Morning City Counsel,
This is Andrel Reid. Today is the day you make the decision for the fate of Calgary’s Cycle Tracks, and we hope and want it to stay.
In 2003 when I moved to Calgary cycling infrastructure was minimal, very few marked bike routes, the pathway network through the city was patchy and often just stopped for no reason, next to no public bike racks and having a safe and easy bike route from inner city to outside the city was next to impossible and or dangerous.
In the last 13 years, the infrastructure has improved by leaps and bounds. Bike routes are now marked lanes or well posted signs, making it easy to link routes through the city. Our pathway system is now world class, enabling people to walk, run or bike and enjoy the city. Bike racks are abundant and making it easy for people to lock up their bikes, and getting out of the city to log some extra KM’s is a lot easier now. Also, look at how many people started to use their bike as a mode of transportation on a more regular basis, not just to commute to work, but as their main mode for getting groceries, going to events (Folk Fest, Sled Island) and for social activities.
Along came the Cycle Track pilot and YYC became a major contender in the cycling community. During this pilot, Calgary has been looked at by other cities to see how our Cycle Track is done and they are now going ahead with their own pilots. WOW, pat yourself on the back, cause that means we have done something right.
But don’t just consider the Cycle Track, bike routes and pathways as a way for locals to get around. YYC is quickly becoming an amazing tourist and event destination and those visitors are wanting to get around easily and see this city, or use a bike as their mode of transportation.
As the owner and operator of Nomad Mobile Gear Rental, I have seen many customers who are here on vacation, business or using Calgary ad a jump-off point for their vacation. Renting bikes so that they can get around and see as much of the city as possible. Almost every customer who rented bikes this summer utilized the Cycle Track and everyone loved it, from it being well marked, separated from cars or just being so well done.
Cycle Tourism has become an emerging market from cities with amazing bike infrastructure, Iron Man 70.3 events, Ride to Conquer cancer, Gran Fondos, bike packing and so much more. Calgary is there, we have the growing infrastructure, we have the Cycle tracks.
If we lose the Cycle Track, we will be taking a major step back!
Please keep the Cycle Track.
Andrel Reid
Nomad Mobile Gear Rental