Stephen Avenue cycle restrictions voted down

Calgarians and tourists will be able to cycle to Stephen Avenue Mall for lunch after a recommendation imposing time restrictions was struck down.

In council today, Coun. Sean Chu made a recommendation that “Council direct the traffic engineer to exercise his authority to not allow bicycle riding on the Stephen Avenue Mall between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. weekdays.

Coun. Druh Farrell argued there are already restrictions in place during Stampede week adding, “We’re talking about a pilot here, let’s try it out.”

Also against the recommendation was Coun. Evan Woolley who said city hotels are providing bikes so visitors to the city can cycle to Stephen Avenue at lunch, spending their money at local restaurants.

“Let’s give this a shot,” he said.

Coun. Ward Sutherland was for the motion citing the safety of the many people who walk the street during sunny days and festivals.

Mayor Nenshi, who left the mayoral seat during the debate said the cycle track network is working better than he thought it would.

“People are using it like crazy,” he said adding he was out at Stephen Avenue today at lunch and there was plenty of room for cyclists.

Chu closed saying the City has worked hard to make Stephen Avenue a successful walking mall and that disregarding the restriction would be “throwing this all away”. The Ward 4 Coun. even volunteered going out and painting cycle track lines himself, to save money.

The recommendation was defeated 9-5.

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