City approves downtown Calgary bike lanes

The City of Calgary approved plans Wednesday for two new bike lanes in the downtown core.

Construction of the cycle tracks is scheduled to start in spring 2013

A council committee approved plans for two new bike lanes on 6th and 7th street southwest. 2:08

A council committee approved plans Wednesday for two new bike lanes for 6th and 7th streets S.W.

The dedicated lanes called ‘cycle tracks’ will help commuters and recreational cyclists feel safer pedalling downtown.

Construction is scheduled to start next spring, but not everyone is on board.

The Calgary Downtown Business Association's Maggie Schofield said she fears it will eliminate parking on one side of the street for several blocks — something that should concern business owners.

"We already know from other jurisdictions that there's a huge potential for loss of business and so that's why we asked for an economic impact study and a current state assessment," Schofield said.

Ald. Brian Pincott said the new lanes are meant to create a safer environment for cycling and said there's still plenty of parking downtown.

"I don't see a single business suffering at lunchtime on Stephen Avenue because there are no cars and no parking on Stephen Avenue," Pincott said.

The final designs have yet to be completed. The cycle tracks are scheduled to open by next July.