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Chealion

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The 12th Ave cycle track extension in Sunalta will hopefully be done by the end of the month. 12th Ave and 19th Street have been repaved, so still waiting for - paint, flexiposts on curbs, and the pathway for the turn from 19th St to 12th Ave.
 

ByeByeBaby

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Here's a couple of bouquets and brickbats to the City's pathway team regarding closures and detours:

Bouquet -- there are temporary pathways for some longer-term works; the Eau Claire bridge in particular. There's new asphalt in Sien Lok Park, and then a real cycle detour continuing on Riverfront Avenue -- last year, this was signed as a cycle detour during the summer (to get cyclists out of the Eau Claire area for more distancing) but it was de facto a parking lane; this year, there are rubber curbs and plastic posts. Even more interesting is this on Prince's Island:
PXL_20210914_224927184.MP~2.jpg

A temporary multi-use pathway on the grass. It could be wider, but slowing everybody down here is probably a good thing.


Brickbats:
The first is the detour at the 5th St underpass; this photo is from a few days ago, but the signage has been the same for a month:
PXL_20210914_225930295~3.jpg

Cyclists are told to ride on the sidewalk, even though there is a cycle lane detour taking up a street lane. The first time I rode through here and saw this sign was before the Labour Day long weekend; the east sidewalk I was sent to was fenced in! I was literally so confused, I got off my bike, walked it across the street, realized that was the west sidewalk, saw the on-road cycling detour, walked back across. It was baffling. It's been there for a month, wrong continuously, and still it sits.

Also brickbat:
The online pathway map showing closures. It's a good idea; there's lots of closures and temporary work, and it's good to show people where they are. But looking at the site, it's amazing; you can see the past, present and future all at the same time. The pathway through the Elbow Camp on the Stampede grounds is shown as closed -- that was for an event in August. The pathway under Macleod to the Stampede is closed - that was for LRT construction that ended over a week ago. The pathways are closed under the 5th St flyover, across the Jaipur Bridge, 9A St for Bow to Bluff, 9th Ave to Inglewood -- sure, those are all actual pathway closures. Meanwhile, there's a cycle track shown along 12th Ave all the way to the CP rail at 19 St SW -- not today, as Chealion posted above; the area is under construction and cycling isn't allowed through there but no sign of that. Same thing (I think) on 3rd Ave S -- it's scheduled for construction until October, but it shows as an unimpeded cycle track today.
The two worst parts are that 1) looking at a closure to see if it's in the past or future requires clicking on a tiny logo -- it works okay on my computer, but on my phone (you know, the thing I have with me on my bike) I need to click the exact right pixel to get the detour info to pop up. and 2). the closures that are in the past have dates on the website showing they are in the past; surely the cumulative computing horsepower of the City of Calgary is capable of working out the difficult calculus of whether a detour from September 7th to September 16th is in effect or not on September 25.
 

UrbanWarrior

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Nice to see that they have finally painted the lanes on the 4 St SE underpass. Not that it makes much of a difference when it comes to people walking in the lane, but definitely easier to see now!View attachment 351244
yeah my company did that! Was a nice surprise to see our guys doing that when I was going for lunch a few days ago.
 

Col du Edworthy

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Nice to see that they have finally painted the lanes on the 4 St SE underpass. Not that it makes much of a difference when it comes to people walking in the lane, but definitely easier to see now!
I biked to the Flames game last night and use 4 St (for the record there were 9 bikes locked up at the dome which somehow felt like progress lol [no bike racks but I won't go there]). The green paint actually made a difference for me, having done this in the past I found people wandered into the bike lane far more often before. Plus I feel far less guilty about ringing my bell when it's a least somewhat clear there is a bike lane now (literally used to apologize to people as I squeezed by "Sorry I'm in a bike lane that looks, feels and functions like a sidewalk so can't blame you")
 
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Disraeli

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Oh never feel guilty about leaning on the bell! I blast it every time I pass a ped, even if I have space. The last thing you want is some dreamer stepping into you
 

Surrealplaces

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Tried the new section of the 12th Ave cycle track yesterday. Nice having it go to the far west end. Hopefully it’ll have a decent connection over to the river path someday. They were doing some construction right under the Crowchild Trail bridge, I’m not sure if that’s part of the bike path or not.

FDFEC4EB-BE0A-423E-A699-8CCF0C6F2E61.jpeg
 

Joborule

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Tried the new section of the 12th Ave cycle track yesterday. Nice having it go to the far west end. Hopefully it’ll have a decent connection over to the river path someday. They were doing some construction right under the Crowchild Trail bridge, I’m not sure if that’s part of the bike path or not.

View attachment 354934
If you're referring to the Bow Trail bridges right by Central Bark, then it kind of is. No rail crossing improvements, but they paved a more defined pathway up to it from 10th Ave.
 

Surrealplaces

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If you're referring to the Bow Trail bridges right by Central Bark, then it kind of is. No rail crossing improvements, but they paved a more defined pathway up to it from 10th Ave.
Yep, that's the spot. I was thinking Crowchild, but meant Bow Trail. Too bad they aren't improving the crossing at the tracks, but maybe it'll happen someday.
 

ahuch

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I biked to the Flames game last night and use 4 St (for the record there were 9 bikes locked up at the dome which somehow felt like progress lol [no bike racks but I won't go there]). The green paint actually made a difference for me, having done this in the past I found people wandered into the bike lane far more often before. Plus I feel far less guilty about ringing my bell when it's a least somewhat clear there is a bike lane now (literally used to apologize to people as I squeezed by "Sorry I'm in a bike lane that looks, feels and functions like a sidewalk so can't blame you")

I actually think that's an important piece of the conversation that's missing today. Even in spots where we are starting to have some decent cycling infrastructure, there is a serious lack of options for parking your bike... even more-so a lack of any sort of secure bike parking. I live in the burbs, and although it'd be just as quick to bike as it is to take transit down to somewhere like Inglewood for dinner and a few drinks the main thing stopping us is actually not wanting our bikes stolen as opposed to lack of cycling infrastructure. Kind of a shame.
 

Chealion

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Yep, that's the spot. I was thinking Crowchild, but meant Bow Trail. Too bad they aren't improving the crossing at the tracks, but maybe it'll happen someday.
FWIW, it is something the community has been advocated to see get addressed as part of the Pumphouse Park improvements since it was not included in this project.

The extension is also officially open per the City as of today.
 

ByeByeBaby

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I actually think that's an important piece of the conversation that's missing today. Even in spots where we are starting to have some decent cycling infrastructure, there is a serious lack of options for parking your bike... even more-so a lack of any sort of secure bike parking. I live in the burbs, and although it'd be just as quick to bike as it is to take transit down to somewhere like Inglewood for dinner and a few drinks the main thing stopping us is actually not wanting our bikes stolen as opposed to lack of cycling infrastructure. Kind of a shame.
I couldn't agree more; the city's done an alright job of getting employers to provide bike parking for workers, and there's a reasonable number of bike racks around, but there could be more. The model I think would work best is a random-access secured facility; basically a bike cage connected to a smart card reader (and a camera system). It doesn't need to be crazy expensive; it doesn't need to be weather-protected, just a fence with some bike racks inside. Vancouver has them at about a dozen SkyTrain stations; you can access them with a transit card that's enrolled in the bike parking system and they cost $1 a use. The good thing about this sort of system is that there's a high level of protection (smart cards identify who's going in) but it can be used by people who don't want to sign up for commuter-oriented bike parking; this could be people visiting for dining or entertainment, or whatever -- at the start of the summer, I had to bike into my office for one day, and I wound up signing up for a month's parking in my building because that was the cheapest option available.

The worst is the lack of bike parking with agencies that should know better -- I've recently had bike parking issues at the Foothills Hospital and Sheldon Chumir; how can a health authority not be a leader in this space?

Back of the envelope, my guess is something like 50-100K would convert 5 to 10 parking stalls into 60-120 secure bike parking spots (assuming mostly high density racks). The three key locations that would benefit from these are transit hubs, dense activity areas and performance venues. I'm thinking a dozen as a start: Dalhousie, Rundle, Sunnyside, Sirocco and Shawnessy LRT stations; East Village, Inglewood, Century Park, Sheldon Chumir, the Dome, the Jube and Olympic Plaza.

And I know this sort of system even works in Calgary, because City staff have had a smart-card operated bike cage for like 15 years now (look to the right when going into the municipal building from the plaza, by the Centre St lion sculpture).
 

ahuch

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I often wondered if the Japanese style bike racks could ever be a thing, although I'm not sure how they really secure they are... but they were neat to see in person. From what I could gather, you basically paid at the Kiosk and put in the stall number... then some sort of mechanism would lock your bike in place.


bd8cb0429d939e9d44858d8cf0a2ba40.jpg
 

CBBarnett

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Great topic - bicycle parking is a huge and under-discussed issue in Calgary (in addition to the general network improvements and pathway infrastructure that is critically important). Unlike car parking, the perception of parking scarcity is true in most areas for bicycles. Here's some random food for thought:

Racks:
I have always been partial to these stacked racks (below) for indoor storage - you see them in Toronto and Montreal occasional outside metro stations and in the occasional building, but their main fame is from bicycle parking garages in Netherlands. In case anyone was wondering, The top bicycle rack levers downward with a piston/spring setup so it doesn't require much strength to raise back up - especially important on a classic, heavy Dutch bicycle. Some inspiration from bicycle utopia below:

1634139774081.png


Wayfinding in an 8,000 stall bicycle garage in The Hague:
1634139876971.png


1634139915231.png


We could go further into some of the brilliant and enormous bicycle parking infrastructure that Netherlands has, but Calgary really could benefit more from taking the training wheels off before joining the Tour de France in regards to bicycle parking infrastructure. A few ideas:

As previously mentioned, highly visible intercept on-street bicycle parking at key destinations and intersections:
  • Bicycles are about 10-20x more space efficient than cars, so any popular street/destination should replace an on-street car stall with 10-20 racks.
  • As space efficient as they are, bicycles can easily clutter a sidewalk (especially for how narrow our most popular streets are) - on street is needed
  • Locations are fairly obvious, but I would be really focused on a cafe/patio model and place them right at the corners for maximum convenience and access:
    • For example, every second street corner on 17th Avenue (SW) - either on or off the main Avenue. Ship and Anchor/National (5 Street), Analog Coffee (7 Street), Cafe Beano (9 Street), Liquor Mart (11 Street)
    • Pretty much every cafe/brewery/restaurant/main street intersection should have 10-20 on-street stalls within a block or two in the inner city.
  • Every LRT station should have bicycle storage on some scale, located in the best spot to allow it to be actually usuable and visible
Here's a sketchy, but super effective one in Montreal and one that has the bike share dock on the street. Cost is negligible compared to any car infrastructure:
1634143636814.png

1634143808467.png


Secure bicycle storage:
  • vacant storefronts on main streets are perfect short-term bicycle storage facilities. Have the BIA or city lease or subsidize a lease for a few years of a publicly accessible bicycle storage right at ground level.
  • Convert old parkades into Dutch-style bicycle parking
  • Find ways to help older buildings convert spaces into bicycle parking - lots of the issue is just knowledge, and how-to missing for condo boards to think about.
  • Ensure newer buildings build way more bicycle parking at a higher level of quality - it's amazing how many brand new condos have trashy bicycle rooms that you have to navigate a bunch of random doors by the garbage dumpster just to get your bicycle in and out. Put it at ground level if you can, hell even in the lobby would be better.
  • Visibility is super important - bicycle cages, rooms and racks should be all placed immediately next to high traffic areas. Way too often they are sketchily located ripe for vandalism and theft.
  • Keycard access is a super great idea. As suggested, a secure bicycle storage option even for a fee at most LRT stations would be great - most trips from stations are short, but either entirely car-dependent park-and-ride or circuitous and low-frequency feeder busses. Bicycles are perfectly place to compete for that market.
Scale is important - treat bicycles for what they are, an important part of the transportation mix requiring real capacity-increasing solutions:
  • Our current system is one-offs; a rack here and there seemingly at random. This is insufficient to change anything.
  • Avoid the bicycle rack = art thing - it's fun, but often leads to awkward racks that are non-standard and unpredictable for users. At best, these kinds of programs should supplement the main thrust for bicycle parking as infrastructure not be the only bicycle infrastructure.
  • Install in blocks of 10-20 racks in key destinations, not just one or two. We need hundreds/thousands of additional racks, not dozens.
    • Think about how much free on-street parking exists - 1 million+ stalls? So much free parking no one even thinks about not being able to park at a destination in most of the city. Plan bicycle parking like that in key areas. The only difference is the bicycles will take up up 1/20th the space and actually work towards our climate, pollution, budgetary, economic, personal health, congestion and mobility goals, rather than against them.
 
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outoftheice

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The source of this confusion is they have now painted the cycle track lanes on to 3rd Ave S but still haven't gotten around to installing the physical barriers. Still nice to see progress on this one as I was worried this project had stalled out. Still such a shame it's only going to be temporary.

 

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