12th Ave Cycle Track Improvements and Extension into Sunalta

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    City of Calgary Project Page: 12th Ave

    May 28, 2019, from 7 – 9 p.m. at Connaught School, Main Gym
    June 4, 2019, from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Sunalta Community Association, Club Room

    Phase 1 (2019): Roadway changes from 4th St. SW to 11th St. SW
    Phase 2 (2019): Extending the track from 11th St. SW into Sunalta to 16th St. SW!
    Phase 3 (2020): Extend the track all the way to the pathway and track crossing at 10th Ave. and 19th St. SW!

    That’s super exciting – I was hoping for at least getting across 14th St. and connecting to 15th St. so you could go north or south on the blue signed route, but this is so much better.


    This is really exciting news, will cut my own commute down significantly and probably will help me push my seasons more broadly knowing that they plow the tracks fairly well on 12th.


    Probably one of the most unsuccessful bike lane installations is getting the fix it needs! Good Job since it is in the top 5 for amount of use. I drive the length of it when I go watch Flames games and the stupid little jog in the lanes is really annoying. Now they promise 3 lanes of uninterrupted traffic. The pumphouse pathway connection is pretty sweet as well! Double Good Job!


    So one of the major things they did when installing the 12th Ave Cycle track, was to intentionally make it more difficult to drive down 12th. This included removing a travel lane, having some lanes start/stop at strange places etc.

    The goal of this was to make drivers cautious, slow down, and be safer.

    As I sometimes drive to my office on this road, I can say that my experience is that this worked wonders. Traffic is much slower, and much safer.

    It sounds like they’re reversing this plan though, to speed up traffic again. I wonder why? Obviously commuters want a faster drive, but I was under the impression that the local Businesses and Residents had lobbied hard to slow down traffic.

    At the Cycle Tracks open houses, and again after they were opened at a separate open house, I asked Tom Thivener about this and it sounded like the slowed down configuration was cast in stone for all time.

    Does anyone know what changed?

    Gary Millard

    I’m not sure about the thinking behind the lane jogs and any changes in that approach, but when Bike Calgary heard about the work planned for 12th Ave SW, our Infrastructure Task Group sent a letter to the City suggesting the extension of the cycle track, and highlighting that taking it to 16th St would allow a connection to the pathway system. We engaged the Sunalta Community Association and got a letter of support for the concept from them. We had heard the work was going ahead, but we wanted to wait until the City announced it (we know plans can change).


    I thought the jogging was largely due to the focus to keep parking on both sides of the street on various blocks?


    The lane jogging was by design to mess with drivers and make them slow down.

    Not only did Tom Thivener tell me this, but one of the City Councilors did a radio interview where he discussed this strategy.

    Of course I can’t find a web link now to back that up, but I’m certain that the current state of 12th was by design to slow traffic, not to keep parking on both sides of the street. As a driver and cyclist on this route, I was not that keen on the design of vehicle lanes, so I asked about it explicitly.

    Going back to 3 straight through lanes will definitely improve traffic flow, but obviously that’s the opposite of trying to slow traffic flow.


    Oh. Connection to the pathway system. That’s a big improvement. I don’t have much personal experience on this route but I hope the connection is done well. I’ll see about getting down that way a few times so I can contribute to the city page. Shame about the traffic control reversal, but I guess it was probably working a little too well? Unfortunately Calgary is still small in relation to some of these other cities that really need to control their traffic so it makes sense why people would have made a big guffaw over a reduction in traffic speed through the “thoroughfares.” Shame it’s seen that way but it is what it is.I can see trying to find the right balance.


    About the traffic control issue – I don’t really think it is an issue. The bike lane is segregated and I wouldn’t really care if a car is going 45 or 50 kmhr anyways. If they really wanted to slow things down, they could put some 40 kmhr zones in …..

    What about 11th Ave? I don’t think they ever put any traffic calming in place there?

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