefull in reality......