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Calgary city councillor backpedals on bike lane comments

For Winnipeg cyclists, using bike routes is about to be a lot safer with a bylaw's help.

Rookie Calgary city councillor Sean Chu is in trouble with his colleagues over comments he made on Twitter about the usage numbers of dedicated bike lanes in the city.

On Tuesday morning, Coun. Chu tweeted , “This is nothing but BULL SHIT. 7St increased to 1160 cyclists per day? What was she on? The Emperor continuously getting new clothes. Winter?”

These comments come out of a debate on Monday evening over the increase in bike lanes in the city, specifically the possible construction of a separated bike lane on 1st Street S.E. They were assumed to be directed at Blanka Bracic, the city public servant who is in charge of the 1st Street bike lane project and used data from the lanes on 7th Street as an example at the debate.

The cyclist traffic numbers that make Chu skeptical were counted using 24-hour surveillance. During the Monday evening debate, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi cautioned the councillor against suggesting malpractice by city planners in their information gathering.

On Tuesday, two hours after Chu’s Twitter post went up, it was deleted, but not without controversy.

“I don’t care about the profanity. I don’t use language like that, but that’s not really the issue,” Nenshi told CBC. “The issue is impugning the professionalism of a city employee, insinuating that she’s on drugs just because you disagree with what she’s saying and making a threat that you will attack her even further. These are not appropriate.”

Nenshi noted that he has no problem with the councillor disagreeing with the numbers, but suggesting Bracic was using drugs “crossed the line.”

Chu has since apologized for his online outburst, but this is not the first time he has upset people on Twitter. He is known to post comments regularly and pictures of empty bike lanes as arguments that they are not a wise investment for the city. He also upset some when he made comments about a ship stuck in the ice and a cold winter in Calgary as being proof that climate change is not real.