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Comments Effecting Canadian Events – Ken McGregor

Bicycle’s, Calgary City Council and Chinatown

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china townOh No! here we go again. It appears few Calgary city councillors are back bullying Calgary China Town. This time they want a bicycle path right through the middle of China towns business center where roadways are at a premium, without consulting the business owners and stake holders. I would have thought that these council members had learned their lesson when they tried to strong-arm the Chinese community into banning shark fin soup, embarrassing themselves with their lack of knowledge, and turning the issue into fiasco. It looks like history is about ot repeat itself.

The recently formed CCTCC (Chinatown Cycle Concerned Citizens) group is stunned by the cities latest plan to build their next cycle track on 1 street SE right on the boarder of China town reducing traffic lanes and sidewalks. CCTCC has said they have no axe to grind with the idea of cycling pathways, but they do have a major problem with not being consulted by the city so they can voice their concerns on how their business will be affected and to discuses any safety issues. These cycling paths could negatively affect Chinatown’s traffic, business activities, pedestrian safety, and even future development. China town business is already having a tough time drawing customers due to congested roads and lack of parking. The city has had 3 open house’s else ware, but none in Chinatown. Mayor Nenshi has stated he does not believe the city needs to get more opinion’s from Calgarians without even engaging small business owners in Chinatown. Why does the Mayor and a few city councillors continue to ignore China town’s ( CCTCC) input?

Although I have no fundamental dislike for cycle paths I have to question the wisdom of spending millions of dollars of tax payers cash on elaborate pathways that only a few Calgarians use. The last estimate I’ve heard is only 1100 cyclist use the cycle tracks to enter the city center daily within a city of over 1 million residence. Oddly enough some members of council are cheering on spending millions for cyclist pathways, and at the same time talking about taking away senior and student discount transit passes because they what to improve the CTRAIN service and need more funding. It appears a few environmentalist interest may be over riding the needs of the many and needy.

But enough of my pet peeve with cycle tracks and back to the issue of China Town residence being left out of the cycling process. luckily, a city council committee recommended on Wednesday that the city go back to the drawing board and collect more facts. At the same time the CCTCC has also called for an independent review. Hopefully they will at least have their concerns heard and this issue does not turn into another shark fin debacle.

I have to agree with councillor Sean Chu when he said The numbers are not there , “The emperor has no clothes,’” . The masses of Calgarians are not clamouring for bike lanes.

I would support an independent review to get the facts then inform the public. That’s the right thing to do. I just hope city council does the right thing this time.

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Written by Ken McGregor

February 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm

One Response

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  1. Every person on a bike would mean one more open parking spot for the customers of Chinatown’s businesses, which would be a huge advantage. If it slows car traffic at all, the area would then be a lot more pedestrian friendly, which also could boost business.


    March 14, 2014 at 10:10 am

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