News / Calgary

Calgarians divided on cycle track spending

The survey showed an 8 per cent drop in support for funding over last year's numbers when it comes to bike lanes on streets.

Metro FIle

As the downtown cycle track network turns four months old, results from the city's yearly Citizen Satisfaction Survey shows public interest in the new cycle track network dollars may be waning. But Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he's not fussed about it.

The survey, released Monday, showed an 8 per cent drop in support for funding over last year's numbers when it comes to bike lanes on streets. Forty-seven per cent of respondents asked the city spend less on cycle tracks, 33 per cent asked for the same dollars to go into the infrastructure and only 20 per cent are begging to see more money in place.

"The fascinating thing about the bike lanes thing is that after all the drama, after all the ink spilled on it, (53) per cent of people still want us to spend more on it," Nenshi said at a press conference Monday.

The downtown cycle track pilot has always been a contentious issue, sometimes quite political, with members of the public, and politicians like Coun. Sean Chu, wondering why so much money is being spent on something only a small part of Calgary's population will use.

"I mean think about that, that means politicians can't entirely control the issue agenda," said Nenshi. "We've had so many people try to make this a huge case, and we still have a clear majority of people saying spend more."

The numbers show what's almost a 50/50 split for and against spending more money on the tracks. So far $7.1 million, has been spent on the pilot, which rings in at half of one per cent of the 2012 to 2014 transportation budget.  

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