Calgary cycle network plans revealed

The City of Calgary's latest proposal for a downtown cycling network includes a portion of Stephen Avenue.
Bike Calgary director Dale Calkins says he's happy with the city's plans. (CBC)

The City of Calgary's latest proposal for a downtown cycling network includes a portion of Stephen Avenue. 

The latest proposal was leaked today ahead of public meetings Thursday.

Bike Calgary director Dale Calkins says he likes most of the routes, but understands putting the pedestrian mall as part of the plan will create controversy.

“Well, that's definitely going to be the route that I think most people will have difficulty with and it’s one that will require the most attention to see if we can make that work.”

At this stage, the plan does not include cycle tracks on that route, which keep pedestrians and bicycles separate from each other.

But it does say bicycles won't be allowed in the area from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. MT.

Brian Guichon owns Riley and McCormick Western wear, which has been on the avenue for 50 years.

"Occasionally I ride a bike downtown and I don't see any real purpose to it," he said. 

"You don't ride bikes on the sidewalks in downtown or anywhere else and why would you allow it on a pedestrian mall in downtown?"

Maggie Schofield of the Calgary Downtown Association said the idea is a safety hazard.

"The first time this came up a number of years ago we were at the table immediately to say this really is not a good solution it doesn't provide what the cyclists need and it certainly doesn't provide what we need."

Others, like Kimberley Nelson, also with Bike Calgary, point to other cities that have similar routes. 

"It's very appealing with the amount of amenities that are along Eighth Ave., so I think it's going to end up being a win-win for everybody, but it has to have that education piece."

The route is still being studied. The city is holding a series of open houses to get feedback on the proposed downtown network. 

​City of Calgary's cycle network plans

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