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Bike Calgary Letter to City Council in Support of the Cycle Track Network

December 8, 2016

Re: Centre City Cycle Track Network Pilot Project Update

Dear Councillor Keating,

Bike Calgary represents over 2,500 members and works to improve cycling connections throughout all of Calgary’s communities. Bike Calgary has been actively engaged in the Cycle Track Network Pilot Project consultation through the Centre City Bicycle Projects Committee and Stephen Avenue Bicycle Advisory Committee.

We wish to communicate our ongoing support for the cycle track network and Stephen Avenue shared space, and encourage you to make them permanent.

We would also like to thank administration for making over 100 changes to the network in response to feedback from the public. The data shows that the network is now an integral part of cycling transport and is being used by a large demographic of Calgarians. Downtown bicycle volumes and satisfaction have increased, while unlawful riding has decreased and vehicle travel times are mostly unchanged. Since the cycling strategy was published in 2011 the mode share for cycling has risen from 0.87% to 1.75% and the cycle track network has played an important role in this growth. The network has allowed Bike Calgary members and a wide variety of Calgarians to move around the centre city by bicycle safely, efficiently, and comfortably at little cost to other modes of transport.  

Bike Calgary members believe that the network has enhanced our city’s livability. The cycle tracks offer pedestrians, cyclists and drivers a predictable travel environment because cyclists have a separated space on the road that gives them access to all the amenities downtown has to offer. Some of the positive feedback from our members include:

“...I have welcomed the greater security provided by dedicated routes.” - 71-year-old male

“I love that our family can bike to Stephen Ave on the cycle track and enjoy lunch.” - Mother of two kids

“...cycling is the most efficient means for us to get to meetings in the core. “- President of two junior oil and gas companies

“...changed the way my family and I see and use the city everyday.” - Inner city father and husband

“The cycle track is a tangible, dynamic representation of Calgary’s emerging connectivity” - Beltline resident

“..cycle tracks has allowed me to see parts of the city I would never have previously gone to otherwise.”     - Female professional

The cycle track network also moves forward many priorities and policy objectives currently being pursued by council. A Prosperous City attracts talent by providing enticing liveability. Cycling infrastructure connects A City of Inspiring Neighborhoods, and provides another transportation option in A City that Moves. Cycle tracks enable A Healthy and Green City by enabling active transportation while reducing vehicle congestion. The cycle track network aligns with the Complete Streets policy - which was unanimously adopted by council two years ago -  and with the GetMovingYYC initiative - which was established by the city to encourage Calgarians to fit physical activity in their daily lives. By making the cycle track permanent, city council will demonstrate its commitment to their council priorities, Complete Streets and GetMovingYYC.

Bike Calgary commends the work done by the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit, Council, and Administration on the successful cycle track network pilot and Stephen Avenue shared space. This pilot has become a prime example for other cities to implement their own networks of permanent protected bike lanes. By making the cycle track network permanent, city council will be sending a message to all Calgarians that cycling is viable mode of transport, that affordable solutions to mobility are available and that city council is willing to invest in a healthier, safer, and greener city.

Yours sincerely,

Agustín Louro

President, Bike Calgary