The west LRT bike routes are having an information session at Westbrook Mall on May 2nd, from 2-4 according to a billboard on 32nd street, 4-8 according to the city website.
I was looking over some of the plans and am not at all impressed with what they are doing and the results of the decisions they are making if they carry through with them will be nothing more then a huge reduction in the number of people encouraged to cycle in this city as a form of transportation due to safety concerns and a lack of ease when cycling along with making driving on the some of these streets a gigantic pain as well.
This is what Copenhagen, a city with alot of cyclists has done to add safety for cyclists and not interfere with automobile traffic.
Vancouver, Melbourne, and other cities are spending alot of money converting their bikeroutes along city streets to a similar fashion as seen below.
Calgary should take note that these cities are spending money converting to this, and not create dated bike routes along roads that other cities are now moving away from. Instead Calgary is proposing things like this.
from the City of Calgary west LRT bike route proposal
City of Calgary
City of Calgary
What cities around the world have realized is that you do NOT put bike routes on the same lane as cars. Bikes tend not to travel as fast as cars and when cars pass bikes accidents can take place that are not the fault of either party and are more the result of two vehicles that should NOT be sharing the same lane. Nor do you put the bike route BESIDE the traffic between the parked cars and the moving cars. When a car parks and a driver opens their door where is that door going? Into the bike lane. Now the biker has the quick reflexes to stop his bike in order not to hit the door, or worse they swerve into the automobile lane and get hit by a car. By putting the bike lane on the inside of the parked cars the drivers side door does not open into the bike lane and as above a small barrier can make it such that the passenger side door does not either. Even if the passenger side door DID open to impeed the bike their swerving does not now take them into 3000 pound+ vehicles that are traveling 50KM an hour.
This is what you do, and clearly the city is aware that the idea does exist.
City of Calgary
That is what you do for the WHOLE route on roads when you "have" to put a bike route on a roadway. If there is not room on a particular road then you remove a parking lane to fit it, if you cannot do that on a particular road then you do NOT build a bike route on that exact road at all and find another nearby road that goes in the same direction that you can do it on.
The places where they put the parked cars on the curb and the bike lane on the traffic side make NO SENSE, it would take virtually no more room to switch the parked car lane and the bike lane so that the parked cars no form a barrier between bike traffic and bikes and bikers no longer need to fee the nerves of getting "squeezed" between a moving and parked car by a driver who moves too close.
Those lanes on the outside of the parked cars and the lanes that actually share the road with the cars are the worst implementation of a proper bike route system imaginable. Many cities already have what the City of Calgary is proposing and they are actively spending infrastructure money to move AWAY from that. We should do it right in the first place and do what those cities are now moving towards.
If they do an actual proper system there is actually a very likely positive benefit in the number of people who commute by bike. Many cities who have implemented proper bike routes such as Copenhagen and what Vancouver are moving towards see HUGE increases in the number of people who commute by bicycle. If they mess this up and make biking unattractive and dangerous seeming doing what the other cities had and moved away from "BEFORE" they saw those huge increases then obviously bicycle commuting in Calgary will be lower then what it could be.