Cycle Track Report Full of Holes
Analysis into the city’s Cycle Track report reveals the city has retroactively changed the program’s targets, made several data errors and mischaracterized results
After carefully reviewing the City of Calgary’s Cycle Track report, the Manning Centre released analysis today that shows a number of targets have been retroactively changed to make the targets easier to meet, without disclosing this downgrading to the public or council. Further, the report includes several data errors and has mischaracterized some of the results.
City administration’s report to council scored the project against 106 metrics that were set prior to the launch of the Cycle Track in 2014. The Manning Centre’s in-depth analysis of the Cycle Track Pilot Project shows that, of these 106 metrics:
- 17 metrics have been retroactively changed by administration in order to make the target easier to meet - sometimes even the new, lower targets still weren’t met.
- 14 metrics have incorrect colour-coded labels that suggest the pilot project’s results were more positive than what actually occurred - it is presumed these are simply errors.
- 37 of 53 metrics, where the city said they made “little or no progress,” actually show worse results than before the Cycle Track was implemented - something the city didn’t even consider a possibility, and so it didn’t create such a category in their report.
- Despite the city’s claim that the Cycle Tracks would and have improved cyclist safety, every single one of the five Cycle Track routes saw an increase in collision rates for cyclists.
- The 77% of cyclists that reported a better experience since the introduction of the Cycle Tracks represent only about 7,000 people, which is considerably outweighed by the 43% of drivers and 12% of pedestrians who expressed having a worse experience, representing nearly 90,000 people.
“We found several instances where the city appears to have gone back and downgraded the original goals of Cycle Track,” said Peter McCaffrey, Director of Research at the Manning Centre. “In other cases, the city appears to have made calculation errors and have evaluated certain results as more successful than they actually were.”
“Council would be wise to explore the irregularities we flagged before voting on whether to make this pilot project a permanent feature of Calgary’s transportation system,” added McCaffrey.
Policy Brief - Calgary Cycle Track Pilot Project - An Independent Assessment - click here
Appendix 1 - City of Calgary Summary Report appendix - click here
Appendix 2 - City of Calgary 2014 evaluation matrix - click here
Appendix 3 - City of Calgary 2014 sample evaluation sheet - click here
Appendix 4 - City of Calgary 2014 bicycle counts - click here
Appendix 5 - Survey routes converted to absolute numbers - click here
Appendix 6 - City Satisfaction survey converted to absolute numbers - click here
Appendix 7 - Error calculations - click here
Appendix 8 - Retroactively changed targets - click here
Appendix 9 - Corrected colour coding - click here
Appendix 10 - Overall corrected results - click here