Cyclists will have access to the entire cycle track network beginning today, nearly two weeks ahead of the original planned opening date, and early numbers indicate strong demand for the project.

The final corridor (8 Avenue/Stephen Avenue and 9 Avenue cycle tracks) will open to cyclists tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. completing the final leg of the pilot project network.

“The whole network will now be in place and interconnected,” said Don Mulligan, City of Calgary director of transportation planning.

Mulligan says the amicable weather of late contributed to the early unveiling.

“We’re completing it almost two weeks early, ahead of schedule, as well as under budget,” said Mulligan. “The budget was $7.1 million for this project. The costs have now been totaled and it’s coming in at $5.75 million. It’s $1.35 million under budget.

Earlier this spring, city crews opened the 12 Avenue S. and 5 Street S.W. sections of the track. Mulligan says track usage has exceeded expectations.

“On 12 Avenue, we’re counting, on an average weekday, 1,000 vehicles a day,” boasted Mulligan. “Our target was 800, which was four times what it was before we had cycle tracks.

“We now have counts for the first time of 5 Street, under the CPR tracks, and they’re coming in at 1,500 cyclists a day which is the highest we’ve ever encountered on any street for bikes in Calgary.”

According to data released by the office of the City of Calgary Transportation Infrastructure, the 12 Avenue cycle track’s impact on motorist travel times has been minimal.

Travel times compiled from 11 Street Southwest to 4 Street Southeast (the duration of the 12 Ave cycle track) indicate commute times for motorists over the 15 block stretch have increased by an average of 60 to 90 seconds since the track was installed.

In order to receive fair feedback and suggestions from all Calgarians impacted by the cycle network pilot project, Mulligan encourages cyclists, pedestrians and motorists to provide their input by contacting 311.

City council is scheduled to decide on the future of the cycle track in December 2016.

For more information about the project, including maps of the network, visit Cycle Track Network