As 2022 comes to a close, we’ve compiled a summary of the changes and improvements that we’ve noticed around the City over the past year. Here’s a link to our 2021 year in review post. A brief outline of what this blog will cover:
- Policy and/or administrative changes implemented in the past year
- Adaptive Roadways program
- Multi-use pathway / Off-street pathway projects
- Protected Wheeling Lanes
- Looking ahead to 2023
In 2022 Calgary adopted 40 km/h residential speed limits, for all residential streets (streets with no painted centreline), and some collector streets (busier neighbourhood streets, often with bus routes). More information about this change can be found here. In 2022 some additional policy changes were made:
- Several commercial main streets such as 17 Ave SW (Beltline/Mission/Lower Mount Royal) and 9 Ave SE (Inglewood) had the posted speed limit dropped from 50 km/h to 40 km/h
- At the September 2022 Infrastructure and Planning Committee meeting, the Safer Collector Framework report was presented. A speed study from the first year of implementation showed minor reductions in average vehicle speed on residential and collector streets since the speed limit change came into effect. The report outlines how changes can be made to collector roadways to help reduce speeding and average speeds. Unfortunately, no dedicated funding program for the Safer Collector Framework was presented or adopted as part of the November 2022 4-year budget deliberations.
Another policy adopted in 2022 was the Neighbourhood Streets Pilot Policy, which replaces the outdated 2003 Traffic Calming Policy. This policy is intended to create a more equitable and flexible process for communities to request, test, and implement traffic calming measures. The policy identifies areas of implementation like “removing barriers” (better curb ramps, removing maze gates, etc), “neighbourhood greenways and traffic diversion” and “complete streets and the 5A network”. Some of these projects have already been initiated in communities like Silver Springs, Panorama Hills, and Dover.
Although the 2023-2026 Budget did not include a dedicated funding program for this policy, we hope that it can be implemented through other programs that did receive funding, such as Established Areas Growth and Change Strategy, and Community Mobility Improvements.
Calgary has many policies and strategies that call for prioritization of walking and cycling. But more important is that these policies are consistently followed across the city. That starts with a properly allocated budget, which is why one of Bike Calgary’s top advocacy priorities will continue to be ensuring sustainable funding for safe and convenient active transportation options.
ADAPTIVE ROADWAYS PROGRAM
There have been very few changes to the Adaptive Roadways program in the past year. This program was established in 2020 due to increased usage of many shared pathways. As of publishing this post, adaptive roadways remain in place on Crowchild Trail SW near North Glenmore Park, 11 and 12 Street SE in Inglewood/Ramsay, Crescent Road NW in Crescent Heights, and 50 Ave SW in Altadore/North Glenmore. In late 2022, the Centre Street Bridge lower deck re-opened to motor vehicle traffic. The Memorial Drive adaptive roadway returned, but only for a few long weekends with very last minute notification. Consistency and predictability of these routes are key to encourage regular usage – this aligns with the City’s 5A network principle “make it reliable”.
Northeast Calgary and other communities east of Deerfoot Trail continue to be left out of this program – there is work to be done to promote transportation choice and equity in all areas of the City.
MULTI-USE PATHWAY / OFF STREET PATHWAY PROJECTS
Due to budget cuts to the “pathways missing links” program in the previous budget cycle, most new off-street pathway projects in 2022 were delivered through grants from other orders of government, or as an extension of other major capital projects. A large scale example of this is the Bonnybrook Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion, which helped deliver a 3.5 km missing link of the Bow River Pathway between Ogden Road and Glenmore Trail that opened in late 2021. This pathway is more direct and has much less grade change than the Lynnview/Beaverdam Flats pathway on the east side of the Bow River.
Completion of a missing link is underway in the north Calgary community of Coventry Hills, north of Coventry Hills Way NE. This pathway will run through a utility corridor and improve connections to several schools in the area. Utility corridors are great areas for off-street pathways due to fewer conflicts with driveways and roadways, and their linear nature that makes them a more direct route than most roadways in neighbourhoods like Coventry Hills.
Another project nearing completion is the extension of multi-use pathways from the Bow River Pathway at Edworthy Park (Bowness Rd/Shaganappi Trail NW) to connect to the Montgomery Bowness Rd bikeways. The pathway on the northeast side of Bowness Road is complete, and the pathway on the southwest side should open in spring 2023. This creates a continuous corridor to access community destinations all the way through Montgomery.
Construction wrapped up in 2022 on the 37 St SW Main Streets project between Bow Trail and Richmond Road SW. This project included a high quality off-street pathway on the east side of 37 St that connects many community destinations in an area that was severely lacking a good north-south wheeling connection. We hope to see a next stage of implementation that would connect further south to 46 Ave SW, across Glenmore Trail, and into North Glenmore Park.
PROTECTED WHEELING LANES
2022 was a slow year for the construction of separated, on street wheeling lanes. We noted completion of two projects: 19 Avenue SE (East Central Phase 2) and a short section of 9 Avenue SE as part of the bridge replacement work. In our 2021 recap we estimated the total length of protected wheeling lanes to be 23.5 km. These new additions bring that total to 26 km. This is still short of Calgary’s 2011 Cycling Strategy goal of 30 km of protected wheeling lanes by 2020. No new target has been set for the coming decade, although the City’s Climate Implementation Plan calls for full build out of the 5A network by 2050.
We are very happy to see the completion of the first protected wheeling lanes east of Deerfoot Trail through the East Central Phase 2 project. Communities in east and northeast Calgary have long been underserved, and we hope that this project will build momentum for future connections .
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2023
Entering the new year, here are a few projects to keep an eye on, that we expect will be underway or completed in 2023
- Progress on new infrastructure on 34 Ave SE in Dover
- Completion of the Eau Claire plaza and enhanced riverwalk between the Jaipur Bridge and 1 Street SE. Once complete, people walking and wheeling will have separate pathways along the south side of the Bow River between 10 Street NW and East Village
- Construction of separated wheeling lanes in West Hillhurst and Sunnyside on 19 Street NW and 2 Ave NW
- More information on how the newly approved $40 million for 5A network projects will be spent. We hope to see improved active transportation routes around school clusters and more projects initiated outside of inner-city Calgary
We also hope to see the City of Calgary avoid moving in the wrong direction by removing the 3 Ave South wheeling lanes once Eau Claire construction is completed. This would be a big step backwards and would go against Calgary’s climate and transportation plans. This infrastructure has been very well used and it would continue to have great benefit as an east-west corridor that brings people to places of employment and local businesses.
Are there any cycling opportunities or projects that you are looking forward to in 2023? Did we miss any infrastructure highlights of 2022 in this post? Leave a comment on our social media post, or send us an email at email@example.com.
2 thoughts on “Calgary Cycling Infrastructure – 2022 Year in Review”
Thanks for the good work towards mobility improvements and for keeping people informed of the progress achieved. This work makes Calgary a better place to live.
Lets see a connection form the 11 St SE bike lane to the Bow River Pathway along 46 Ave and 15th Street. There is a perfect opportunity to add a bike lane to the potholed 15 St SE and build a short connector along the Bonnybrook construction access. Many cyclists and walkers already are hiking across the field now!
As I’ve mentioned before a new pathway along the abandoned railway line from the crossroads market at 11 St SE to 15th St SE would be a wonderful addition.
Google Maps shows bikeways along both sides of Ogden Road From Glenmore to Blackfoot trail. This certainly doesn’t exist, but it would be nice!
Access from the CIty to Springbank has been decimated by the new Ring Road. Their needs to be multiple ways for cyclists to safely ride west (OBCR, Bow Trail, 17 Ave, and Lower Springbank) but none of these have any accommodation for the hundreds of cyclists that ride west every day. This should really be a priority.
And then there’s more Ring Road chaos at the south end of the City. Almost all access points in the Southwest of the City across 22 X have been removed (24th St, 37 St). 53rd Street and 146 Ave could accommodate a bike lane and is in need of upgrading as it is the bumpiest most potholed gravel road I’ve been on in years.
So how can we get the City on board?