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More than 100 businesses sign on to Calgarians for Cycle Tracks

Letters of support from Calgary establishments show bike infrastructure means business

When it comes to cycle tracks, more than 100 downtown and Belt Line businesses are on board.

Jennifer Friesen/ for Metro

When it comes to cycle tracks, more than 100 downtown and Belt Line businesses are on board.

Some of the city’s big businesses are giving the cycle tracks thumbs up, just in time for council’s discussion on the controversial infrastructure project.

On Thursday, Calgarians for Cycle Tracks, a grassroots group formed in support of the project in 2014, released a list of letters of support from festivals, businesses, and health officials for the $5.45 million pilot project, which wrapped up in September. The project is up for review by council on Monday.

Calgary’s Downtown Association issued a letter to council last week, asking they consider removing the 8 Avenue cycle track because of its lack of performance, and negative effects on nearby businesses in terms of loading areas and parking availability. According to the association’s website, they represent more than 3,000 businesses downtown.

Peter Oliver, who is behind Calgarians for Cycle Tracks, believes businesses against the tracks are a minority. He said the letters gathered by his group of volunteers show businesses don’t just want the tracks to stay, they want to see the program expanded.

“They’re saying it’s important to their business,” said Oliver. “It’s a pretty powerful list that have some of the most impressive names on it.”

Names like Concorde Group, Earls, Milestones, the Unicorn and Hotel Arts are seeing the benefits of the cycle track.

“Our two properties have seen a positive return on our investment in the form of increased bookings from cycling advocates,” read the letter from Mark Wilson, general manager of the Hotel Arts group.

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