Studying campus pathways

By Rhiannon Kirkland

For those who walk or bike to the University of Calgary things are about to get a little bit sweeter. The City of Calgary is examining how to make walking and cycling safer and more comfortable, encouraging more people to try eco-friendly travel.

The study suggests two types of improvements for cycling: bike lanes and shared curb lanes marked for cycling and cars. Curb lanes shared by cyclists and motor vehicles are proposed for areas where there is either low traffic volume or not enough room for a bicycle lane, said City of Calgary transportation engineer Blanka Bracic.

“For pedestrians [access] is acceptable. There are sidewalks on most of the roads around campus,” said Bracic. “On the north side, especially between 37th St. N.W. and Crowchild, the sidewalk is incomplete, so our project proposes to build that portion of the sidewalk.”

The City of Calgary met with stakeholders including representatives from the Campus Planning Office, the Office of Sustainability, Campus Parking and the Bike Root.

Bracic said meeting feedback was mostly supportive.

“Some of those bike lanes, they could do it badly if they don’t take into account parked cars, right turning lanes, stuff like that,” said Michael Godwin, a second-year computer science graduate student. “It’s already a little bit messy trying to get across Crowchild.”

The study proposes bike lanes on 37th St. N.W. between 32nd Ave. and Varsity Drive, Northland Drive between Crowchild Trail and 52nd Ave. and on a section of Charleswood Drive north, said Bracic.

“I don’t mind biking on the road with cars whizzing by, but cars mind them whizzing by me,” said fourth-year english major Patrick Sullivan.

There will be an open house for the study from 4 to 8 p.m. Oct. 21 in the Triwood Community Hall. The meeting will be held in conjunction with the Brentwood Transit-Oriented Development Study open house, said Bracic.

“The Brentwood study had two components. [The] first one was a land-use study and that study looked at how land use could change and intensify over time at the Brentwood mall site and, as part of that, a transportation study has been done,” said Bracic.

“I think that if there are say bike lanes on some of the roads it might encourage some people to try cycling,” said Bracic.

The U of C area pedestrian and bicycle improvement project will not look at public transit, although some suggestions may benefit transit users, said Bracic.

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