News / Calgary

Calgarians sprinting through cycle track pilot records with May numbers

Last year's record, set in July was beat with May's bike count numbers in the downtown Calgary cycle track pilot

Although it's not usually the most stable month for ridership, May has already crushed the downtown cycle track network's record for last year.

Metro File Photo

Although it's not usually the most stable month for ridership, May has already crushed the downtown cycle track network's record for last year.

The downtown cycle track is catching on fast and as the cycling season ramps up, the network’s already seeing a mammoth load compared to last year’s numbers.

Last July, the city recorded a ridership record for the controversial downtown cycle track. As the numbers go, this year that record was already surpassed in May at 92,582 trips – that’s 1,362 trips over last year’s record.

Where can we go from here? Tom Thivener, projects coordinator for the Liveable Streets Division, said there’s nowhere to go but up. He expects to be seeing several record setting counts this summer.

“It’s just another sign that a lot more people are starting to use it then they were last year,” said Thivener. “We’re still not quite into peak riding season.”

Courtesy/City of Calgary

The key point to keep in mind is the network only opened June 18, 2015, so there isn’t a count from last year to compare May’s figures to.

But comparing data at other counter locations, like the 7 Street track, May typically isn’t the peak month. More riders are out when the weather stabilizes in June and July and August.

In April, it was the warmest month on record for Calgary, and the city saw over 80,000 trips on the cycle tracks.

Thivener said the city may have to flip the board on the 5 Street electronic counter totem – it maxes out at 300,000. That’s the most popular track.

“It’s the most central route, and the one that pierces the tracks,” said Thivener.

What’s even more interesting is 7 Street isn’t seeing a significant ridership dip according to Thivener. The track was built before the pilot and has maintained a loyal number of cycling trips – even with its close proximity to the pilot network’s most popular track just a block over on 5th Street.

“Cycling is more popular than ever, it’s not just downtown where we’re seeing these numbers,” said Thivener. He said the counter on 10 Street NW had 15,000 trips for the month of May, a route that’s quadrupled after the addition of a bike lane.

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