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Pathway Safety Improvements

The City is continuously looking at ways to improve our nearly 800 km of pathways. Unless twinned and separated, Calgary’s pathways are multi-use, and our goal is to ensure the safety of all pathway users, including walkers, runners, dog walkers, recreational cyclists and commuter cyclists.

Work to be completed in 2015/2016 includes:

  • Design, maintain, and build missing links in the pathway system, adhering to the new minimum width of 2.5 meters wide for local pathways, 3.0 meters for Regional Pathways and 3.5 meters wide when the pathway is adjacent to water.
  • The City will continue to apply and refresh stencil marks on the pathways along the river, especially along stretches where the pathways are separated (twinned) and then transition back to multi-use. Some crossings may have green paint on the pathway as a visual reminder that both cyclists and pedestrians should take extra care when crossing.
3 pathway paint stencils for walking and cycling
Examples of pathway stencils
  • The City will continue to expand the use of “double yellow” lines to indicate intersections, hills, curves, blind corners.
3 pathways with double yellow lines painted on them
Examples of double yellow painted lines which alert pathway users to a change in the pathway
  • Installation of automated pathway counters at five permanent locations plus two mobile units. These counters are an effective tool to gather accurate, year-round data that can be used for future planning and management of the pathway system.
  • Development of a city-wide Parks and Pathways lighting policy.
  • In collaboration with Transportation Planning, review and update the Council Approved Pathway and Bikeway Plan from 2000/2001, a document which identifies the principles applied to route-planning in support of an interconnected multi-use pathway and on-street cycling network.

Work completed in 2014 includes:

Pathway with VATCS speed sign
Example of a VATCS unit
  • Installation of safety bollards and warning signage.
  • Pruning of overhanging tree branches.
  • Widening and twinning portions of the pathway.
  • Addition of double yellow lines, stencils, and accessibility features such as curb cuts, bridges and safety railings.
  • In December 2014, Parks installed four, solar powered Vehicle Activated Traffic Calming Signs (VATCS) in the Eau Claire area. The VATCS units are intended as an educational tool to inform pathway users when they exceed the posted pathway speed limit, which is typically 20 km/hr.
    On regular days, these units are programmed to activate at speeds exceeding 20km/hr, however they can be programmed to activate at speeds exceeding 10 km/hr during high use times or when there are events taking place nearby. Because speedometers are not required on bicycles, many cyclists are unaware of the speed at which they are travelling along the pathway. The objective is to inform pathway users if they exceed the posted speed limit.

Pathway safety improvements are done in alignment with recommendations from the Pathway Safety Review conducted in 2011. Calgary City Council approved the list of city-wide recommendations after extensive public engagement, which helped form recommendations for the report.

Please check the Pathway Closures page for updated closures and detours.

Remember that you can help keep pathways safe by following basic pathway rules and showing respect for fellow pathway users.

Read the reports:

Report a pathway concern