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Calgary Launches Bike Lane Pilot Project in Riverbend to Reduce Traffic

The City of Calgary will begin a pilot project later this week to reduce traffic through the southeastern community of Riverbend.

From Friday through September 12th,bike lanes will run north-south on 18th Street S.E. Between Quarry Park Blvd and River Valley Drive S.E.

As a result, 18 Street S.E. will be reduced to one lane.

According to the Ward 11 Coun. Pilot Courtney Penner is responding to community traffic and safety concerns.

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speed limit,” Penner told Global News.

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18 of Concerns about speed and road safety Street S.E. shared by Beverly Ashley, whose family recently moved into the neighborhood.

She said the community was quiet and safe with friendly neighbors, but that the street next to her house had a problem with car traffic.

"I think the only problem in this neighborhood is 18th Street," said Ashley.

Ashley's son was hit by a car at a pedestrian crossing this summer while trying to cross a busy road on his bicycle. He still wears an aircast on his left leg.

"I'm glad the city has acknowledged that they have a problem and are trying to do something," Ashley said. I was.

The goal behind the pilot project is also to redirect traffic to her 24th Street as an alternative for vehicle commuters moving through the community, according to city officials.

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This pilot surprised some cyclists living in the area...a park walkway.

``I like the idea because people running on the trails run very fast. I'm very happy," Kristi Lange told Global News. "I don't see many bike commuters on the road, so I was a little confused as to why I was here."

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Longtime Riverbend resident Bruce Laprise told Global News that bike lanes would make a difference to traffic.

"My biggest concern is why the city can't really communicate with the community itself, and why the project can't be done," he said. are you piloting," Laprice said.

Officials worked with the Riverbend Community Association and several local voters to identify community concerns, according to the city.

The Riverbend Community Association declined to comment for Global News.

Click to play video: 'Bike Calgary asking city council to make some lane closures put in place during pandemic permanent' Bike Calgary urges City Council to implement permanent lane closures during pandemic
Bike Calgary is requesting September 13, 2020

Others in the community had mixed opinions about the idea.

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"Current traffic is very heavy and I am concerned about the safety of cyclists." Riverbend resident James Gibb told Global News. "I am concerned about traffic flow in the area, knowing that it is out of Glenmore and Deerfoot." while.

According to Penner, the pilot project will "have a conversation" about the future of community streets in the city.

"I think what we really want is for people to try it and not have preconceptions about whether it's good or bad for the area," Penner said. rice field.

"(We) are trying to understand the future of commuter roads in our city. Will it be here in Riverbend or will it be tried and adopted in another community.

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