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Neighbourhood streets Elements of great neighbourhood streets

The City collaborated with citizens and partners to work together and identify the elements of great neighbourhood streets.

These elements contribute to making streets safe and inclusive.

There are many ways to address traffic calming, but the elements below help activate our spaces and make our neighbourhood streets welcoming for all ages and abilities.

We use these elements when working with Calgarians to determine the best ways to improve their local streets.

Take a look below for some ideas on how your neighbourhood could be improved.

1. Lighting

Why is lighting needed?

Adequate light encourages safe, secure and welcoming streets.

What is the benefit?

Improves safety by allowing pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to see each other.

2. Block party/Play street

What is a block party/play street?

Part of a street is closed to provide a local space for kids to play.

What is the benefit?

Help correct the decline in youth activity level.

Block party/Play street

3. Community garden

What is a community garden?

Collaborating with the community to grow flowers, herbs and vegetables. 

What is the benefit?

Enhance the health and well-being of neighbourhoods and communities.

4. Patio

Why are patios needed?

Facilitate outdoor dining and gathering. 

What is the benefit?

Support business and add to the vibrancy of Calgary communities.

5. Temporary traffic calming curbs

What is a temporary traffic calming curb

Narrowing streets is the best way to slow vehicles. Narrowing streets at intersections also helps pedestrians be more visible.

What are the benefits?

Improve safety by narrowing the street. Encourages drivers to travel slower, reduces pedestrian crossing distance and provides a protected, visible space to wait before crossing.

Temporary Traffic Calming curbs

6. Bee hotel

What is a bee hotel?

We are currently looking at ways to better integrate wildlife in our city.

What are the benefits?

Increase biodiversity, environmental resiliency and better wildlife integration in our city.

Bee hotels

7. Activation/Programming

What is an activation or programming?

Hosting or enabling community partners to host events connects neighbours and slows cars. 

What is the benefit?

Build more resilient communities where residents look out for one another.

Activation programming

8. Parking and resting

Why is parking needed?

Providing space (benches, bike racks, street parking, scooter stalls etc.) for people to spend time at a place.

What are the benefits?

Contribute to letting people gather.

Block party/Play street

9. School engagement

Why school engagement?

Understand the youth perspective, including asking students to evaluate their street.

What is the benefit?

Help student voices be heard and give project teams important feedback.

School engagement

10. Pathway

Why install pathways?

Adding a pathway to complete a connection where there is a gap. 

What is the benefit?

Remove barriers to active travel.

11. Curb bulbs

What is a curb bulb?

Widening the sidewalk or curb out into the lane, reducing street width. 

What is the benefit?

Improve safety by narrowing the street, slowing traffic and making pedestrians more visible.

Curb bulbs

12. Winter activation

What is winter activation?

Finding ways for Calgarians to connect year-round. 

What is the benefit?

Promote ways for Calgarians to connect, be active and enjoy public spaces.

13. Traffic diverters

What are traffic diverters?

Temporary diverters help manage vehicle volumes and encourage walking and wheeling on neighbourhood streets 

What are the benefits?

Manage vehicle volumes, restrict cut-through traffic and encourage walking and wheeling.

Traffic diverters

14. Speed reduction

How does reducing speed help?

Temporary diverters help manage vehicle volumes and encourage walking and wheeling on neighbourhood streets 

What are the benefits?

Slower travel contributes to safer and more comfortable trips, especially for vulnerable users.

15. Community decisions

Why consider making community decisions?

Sharing decisions with communities and gathering feedback. 

What are the benefits?

Community members have a good sense of their neighbourhood’s character and the locations that feel unsafe.

Finding opportunities to engage can help correct the locations that matter most.

Community decisions

16. Street art

Why have street art?

Working with the community and schools to create artwork on streets and other public spaces. 

What are the benefits?

Help residents celebrate and learn about change in their community.

Street art

17. Street lab

What is a street lab?

An experiment to see if a street can be better designed for more users. In this case, the street was narrowed to make it more comfortable for pedestrians travelling on the pathway. 

What is the benefit?

See if a street can be better designed for more users.

Street Lab

18. Speed humps and cushions

How does speed humps help?

A road hump typically placed over the entire width of a road – these are wider and have a more gradual slope than a speed bump.

Speed cushions accommodate buses and fire trucks.

What are the benefits?

Slow motorists down to improve safety.

Speed humps

19. Flower Planters

Why are flower planters needed?

Adding flower planters along streets and wheeling lanes. 

What is the benefit?

Improve the look of streets by adding colour and landscaping.


20. Trees

Why are trees needed?

Trees and other native species are introduced to a landscape.

What are the benefits?

Tree canopies provide cooling effects, shade, stormwater management, safety, biodiversity, traffic calming and more. Renaturalization improves the natural environment by transforming spaces into a landscape more indicative of the naturally occurring landscape of the region.

21. Wayfinding

What are wayfinders?

Signs to show loops or destinations in a community. 

What is the benefit?

Users benefit from destination information – especially on pathways where there is not signage typically.


22. Wheelchair ramps and tactile strips

Why are wheelchair ramps and tactile strips needed?

Transitions between the street and the curb. Textured mats for pedestrians who are visually impaired. 

What is the benefit?

Helps make Calgary an accessible city.

Wheelchair ramps

23. Wheeling Lanes

What are wheeling lanes?

A lane for wheeling, separated from other traffic modes.

What are the benefits?

Protected wheeling lanes narrow the street and make crossing easier for pedestrians. Separate facilities for those who walk, wheel or drive makes sharing the road safer and a more predictable experience for everyone.

Wheeling Lanes

24. Snow clearing

Why is snow clearing needed?

The City follows a seven-day snow clearing plan for public spaces. Pathways and wheeling lanes are considered priority 1 and 2 routes, which means snow is cleared within 24-48 hours after snowfall.

What is the benefit?

Snow clearing enables safe travel for everyone.

  • Is your street livable?

    Help us identify the street changes needed for better walking and wheeling. Share your ideas with us.

  • Questions?

    Do you have a question about Neighbourhood Streets?

This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​