Calgary cycle-track planners address protesters’ concerns at Chinatown public forum
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Protesters greeted city transportation planners at a public engagement session Thursday ahead of a key committee meeting next week on Calgary’s proposed Centre City Cycle Track Network.
About a dozen sign-carrying members of Calgary’s Chinese community came out to the Dragon City Mall to express concerns over what their spokesperson described as a lack of consultation from city officials.
“It looks to me like they already have a decision before they announce to the public,” Richard Poon told reporters on behalf of the group.
But city transportation engineer Blanka Bracic said that’s simply not the case.
“The city has been talking with the public – including people in the Chinatown area – for several months now and no decisions have been made,” Bracic said. “That’s why we’re here today.”
The public will also be welcome to make presentations directly to members of city council at the transportation and transit committee meeting on Wednesday, Bracic added, ahead of council’s vote on the proposed network on April 28.
Poon said residents were also concerned about the loss of a vehicle lane on 1 Street SE near the Bow River.
“From Riverfront to Fourth Avenue, this is only two actual lanes for the cars,” he said. “If they try to take away one more lane, that means it will become only one lane for vehicles.”
Bracic, however, said that’s not part of the plan and two lanes of southbound motor-vehicle traffic will remain in place in that area, as will both the angle parking on the east side of the street and the parallel parking on the west side.
About 7,000 vehicles travel daily on 1 Street SE north of 4 Avenue, on the east side of Chinatown, according to city traffic counts. In sections of the street south of 4 Avenue, the counts range from 17,000 to 27,000.