Calgary's cycle track network turns a year old

One year in, our Unconventional Panel debates whether the pilot project has actually made Calgary more bikeable.

Unconventional Panel weighs in on the pilot project

Cyclists make their way down the 5th Street S.W. cycle track in Calgary. (CBC)

This month marks the one-year anniversary of Calgary's cycle track network.

The $5.7-million pilot project still has another six months to go before city council makes a final decision on whether it will stick around forever.

"What we've seen is a lot of Calgarians are giving the tracks a try," the city's active transportation planner Katherine Glowacz told the Calgary Eyeopener on Wednesday.

"Over the last year, we've counted over 770,000 trips at three automated count locations in the middle of the network."

She adds the track had its highest monthly ridership to date in May.

  • Tell us what you think of Calgary's cycle track network in the comments section.
June marked the one-year anniversary of Calgary's cycle track network pilot project. (CBC)

Unconventional Panel weighs in

Since its inception, the cycle track network has been a hot button topic in the city.

Calgary's bicycle community applauds it, some citizens and downtown businesses say it's a big waste of space, and money.

Perfect fodder for this week's feisty Unconventional Panel — George Brookman, Val Fortney and Ravin Moorthy

This week's Unconventional Panel: Calgary engineer Ravin Moorthy, Calgary Herald columnist Val Fortney and George Brookman — the CEO of West Canadian Industries. (Danielle Nerman/CBC)

Calgary not Vancouver or Amsterdam

Ravin Moorthy, who works downtown as an engineer, says he almost gets clocked by a cyclist every day.

With long cold winters and urban sprawl, he doesn't think Calgary will ever be a bikeable city.

"You can't make a cycling city out of driving city," Moorthy said. "We're not Vancouver, we're not Amsterdam."

Rude cyclists

Calgary Herald columnist Val Fortney said she and her husband frequently use the city's extensive pathway system — but not on their bikes. They're pedestrians.

"What we're experiencing is the most egregious discourtesy from those cyclists," she said.

"They're whipping by us within an inch, they're cutting past pedestrians. They're not being very good ambassadors for the cycle tracks."

So, should we keep it?

George Brookman: "Keep it, but it's got to be taken back and looked at in terms of planning."

Val Fortney: "Ahhhh, tepid yes. I think we should keep it.

Ravin Moorthy: "Begrudgingly, I think we should keep it only because I think it will cost so much to take it out."

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener


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