Council: Confusion over Northland Drive bike lane

With Calgary’s Cycling Strategy Annual Report on the table, some council members expressed concern over a new bike lane on Northland Drive.

Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu said he’s recieved phone calls and emails – though hasn’t seen for himself – that because of the layout of the new bike lanes, buses sometimes have to reverse in order to make a turn.

“If we have a specific bicycle engineer, I think this shouldn’t happen,” he said.

“There is an engineer in the roads department who is taxed with being our knowledge expert on bicycle design,” said Mac Logan, general manager with Transportation with the City adding the department would look into the design and see what they could do to adjust it.

Before the buffered bike lanes were completed, council approved bus and bicycle lanes to Northland Drive in September 2012. At the time, residents concerns included confusing merge lanes, unclear intersections and unclear links to other pathways.

With those concerns council constructed the concrete buffers to protect people using the bike lane and direct drivers to stay in traffic lanes.

Ward 1 Coun. Ward Sutherland also voiced concern from residents in his ward about the  bike lane citing the “large” cement islands that make the land are confusing for drivers, who sometimes mistake the bike lane for a vehicle traffic lane.

“I’ve heard the same,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Some people are just mad because there’s a cycle lane there.”

Nenshi added he’s also heard the lane is a “particularly” confusing design, and Logan said he would see the site for himself as soon as possible.

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