Bike Calgary pushes city to keep pedestrian, cyclist lanes open through winter

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“I’m not aware of the pandemic situation changing, and as Calgarians we certainly don’t hibernate. Winter is what we do. I can’t quite understand the logic of the city’s decisions,” Spearing said.

“We should be looking to change with the changing times. This is not taking cars off the streets to give them to bikes. This is actually sharing the infrastructure. This is opening infrastructure for all mobilities.”

Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra said he considered the adaptive lanes program a success and that he wanted them to remain open.

“I’m disappointed that we’re shutting down for the winter months and I share the angst of a lot of people, but I think there’s some legitimate reasons behind it and I think this is setting us up for longer-term success,” he said.

Pedestrians take advantage of one of the last weekends to use the lower deck of the Centre Street Bridge on Saturday, October 10, 2020. The City of Calgary will soon be ending the lane closures that have been used to help with physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Gavin Young/Postmedia

The reasons it makes sense to reopen the lanes to vehicle traffic boil down to determining the best way to implement a more permanent solution for pedestrians and cyclists, Carra said. Refining the way in which adaptive lanes connect with existing interfaces is one example, as is working out the best way to deal with snow and ice on roads.

Carra is advocating for one adaptive lane — the road from the Zoo Bridge to 21st Avenue on 11th and 12th Streets — to remain in use, saying it’s an essential connector between the communities of Ramsey and Inglewood in his ward.

“They’re not taking down that route yet. They haven’t committed to keeping it there all winter long, but I’ve told them I will chain myself to a pylon if they come for it,” he said.

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