More than 300,000 cyclists are in the Calgary area, with more than half of them living in the Greater Calgary area.
The city of Calgary is currently considering changes to the city’s cycling regulations, with a proposed bike lane on King Street slated to be in place in the summer of 2019.
However, it’s not just cyclists in Calgary who are taking their riding to the next level, with the city also considering the use of bicycles to tackle the city-wide bike fatality rate.
“I’ve seen a lot of the city cycling, and it’s a great way to keep up with the activity,” said Calgary’s Bicycle Coordinator Dan Satterfield.
“And I think we can actually be doing a lot more to encourage that kind of activity,” he added.
Satterfield’s organization is working to help educate people on the benefits of riding bikes in Calgary.
He said he has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people using bikes to cross busy streets.
“We’ve been seeing more and more people actually riding, and I think the bike lanes can help,” said Satterfields.
“They can help get you out of the cycle track and into the street more quickly, and get you where you want to go quicker.”
“I think it’s very beneficial to be able to get around a busy intersection without going through a barrier,” he said.
“It’s a very good way to get across town, especially if you’re looking for something that you’re interested in doing.”
Bike lanes have been implemented in other cities around the world, including in London and Berlin.
“There’s really no better way to promote cycling than by encouraging people to ride bikes,” said Dan Saterfield.
“You’ve got to be active.
You’ve got work to do.”
But there are a number of challenges involved with the implementation of bicycle lanes in Calgary, as well as the cost of bike maintenance.
“If you’re doing it on a bicycle, it’ll be a lot easier to maintain because you’re not wearing a helmet and you’re walking around in the city,” said Denny Wilson.
“The cost of upkeep is going to be a major issue.
You know, there are some really great places that have a lot less maintenance costs,” he continued.”
So you’re going to have to be very careful about how you’re cycling and keeping your helmet on.”
Wilson said he thinks the city should have a bicycle plan in place before any changes are made to the current regulations.
“For us to be riding on King, we’re going through that area,” said Wilson.
“We’re going on the same road, we have to walk in the same lane, so there’s a certain amount of risk that’s there that you don’t want to do,” he concluded.
But Satterfords advocacy group Bike Calgary says the new rules will help to reduce the number and number of cyclist fatalities.
“This is the perfect time to introduce bike lanes and get people out of their cars,” said Paul D’Arcy.
“That’s something we’re really excited about.”
“The more we see people riding bikes, the safer we are,” he explained.
“This is a time to be really excited.”