Media ReleaseCompromise on Cycle Tracks Wanted April 28, 2014 The Calgary Tour de Nuit Society is calling on Councillors to vote against the City T

Calgary tour de nuit Society

Media Release

Compromise on Cycle Tracks Wanted

April 28, 2014

The Calgary Tour de Nuit Society is calling on Councillors to vote against the City Transportation Department’s proposed $23 million cycle track network at the Monday, April 28, 2014 Council. (Its cost is estimated by an independent expert to be greater than double the $9.4 million touted by City staff.) The proposed network fails to meet one of the primary goals of providing bicycle access into downtown from points east, north, and west. It only provides access from the south.

It is unlikely, therefore, to effectively address another of the network’s stated goals – increasing the number of cyclists commuting to and from downtown.

Only 1 of the 5 routes proposed for the network provides safe access into the central business district
There is no provision for a crucial east-west connector downtown to serve the large numbers of bike commuters that live in communities in the NW and west end of the SW quadrants. The Stephen Ave Mall should remain in the pedestrian realm as requested by the Calgary Downtown Association because a temporary bike route is unsuitable as an east-west connector. (We support pedestrian safety too.)
The proposed network’s projected and probable $23 million cost and some aspects of the development process suggest that this is not a pilot project
With respect to the process, crucial transportation data were never made available to some stakeholders who were invited to provide input
Public support has been eroded by an extremely odd media relations campaign that has startled some local media professionals.

This is hardly a robust network that encourages bicycle commuting into downtown. The network proposal benefits only a small group of short distance cyclists in the Beltline – not the much larger group of commuter cyclists in outlying communities in the NW and SW quadrants.

The Tour de Nuit Society supports the position of the numerous businesses and organizations in Chinatown which were invited to provide input but with this proposed network have had their concerns ignored.

The high level of opposition by stakeholders is directly related to process and aspects of the conduct of the Transportation Department in the engagement phase. Businesses, business associations and community organizations are displeased with the consultation process which has failed to comply with Council’s engage!Policy. Poorly managed engagement processes involve unnecessary red tape – wasting time and money.

In 2011, the Mayor’s office asked the Tour de Nuit Society to build a community coalition of support for separated bike lanes (cycle tracks). We accomplished this successfully. Key stakeholders support a compromise plan that includes: the north-south 5th St SW cycle track and an east-west connector downtown, with a preference for 5th and 6th avenues SW. Unlike the current proposed plan this can be achieved without the loss of any traffic lanes used by motor vehicles. We believe our plan addresses the concerns of all the major groups: pedestrians, cyclists, businesses, employers, commuters and communities.


For further information contact:
Gary Beaton

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