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Northland Drive N.W. – Buffered Bike Lanes

Project update

Construction of the Northland Drive buffered bike lanes is nearing completion. The City will monitor and evaluate operation of the lanes over the next year.

Project scope and designs

In September 2012, The City added bus/bicycle lanes along Northland Drive N.W., between Crowchild Trail and 52 Avenue. Recent citizen feedback reflected a number of concerns:

  • Narrow travel lanes at north and south ends of Northland Drive results in confusing merge lanes
  • Intersections are not clearly marked
  • Road markings and road signs are hard to see and understand
  • Links to other bikeways and pathways are unclear
  • Safety of people cycling and driving

Based on citizen feedback, we designed a better and more complete road for people walking, cycling and driving by:

  • Improving traffic lane design to reduce confusing merge lanes at north and south ends of Northland Drive
  • Installing bigger road signs and clearly marked traffic lanes Improving signage identifying the bike lane and directing people to the bike lane
  • Constructing concrete islands and a wider painted buffer to protect people using the bike lane and direct drivers to stay in the traffic lanes
  • Changing the bus/bike lane to a bike only lane. Buses now only use the bike lane at dedicated bus stops, not for travel - Calgary Transit found no improvements to bus operations by using a separate lane from traffic
  • Ensuring snow and ice clearance will allow for the bike lanes to be used year round. A priority 1 route, Northland Drive and the bike lanes will be cleared in accordance with The City's Snow and Ice Control Policy

Using the bike lane

  • Only people riding bicycles can use the lane. Buses will only stop in the bike lane at signed bus stops. The bike lane design also allows for school buses in front of Sir Winston Churchill High and St. Jean Brebeuf Junior High School.
  • The buffered bike lane operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • People cycling must ride in the same direction as vehicles.
  • People cycling can pass parked buses​ in front of the schools.

Tips for motorists and cyclists using Northland Drive can be found on our travel tip sheet​.

Project background

The bike lanes were identified in the Brentwood Station Area Redevelopment Plan, and Council approved Pathway and Bikeway Plan to expand the cycling network through the Brentwood and Varsity area. The new road design and bike lanes on Northland Drive​ makes the road more accessible and safer for people who walk, cycle or drive.

Roadway improvements

  • Signals on the Northland Drive N.W. overpass at Crowchild Trail underwent a six month trial for an all-way stop configuration (when all signal lights flash red). Trial results showed the intersection could operate safely and efficiently without traffic signals due to the low number of vehicles travelling through the area. The intersection is now permanently controlled by a three-way stop.
  • Two northbound and two southbound traffic lanes remain to accommodate the new road design. Due to current and expected number of vehicles in the area there is minimal impact to traffic flow.

Local cycling network


Connect with cycling

Transportation staff welcomes comments or questions about this bikeway improvement.

eServices - Bikeway feedback

 Join our online Facebook community for cycling tips, bike maps, info and news by pressing ‘Like' on the City of Calgary Bicycle Program page.​​​​​​​​​​​​