Hundreds have signed a petition against the teardown of a cycle track in Calgary.
The cycle track that runs along Third Avenue South from 8th Street West to Centre Street was a temporary route introduced by the City of Calgary as a detour for construction along the Bow Valley Pathway.
According to the city’s website, the route was always meant to be temporary until the Eau Claire Area Improvement Projects are complete this fall. It was also supposed to be a long-term solution for Calgarians to “enhance the pedestrian environment.”
The city said permanent infrastructure was added as part of near and long-term strategies to benefit pedestrians and all other users of the roadway.
“In its true function as a detour it implies a degree of a temporary nature,” said Dennis Hoffart, project manager with the city’s urban and community systems department.
“I would like to be clear that the removal of the detour has not in any way impact the any future projects or considerations of cycling on Third Avenue … Once that pathway system is fully open to the public, we would encourage those users to take advantage of that new infrastructure.”
But advocates are calling on the city to make the cycle track a permanent fixture. As of Wednesday evening, 984 people signed a petition on Project Calgary urging the city to rethink its plans to rip up the cycle track.
Molly Bennett, president of Bike Calgary, said she the cycle track is an important corridor for people who live downtown and connecting businesses with customers.
She said the removal of the cycle track goes against the city’s policies around climate action and active transportation, and hopes the city will consider making it permanent.
“This route is heavily used. We saw significant growth between 2021 and 2022, which goes to show that if you build infrastructure people will use it,” Bennett said.
“People who use this cycle track is different from people who use the Bow Valley Pathway. They’re serving two different people with this cycle track.
“I think there was some misunderstanding and miscommunication on whether or not this will be permanent or temporary. We would like to see better engagement and better transparency from the city whenever possible.”
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