Calgary council set to decide future of Centre City Cycle Track Network
Separated bike lanes, originally approved by an 8-7 vote, could be made permanent, altered or removed
After more than a year of back-and-forth debate, city council is set to vote Monday whether to keep the Centre City Cycle Track Network, remove it or alter it.
But first, they'll debate its merits a little bit more.
"I know a lot of councillors will have lots of questions about the evaluation matrix and the numbers," said Coun. Sean Chu, who has been an outspoken critic of the project since its inception.
Chu said it's possible council could vote to extend the pilot project while tweaking some of the routes.
"I think a few things [will be] in play on Monday," he said.
On the other side of the debate is Coun. Brian Pincott, who has been a vocal supporter of the cycle tracks.
"What's at stake to me is having a city that is inclusive to everybody," he said.
"We have seen the success of the cycle track pilot and we need to make that success permanent. And we've seen the changes that it's made in the thousands of people's lives who use it. We've got to keep it and use that success as the way to move forward to improve and expand the cycle track and bike lane network."
Originally approved by an 8-7 vote at city council, the pilot project was given a year and a half to demonstrate its worth before facing another vote by council.
Running north-south on Fifth Street S.W. and Seventh Street S.W. and east-west on Eighth Avenue and 12th Avenue, the $5.5 million project came in $1.6 million under budget.
Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra said he uses the cycle track on a daily basis to commute to city hall and is also a supporter.
"At a larger scale, the purpose of the cycle tracks is all about growing our downtown," he said.
"Today, we have a similar question before us, do we want to continue to grow and expand our downtown? And the answer is, yes we do. And if we do, we have to make moves and that means we have to figure out how to get more cars in and out, and that's what we're doing things like lane reversals, but the overwhelming majority of growth is going to come from other modes.
"That's why we're investing in things like the Green Line and that's what we're investing in things like the underpasses to encourage people to walk into the core and that's what we're investing in the cycle tracks."
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