The City of Calgary is planning to make some improvements of 12 Ave SW over this and next summer. By the end of summer 2019 we’ll see the extension of the 12 Ave cycle track to 16 St SW. In 2020, the cycle track will be extended further West to 19 St SW and the Bow River pathway. More information can be found on the city’s site:
The rest of the project is a little less exciting for people who primarily bike in the area, but will see the elimination of the infamous “lane jog” for cars on 12 Ave SW. This means the route will provide two vehicle lanes that will span the entire avenue from West to East.
Overall, the project is great news for facilitating All Ages and Abilities cycling in our city and will certainly provide a safe route many people in the area. This project will deliver a few big wins:
- Allow the cycle track network to connect with the signed bikeway on 15 St SW
- Provide better access to the Sunalta C-Train station
- Allow residents of Sunalta to safely connect with the existing cycle track network
- Provide safe access to the businesses along 12 Ave SW and 14 St SW
- Bring us much closer to the West-East cycling connection between the Bow River and Elbow river that the cycling community has been working towards since 2011
On that last point – this connection with the Bow River Pathway is understandably at an earlier stage of design than the portion that will be constructed this summer. The City will be keen to hear your feedback on this preliminary design at the upcoming engagement sessions (see below for dates and times).
Room For Improvement
Even with the big wins mentioned above, there are still a few areas where this project leaves a bit to be desired:
- Parking will be removed adjacent to the cycle track – this improves visibility of cyclists, but eliminates the physical protection provided by parked cars
- Part of the reason for the “lane jog” in the original design was to slow traffic – this project will allow 12 Ave SW traffic to be more free-flowing which could increase traffic speeds and therefore decrease safety
- The new sections of the cycle track will be installed using the same construction materials as the existing 12 Ave cycle track – these “temporary” curbs and barriers require constant maintenance and are less safe than permanent curbs like we see on 7th Street SW
That said, this project is definitely something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time and we are very excited to see it built. We’d encourage Bike Calgary members and all Calgarians who’d like to bike more to find out more about the project and add their voice to the engagement sessions:
- Tuesday, May 28, 2019, from 7 – 9 p.m. at Connaught School, Main Gym.
- Tuesday June 4, 2019, from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Sunalta Community Association, Club Room.