Bike lane experiment failing. Calgary city hall responds with more bike lanes.

I guess I really should not be all that shocked. The almost cult-like bike movement has carried a disproportionate weight in Calgary city hall for years. There is an obsessive desire to build a need and demand where it simply does not exist. No matter how much vehicle traffic gets choked and no matter how many lanes get closed for bikes, we will never see the bike utilization that is happening in dense cities with warm climates. Despite that reality, city council is determined to make commuting ever more intolerable and to waste even more millions in making bike lanes where we don’t need them.

10th Street NW Calgary had a bike lane made that is barely used by bikes. It has however helped lead to more crunch on residential parking in the area and backed up traffic due to a lost lane of course. Even worse was the 10th Avenue bike lane “experiment”. I put the word “experiment” in quotations as it is clear that the powers that be in city hall did not care if the lane was going to be effective or not. It was dropped on us with little warning or consultation and there really was never a will to potentially go back if the experiment should be deemed a failure.

Todd Babin at the Calgary Herald did an excellent summary of the 10th Avenue bike lane “experiment” and what appears to be it’s failure on his blog today. It is well worth the read.

So while supposed experiments in bike lanes are failing, what do we see coming out of city hall? Yup, more bike lanes.

The plan is to choke downtown Calgary’s traffic even further by closing vehicular traffic lanes on 6th and 7th streets in what looks like an effort to drive bike traffic into using that abomination that we call the “Peace Bridge”.

I am honestly becoming lost for words with this council and their almost irrational press to turn Calgary into something that it isn’t and never will be. We can close every lane in all of downtown to cars, we still will not see hundreds of thousands of people riding bikes to work from districts such as Sundance and Harvest Hills in January.

These backed up cars will idle for hours without need. How “green”.

3 thoughts on “Bike lane experiment failing. Calgary city hall responds with more bike lanes.

  1. The City produced a video to promote the 10 st bike lanes and its features, here’s the comical part..
    The couldn’t actually catch on film, legitimate cyclists using the lanes. You’d think with the “huge demand” for cycling infrastructure , they could just plunk a camera out there and capture images of all these cyclists with their new found gift from the City. Nope, they actually had to put a casting call out on the cycling websites to get a few helmeted disciples out there. Hmm you don’t have to put out a casting call for motorists, which demand is real?
    Watch the video, note that all the cyclists they portray as commuters are the shots of the same people over and over again.. What a joke.

  2. My problem isn’t with bike lanes. These bike lanes don’t make logical sense. If 10th Ave has bike lanes on it, how are you suppose to get to 6th & 7th St from 10th Ave??

    The problem with 10th Ave bike lane is that it doesn’t get you into downtown (although I have seen several people using it early in the morning). I ride my bike a couple times a week, and I take the Bow River Pathway into downtown, and then share the road with traffic to get to where I m going. I use 3rd Ave and 3rd St, as they tend to have less traffic or slower traffic. I wouldn’t recommend a bike lane on 3rd St. though, it doesn’t even have room for the vehicles on it.

    Bike lanes would be great if they make logical sense. The real solution here, though, is motorists and cyclists learning to respect each other on the road and commute safely together.

  3. I didn’t realize Minneapolis was a warm climate, strange. the next thing you know finland will be called warm.

    They bike year round in the above mentioned places.
    The city of calgary is building more bike lanes for 1 reason and 1 reason only.
    It is MUCH cheaper to move people on bikes than pay for expensive roads. Council will continue to push this, not because they are a bunch of lefties. It all comes down to cost.

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