Calgary

Cycling strategy proposed for Calgary

The city unveiled a new multi-million dollar strategy on Friday aimed at getting more Calgarians to ride bicycles.

City adminstrators unveiled a new multi-million dollar strategy on Friday aimed at getting more Calgarians to ride bicycles.

The three-year plan would see the city invest in new cycling infrastructure, including more dedicated bike routes in the downtown core and elsewhere, better routes leading to LRT stations, more facilities for locking bicycles, a bike-share program and wider pathways.

One of the strategy's goals is to double the number of Calgarians who commute into the core by 2020.

About $10 million of the proposed plan's $28 million capital costs have already been budgeted for, according to the document.

"The City has a vision to become one of the premier cycling cities of North America," the document says.

Calgary has made strides toward becoming a more cyclist-friendly city, with bicycle infrastructure having grown from 550 kilometres in 1999 to over 1,000 kilometres in 2010.

However the strategy notes the number of riders who commute into the downtown core has remained roughly consistent for the past decade, at about 9,200 per weekday.

Getting cyclists — and potential cyclists — to feel more confident that they will be safe riding on Calgary streets was identified as a key goal in the cycling strategy.

In a telephone survey conducted last fall for the city, 19 per cent said they ride a bicycle once a week. However 59 per cent said they wanted to ride more frequently, but cited safety concerns as the main deterrent.

The proposed strategy will be debated by the land use, planning and transportation committee on June 21.

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