Bluhrgirl's picture

Cycle Track Pilot Going to Council


On December 8th, the Downtown Cycle Track Network Pilot will reach completion, and City of Calgary transportation staff will present the findings at the Transit and Transportation Committee Meeting for council decision on the fate of the cycle tracks. While the final measurements were taken in September, there are still ways you can get involved.


Not sure how you can help? We would love to pack the room with as many cycle track fans as possible, and hope that most people will be able to speak to the committee for the alloted 5 minutes about their experiences about biking within the core and Beltline since the tracks have opened. There are reams of data from counters, manual counts, intercept surveys, merchant surveys, the list goes on and on. What they need is the personal impact stories.

Some examples we have received already through our postcard campaign include :

  • “The cycle tracks create a sense of community amongst cyclists”

  • “Safety”

  • “Cycling awareness through education campaigns benefits the whole city"

  • "Allows me to get to work easily save gas, and I get to meet like-minded people"

  • "We feel safer cycling, which means we do it more often and create less GHGs"

  • "Makes me proud to be a Calgarian"

  • "Now I actually bike downtown, and can stop to do errands on the way home"

  • "Drivers are beginning to expect cyclists and know how to share the road"

  • I can go to the Glenbow Museum and Memorial Park with my kids, and I have a safe route to work 12 months of the year”

  • “I don’t own a car and the cycle tracks and other infrastructure make YYC more accessible without one”

  • “It will better the health of many Calgarians”

  • “The cycle tracks go right to Safeway, which means I can shop more often by bike!”

If you have never presented at council and you are not sure how, the city has a great guide to help you, from how to address council to how the microphone works.

Unable to take the day off work? Consider writing a letter to City Council to let them know how much you enjoy and rely on the cycle tracks. You may use the online form on or you can write a letter and submit via email. The committee members should all be copied :

Councillor S. Keating, Chair [email protected]

Councillor S. Chu, Vice-Chair [email protected]

Councillor A. Chabot    [email protected]

Councillor P. Demong  [email protected]         

Councillor R. Jones     [email protected]

Councillor B. Pincott  [email protected]

Councillor E. Woolley  [email protected]

Mayor N. Nenshi, Ex-Officio [email protected]  

Please feel free to copy Bike Calgary on any emails you send in via [email protected]











Robert Bott's picture

My letter to the committee, mayor, and Ald. Farrell


Dear members of the Transit and Transportation Committee:


As a frequent cyclist in the inner city, year-round, I would like to express strong support for the Cycle Track Network when you review it at your Dec. 8 meeting. I recommend its continuation and expansion where feasible.


For me personally, the Cycle Track Network improves health, safety, and mobility; and I believe it enhances the sustainability and reputation of the city as a whole. Amenities such as cycle tracks are crucial for cities like Calgary to continue attracting and retaining what Richard Florida calls the “creative class” who will be key to prosperity in the 21st century.  


I began bike commuting to downtown from Parkdale when I moved to Calgary in 1974, and I have been cycling on city streets and pathways ever since. I started riding year-round after knobby tires came along in the 1980s, and it became safer when studded tires became available a few years later. I have seen our cycling infrastructure go from a few red shale pathways to the vast network of paved pathways and on-street routes that we now enjoy. Each advance, such as ploughing major pathways in winter, has been a significant improvement in my quality of life, and it has been wonderful to see increasing numbers of cyclists of all ages and abilities using this infrastructure.


I moved to Sunnyside in the 1990s, sold my car in 2000, and have relied since then entirely on bicycle, foot, and transit to get around the city for business and pleasure. At age 71, I am more risk-averse and safety-conscious than in my younger days, so I have welcomed the greater security provided by dedicated routes into and through the downtown area. My quality of life would be diminished if you did not maintain the Cycle Track Network.


Based on my experience to date, I would say that the two-way tracks on one side of the roadway are more successful than the one-way tracks on each side of 8th Avenue. Otherwise, I think the network has been well-designed, and I hope it is eventually extended to more areas of the city.


I sincerely hope you reach a positive conclusion after your review.




Robert Bott


I received positive replies from Aldermen Farrell and Pincott. I added to Pincott:





I could have added that I have bicycle-toured in 29 U.S. states and eight Canadian provinces, and I have seen what a difference cycling infrastructure can make—Montreal or Vancouver compared to Toronto or Halifax, say, or Portland compared to Houston…. Even cities like San Antonio are making significant advances. We may never match Europe, but we don’t want to fall behind peers in North America.


kzarnke's picture

SPC on Transportation and Transit, Dec 8

I hope to attend the meeting next Thursday. Do we have any guidance regarding where on the agenda the Cycle Track Pilot review might be? My understanding is that the meeting is scheduled to occur from 9:30-4:30 in the Council Chamber. The agenda appears to not yet be posted on the City of Calgary Website.

Thank you,

Kelly Zarnke

Chealion's picture

Agenda is posted the Friday before the meeting

The agenda should be posted at either tonight or tomorrow morning.

It definitely won't be the only item on the agenda (I suspect there will 4 or 5). Given the number of expected speakers they will likely move all the other items ahead of the Cycle Track Network Pilot to get them out of the way, but there's no gurantee of that until the committee decides that on the day of. The meeting can go past 4:30 if there are enough speakers. (Like it did for the first time this came to committee, and the SWBRT)

bclark's picture

Cycletrack - CBC Article

Surprisingly, they even opened the comments.

More importantly, they run through who on Council supported it and who didn't.  Keep in mind, it first goes to Committee, where it gets voted on by Councillors on that committee and any declaring an interest.  

Once it makes it through Committee (hopefully), it then goes to full Council.  This means, based on the Committee debate, you will still have time to reach out to Councillors, especially those who we're opposed to it last time.

In this regard, I think it's key to respectfully communicate why the cycle tracks are important to you, your family, friends, etc. and try and get them to see that, even if they are in a Ward where few of their constituents use the cycle tracks, or maybe have even seen them, there are Calgarians that depend on them.

Good luck!

bclark's picture

Cycletrack - Herald - Article 2

Not sure what Councillor Keating's comments bode in the long term.  Good?  Bad?  it sounds like he's just against spending money to change the physical structure. 

There will be a need to spend some money to improve it and address ongoing safety issues.  

Needs to be at least formally declared permanent.