Calgary

'Bicycle ambassadors' to help Calgarians navigate expanded cycle track

The city has hired five summer students to help cyclists, drivers and pedestrians navigate the new downtown bike routes.

City has hired summer students to assist riders, drivers and pedestrians with new routes

Jaffra Markotic, Tamille Beynon, Kara Martin are summer students working for the city as bike ambassadors. (City of Calgary)

If you commute downtown, you've likely seen all the new bike infrastructure going up.

Calgary's cycle track system is expanding and is set to open at the end of June. To help cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles navigate the new routes, the city has hired five summer students to be "bicycle ambassadors."

"With any new project things can take time to get used to. We really want to facilitate that learning process and make it a smooth transition," said Katherine Glowacz, the city's active transportation education planner.

"Armed with a positive attitude" in bright blue T-shirts, Glowacz says the new bike ambassadors will be answering questions and providing travel tips all summer long at community events.

The new cycle track routes in downtown Calgary open at the end of June. (Bert Savard/CBC)

Calgary's new cycle tracks, which are part of a one-year pilot project, are segregated from vehicle traffic with physical barriers in several areas downtown:

  • Fifth Street S.W. (Third Avenue S.W. to 17th Avenue S.W.)
  • 12th Avenue (11th Street S.W. to Fourth Street S.E.)
  • Eighth Avenue S.W. (11th Street S.W. to Macleod Trail, excluding Stephen Avenue)
  • Ninth Avenue S.E. (Macleod Trail to Fourth Street S.E.)

"Some intersection will have separate bicycle signals and separate motorist signals to avoid conflict in these areas," said Glowacz.

During daytime hours, cyclists will share the road with pedestrians on Stephen Avenue and the Olympic Plaza block.

"It's really been designed to be a slow and safe street," said Glowacz.

She says the new bicycle ambassadors can also be booked through 311 to do informal talks at office towers for downtown employees.

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