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5th St Cycle Track opens, the "Spine of the operation"

Another stretch of Calgary’s new downtown cycle track opened Friday morning with excited enthusiasts calling the route under the beltline overpass the ‘spine of the operation’.

The newest portion runs along 5th Street SW between 3rd Avenue and 17th Avenue SW.

Kimberley Nelson, president of Bike Calgary, spoke to 660News ahead of the opening.

“It’s going to go right down the middle. It’s going to encompass an underpass,” Nelson said. “Whenever we talk to people who are in that interested, but concerned level of biking, they always stress that the underpasses are deal breakers.”

Nelson said there is still some anxiety between drivers and bikers downtown.

“People who believe there are going to be conflicts with drivers who are going to become more aggressive when they are on roadways that don’t have the bike lanes,” she said.

Still, Nelson said she hasn’t heard many complaints from users she has been talking to.

After the 12th Avenue portion of the cycle track opened two weeks earlier, Nelson said the number of cyclists on the route jumped from a few hundred to about a thousand a day.