The development of a cycle track on 2 Street SW in Calgary’s Beltline could have the road turned into a one-way street, but the ongoing consultation is pushing the project out to 2019.
A possible northbound one-way is only one of the options under consideration as the city and area residents continue the public engagement process. The two sides agreed on the delivery of bike infrastructure along 2 Street SW from 10 Avenue to 26 Avenue, but they weren’t in tandem on how to do it.
The city initially proposed unprotected bike lanes on both sides of the street with available parking remaining on the west side of the street. The Beltline Neighbourhoods Association (BNA) wanted to see separated bike lanes.
The community engagement also heard about a change in speed limit to 40 km/h and for the construction of several curb extensions to provide traffic calming and allow for safer pedestrian crossings.
BNA president Peter Oliver said the one-way option allows for the most amount of parking while still delivering on the more robust cycling infrastructure. He compared it to what’s been done on 14 and 15 Avenues SW. That switch was made roughly one year ago.
“I think we’re interested in hearing what the community would prefer. The 14th and 15th one ways have gone pretty good, and they’re unprotected bike lanes and they’re only temporary,” Oliver said.
Oliver also said they were told the city did conduct a small-scale traffic study showing that a slower one-way road wouldn’t necessarily require a parallel one-way street in the opposite direction.
“This would be able to support the traffic, still be safe, keep the parking and have separated bike lanes,” Oliver said.
Calgary’s cycling coordinator, Tom Thivener, said they received a lot of public feedback, especially around the lower speed limit and separated bike lanes, while keeping or improving on-street parking in the area.
He said they’re still reviewing all of the more than 500 submissions and will be coming back with options to present to the community association later this month. After that, they’ll be going to area residents.
“We’re really keeping our minds open on 2nd Street. Luckily it’s wider, so if we did do a two-way cycle track on a one-way street there it would fit really well,” Thivener said.
“It would provide for really good snow clearance and better operations and move traffic efficiently during rush hour as well as park a lot of vehicles in the evening hours.
“So, it is something that could potentially be done down there.”
Thivener did caution that although the one-way system would work well in the area, they’re still in the design process and they’ll be getting community feedback once those options are finalized.
With the ongoing consultation, the project has been pushed back to spring 2019. Thivener said they had the budget to complete the bike lanes this year, but they want to make sure they get the cycle track right. The delay could work in the city’s favour as it will coincide with a planned pavement upgrade on 2 Street SW that’s happening in 2019, so work on the cycle track and traffic calming would be done at the same time.
Oliver said he’s appreciated the willingness of the city to work with the community to find the best solution.
“It’s good to see that they’re doing the engagement but they’re also responding to the feedback from the community. And it looks like they want to do this right,” said Oliver.