Sidewalks & Pathways plan and budget

Sidewalks & Pathways plan and budget

2023-2026

Mobility designs and maintains Calgary’s network of sidewalks and pathways. This pathway system is one of the most extensive metropolitan pathway networks in North America. With traffic control and safety, sweeping and snow control, Mobility supports active travel modes and wheeling for all ages and abilities.

Sidewalks, pathways, trails and protected on-street bikeways connect communities and provide Calgarians with safe and accessible year-round opportunities to walk, cycle, run, ride, and use mobility devices. We focus on inclusive, equitable, safe, accessible and reliable sidewalks and pathways to ensure that walking and wheeling are viable and attractive options for all Calgarians.

Our customers

  • Calgary’s sidewalk and pathway network is enjoyed by commuters and recreational users of all age groups and abilities. 
  • The network supports active travel modes and connects people to services and amenities such as parks, parking, public transit, and other locations. 
  • Businesses, utilities, and festivals use the space for access and special events.

Our partners

  • Agencies and industry stakeholders across public and private sectors to deliver services that Calgarians need. 
  • Developers 
  • The construction industry 
  • Community/business associations
  • School boards 
  • The Calgary Policy Service are also engaged regarding safety initiatives.

Value to Calgarians


  • enables Calgarians to realize the physical and mental health benefits of walking and wheeling
  • provides safe, accessible, and walkable connections to neighbours, shopping, services, and natural spaces
  • supports clear rules and processes for businesses to access sidewalks and pathways for special uses
  • aims to provide alternative modes of travel that adhere to the Always Available for All Ages and Abilities (5A) guidelines
  • supports growth of an active sidewalk pathway network in the city by developing comprehensive plans for future networks and design standards to be used by developers and communities

What we deliver


  • The Sidewalks & Pathways service includes the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of approximately 5,900 km of concrete sidewalks, 1,100 km of paved pathways, 150 km of designated trails, and protected bikeways. 
  • Elements that support Sidewalks & Pathways include pedestrian bridges, pedestrian corridors, rapid flashing beacons, pedestrian-activated flashers, crosswalks, and lighting.

Budget breakdown


2023-2026 budget ($millions)

  

Service performance


Average # of days for sidewalk construction

2021 was 13 days

Material usage for environmental sustainability (realized in carbon footprint related to green material initiatives)

New measure, no historical data

# of traffic signals with accessible pedestrian signals

2020 was 337

# of active control devices available for pedestrians

New measure, no historical data

Snow and ice control completion at prioritized transit/accessible locations within targeted timeframes

New measure, no historical data

What we've heard

The Citizen Satisfaction Survey shows a positive trend with satisfaction for our service performance at 94 per cent. The pathway network is considered either as “Very Important” or “Somewhat Important” by the public (66 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively, totaling 94 per cent).

However, Calgarians shared a lower satisfaction with snow clearing on sidewalks along Calgary's main roads (69 per cent). We will continue to monitor performance indicators, and the new Snow and Ice Control Policy will address some concerns. Almost an equal percentage of Calgarians agree that The City should increase the budget for snow and ice removal on sidewalks (63 per cent). Calgarians expect accessibility improvements and in response, we plan to install wheelchair ramps. Survey results indicate that the overall desire to further invest in sidewalks and pathways is 49 per cent.

Participate and view results of City research

What we're watching

  • The expectations of Calgarians are changing as demographics and behaviors evolve. Furthermore, the city's growth continues to drive network expansion and the need to connect communities. Hence, we continually monitor and adjust to trends that impact delivery of the Sidewalks & Pathways service. These adjustments include an increasing focus on pedestrian and cyclist safety, an emphasis on year-round accessibility and wayfinding, and the long-term impact of the pandemic on the economy. Insufficient funding to maintain/upgrade related infrastructure is also a key risk.
  • Emerging transportation technologies such as e-bikes, scooters and pedelecs, and business models such as undocked bike sharing are changing how we move. There is also a growing number of commercial activities such as festivals and mobile vendors that use our street and pathway network. Thus, we continue to monitor provincial, national and international standards and trends that promote safe walking and wheeling activities.

Our initiatives


What we plan to do

Our service focuses on accessibility, innovative design, pedestrian and cyclist safety and education, reliability, connecting communities, wayfinding improvements, supporting commercial activities, modernizing service delivery, and adopting safe walking and wheeling practices.

How we're going to get there

  • Enhance support for walking and wheeling as preferred mobility choices to and beyond schools, shopping, parks, recreational and other locations by prioritizing Always Available for All Ages and Abilities (5A) routes, enabling coordinated lifecycle replacements with adjacent roadway assets and other engineering measures that connect or extend routes, and address missing sidewalk or pathway links.
  • Provide innovative and environmentally-friendly approaches to sidewalk design and construction, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions through the exploration and implementation of carbon upcycling practices, using waste material such as fly ash in concrete sidewalks and by adopting the usage of glass materials in new use categories such as concrete construction.
  • Improve the availability and use of sidewalks and pathways infrastructure to Calgarians by enhancing coordination, engagement, collaboration, feedback and communication activities with workgroups, supporting partners and impacted communities.
  • Improve the safety, accessibility and attractiveness of the pedestrian realm through continuous improvement, design, maintenance, innovation, benchmarking, and implementation of related programs and technology such as piloting the use of heave phenomena control devices that control the expansion and contraction of concrete.
  • Strengthen the culture of safety throughout the sidewalks and pathways network by establishing safety protocols and projects through the Safer Mobility Plan, and exploring opportunities for more social media-based campaigns and short animated clips about safe pedestrian behavior that would engage various age groups and focus on the shared responsibility of safety for all sidewalk, pathway and roadway users.

More initiatives

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