If you've followed our updates, you know that the City has plans for a cycle track network in the downtown core as part of the implementation of the cycling strategy. Phase one of those plans have firmed up a bit: this year, the City will install a two-way cycle track (bike lane physically separated from car traffic) along 7 Street SW from 1 to 8 Avenue.
This will be the first bit of dedicated cycling infrastructure in Calgary's downtown core, an area that is experiencing rapid growth of cyclist volume (up 20% over 2010) even in the absence of any accommodations for cyclists. It will also be the first bit of cycling infrastructure in Calgary (or Alberta, for that matter) that has all the design and safety features recommended in the NACTO Design Guide: 1m wide raised median, green pavement at conflict points, turn queue box at 8 Avenue, separate traffic signals for bikes and cars, etc. Parking will be permitted next to the raised median north of 4 Avenue, safely separated from bicycles. There is minimal loss of on-street hourly parking (which -- in contrast to monthly parking -- is not more expensive than elsewhere). People looking for parking along 4 blocks of 7 Street will hardly be affected at all.
The City has a comprehensive information page with documents outlining the feedback received in multiple stakeholder engagement meetings conducted (Bike Calgary has been involved and provided criticism and feedback at every step of the way). Further public engagement (open houses) are planned for April, and construction is planned to be complete before Stampede 2013. The page also has in-depth rationales for the decision to construct one 2-way cycle track rather than two one-way tracks on both 6 and 7 Streets, as well as why a cycle track on 8 Street is not feasible.
The most current research shows this type of cycle tracks to be the safest type of cycling infrastructure, and also the preferred type of infrastructure for users. They likely also have a positive economic impact -- e.g., in New York, businesses saw up to 16 times the borough-wide increase in sales after cycle tracks were installed.
UPDATE: Open houses March 25 and 26! http://bikecalgary.org/node/3866
Design drawings posted on City website: http://www.calgary.ca/Transportation/TP/Pages/Cycling/Cycling-Route-Impr...