City looking to focus on pedestrian and cyclist safety in Marda Loop masterplan
CALGARY -- After years of engagement with residents, businesses and stakeholders, the city is planning to move forward with the Streetscape Masterplan for Marda Loop.
Pedestrian safety, parking and bike lanes are the focus of the multi-million dollar proposal.
33 Avenue SW is the central corridor for business and vehicle traffic through the community.
On 34 Avenue, the city plans to construct bike lanes to alleviate pressure on cyclists when riding near heavy traffic.
Although a final design has not been approved, there are three scenarios the city is considering.
Option A looks at one-way vehicle traffic, with two parking lanes and a cycling track on the south side of the street.
Option B looks at two-way vehicle traffic, with a parking lane on the north side, while a cycling track is created on the south side, including a pedestrian path.
Option C would see the road stay as is, with mixed traffic being allowed on the road, including cyclists and vehicles.
Bike Calgary believes the creation of bike lanes is what is needed in Marda Loop.
"It would be safe or could be safe, only if it is designed properly," said spokesperson Garry Lohuis.
"We would be very much in favour of a separated bike lane track. We're not anti-car. We're just really pro-safety for bicycles."
Some residents in the area believe adding bike lanes in the area would be a good idea.
Kate Bowering says the city should install bike lanes, but it has to accommodate everybody, and that includes alleviating any pressure on traffic back-ups if parking becomes an issue.
"It's not one thing to say we need bike lanes on 34 Ave. I think it needs to be a very thoughtful approach," said Bowering.
Another resident tells CTV news he is a cyclist but believes the project would be a waste of time.
"I think it's a bad idea. It will just make the traffic worse, and everybody that rides a bike, I ride a bike all the time just goes over a block or two to be on the nice quiet streets," he said.
Officials say temporary improvement measures such as wheelchair ramps and traffic-calming curbs will be installed along 34 Avenue between 14 Street and 20 Street. The curbs will be installed in the new year.
The city will host a virtual open house on Dec. 1, where the project will be presented and allow for a question and answer session.
The city says it is taking key engagements with those impacted that will take place until Dec. 15.
Previous engagement sessions showed a multi-use path option is what most felt would be the ideal solution, the city says.
This would see shared pathways on one side of the road for cyclists and pedestrians while still preserving on-street parking on both sides.
No date has been set for construction.