critninja's picture - Calgary Edition

I have requested that Calgary have its own version of this site -

Once the administrator approves it you can register as a user and begin taking photos of cars doing dumb things in bike lanes all around Calgary.

This is going to be fun!


amf673's picture


I took a quick browse through some of the posts. Toronto seems to be near the top of the heap for quantity. I wouldn't expect Calgary to have all that many posts, not because our drivers are any better than anyone elses but we don't have all that many bike lanes for them to park in. Maybe 10 Ave will make up for it!

I noticed a lot of delivery vans -- UPS, Purolator, Canada Post. They seem figure they have diplomatic immunity to any and all parking restrictions. A little while ago there was a UPS van parked half on the sidewalk and the other half blocking the bike lane on 10th. St.

2wheeler's picture


snap a photo and send it to the offending company.  If they get enough flack they'll chang their habbits.

theorangejacket's picture

A Great idea!

The only Canadian cities on there currently are Montreal and Vancouver (unless I missed anything).  I'm sure that Calgary can contribute!

theorangejacket's picture

oh right

And Toronto, I guess it still considers itself part of Canada ;)

Richard Z's picture

Also Ottawa, Gatineau,

Also Ottawa, Gatineau, Halifax, Sherbrooke, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Victoria, and now Calgary.

theorangejacket's picture


I need to brush up on my Canadian geography obviously, or my powers of observation, or both.

pinkrobe's picture

two more

I put in two more today.  I thanked the tow truck guy as he was hooking one car up.

Scott's picture


Okay, went and took a look at the photo's... it's all on 10th for one thing. Is that our cities only pathway? Next question... I notice there is signage that says no parking until X time (cant read it) and then there IS parking afterwards. This is sending a mixed message to the people. There shouldnt be ANY parking at ANY time. You dont see this sort of thing in Victoria. There should also be a serious amount of towing going on and after a few months of that, you wont see this crap happening anymore. I gotta tell you guys.... again, from my viewpoint being a former Victoria resident... the tow trucks are like ambulance chasers and the city doesnt set screwy things like this up. It's like the city is trying to please everyone all at once and thats just not possible. There HAS to be a line drawn in the sand.

I'm angry just from looking at that mess. Sure, blame drivers. I blame city more. This is all screwed up and I think because most of you dont know any better that this has been tolerated. I do know better and if I had to ride this route everyday... my angry ass would be in my mayors office freaking the hell out. I hope you guys on here who know the right people get a burr up your butts and doing something about this because if you dont... nothing will change and you will deal with this parking in the lane crap everyday for all time until one day the lanes are just given back up to the cars.

Fight, Fight, Fight, Fight.... ;)


Richard Z's picture

Just so you know, Bike

Just so you know, Bike Calgary has been pressuring the City for months on this one.  See eg

We've seen things getting better and tow trucks and police have been patrollign 10 Ave a lot.  That said, you are absolutely right. The proper way to do it is to have a 24-hour bike lane.


bclark's picture

To expand

I believe there is (rightly or wrongly) concern about the impact of a 24 hour dedicated bike lane on businesses along the corridor.  In an ideal world it would be great to build momentum by showing a growing number of cyclists using the lane and then get to the point where a full-time bike lane is a no-brainer.  The problem, in reality, seems to be that the traffic issues being raised, prevent this eventuality from ever coming to pass, or at least from coming to pass in the short term. 

As Richard has pointed out Bike Calgary IS continuing to work on this one.  Of course, we are continually reminded that the City receiving lots of 3-1-1 calls would really help in highlighting the concern and getting action to occur. 

It would be great to see this lane really take off in popularity.  It would also be great to see the infrastructure extended along the whole stretch of 10th and also duplicated for the eastbound lane and in the mornings.

Scott's picture

Letter to the mayor

Sent a letter to the Mayor. Probably wont even reach him let alone be read but what the hell. When I'm fired up... I will go right to the top.



Hello Mr. Mayor,


I am a resident of Calgary but only for the past 5 yrs. I am a cyclist/commuter but only about 50% of the time (parental restraints). Today I was visiting web site and there was a link to a new web site where people post images of vehicles or other obstructions in bicycle lanes. Two things became immediately apparent… there seems to be only one bike lane in the city of Calgary? All the images posted at this link are on 10th ave.


The next thing I observed is the signage in the photo’s. You can see that there is no parking during certain times of the day and then there is afterwards. No wonder vehicles are confused and/or cutting corners. You cannot please everyone all the time. A line has to be drawn in the sand… the lane is either for bikes or its for parking not both depending on the time of day. Prior to my move to Calgary, I was a resident of Victoria B.C. for the better part of 25yrs and I have the cycling program there to refer to when comparing. I personally do not use the lanes here in Calgary as I reside in the deep South East  and utilize Fish Creek park but I do understand what the daily downtown commuters must be enduring as I led that life in Victoria prior. It’s scary business riding alongside cars. Very. Some of us have a choice to ride or drive but most do not. A city the size of this one should be terribly embarrassed that it cannot establish dedicated bike lanes. All I see when I visit the downtown core is a surplus of space. 4 lanes wide on some streets. After 5 yrs of residing here I still shake my head at the system in place when it comes to the utilization of space.


You Mr. Mayor are a breath of fresh air in the world of politics and while I understand that your hands are often tied in bureaucratic red tape… I really believe that the safety of your constituents should be pushed to the fore and in so doing, you will also offer up an alternative to motor vehicles that the rest of the city will smile at as they get their dusty bikes out of their garages and ride more because of the safer measures you implemented.

Thank you for your time.


Scott's picture

And a response..

Typical politics. Say lots while saying nothing. Why am I not surprised? lol



Dear Mr. Ewing,




Thank you very much for contacting Mayor Nenshi about the bike lane situation in Calgary. The Mayor has asked me to respond on his behalf.




The Mayor appreciates your comments and suggestions. Improving cycling infrastructure throughout the city, including implementing more bike lanes, is a major priority for Mayor Nenshi, but it has to be done in a thoughtful way.  Our hope is that the new Cycling Coordinator that The City of Calgary is hiring will be able to assist with identifying the best way to implement new bike lanes.  Most issues that both cyclists and vehicle-users have stem from confusion about how to share the road, and education is a major component of the cycling strategy as well.




Please feel free to contact Mayor Nenshi with any additional questions or concerns.








Erin Chrusch


Citizen Liaison


on behalf of His Worship, Mayor Naheed K. Nenshi


The Office of the Mayor


Historic City Hall


700 Macleod Trail South


Calgary, AB T2P 2M5


(403) 268-5622


Web: | Facebook: Mayor Nenshi


What are your 3 Things for Calgary?


christophish's picture

Reversing the bike lane and parking

I rode along 10th on Friday last week to meet my wife for lunch (I normally don't ride downtown, but was there for Teachers' Convention) and was surprised by the bike lane being part time. It had me thinking: I saw some photos from Europe (Copenhagen, I think, or maybe Amsterdam) that allowed cars to park on the left side of the bike lane, and then the space between the parked cars and the sidewalk became the bike lane. I thought this was brilliant as it allowed street parking at all times, and the parked cars acted as a buffer from the road traffic. I think this could be done on 10th (as well as other downtown streets) using the same amount of space (without having to widen the road). The only thing would be to add a second curb (or dividers) to the left side of the bike lane to deter parallel Parker's from invading the bike lane from parking. Who else thinks this would be viable? Or am I missing something?

Scott's picture

in my opinion..

In my opinion, that design you speak of is the one and ONLY true solution to bikes and cars co-existing during the initial "get used to it" stage where bikes take back the roads. I would applaud this city and completely begin to change my views on it if they were to be as progressive thinking as that. Dare to dream.

mercator's picture

Pathway plows

The problem with that arrangement would be clearing the lanes when it snows.  Not usually a problem in the low countries, but in Calgary it would represent an additional expense.  

I think that separated bike lanes are a great solution where there are lots of riders, but it's going to be a hard sell here when you consider the incremental cost to clear the existing lanes is zero.

DarrenB's picture

Enough room?

Perhaps I misunderstand what you are suggesting, but I don't think there is enough room to accommodate this.  Using existing space, the cyclists would be riding in the door zone of the passenger doors.  Drivers are sometimes bad about checking before flinging open a door in traffic, but passengers are just not used to checking at all.  Sounds very dangerous to me.

The snow plow problem is an issue as well, particularly since some form of physical or grade separation would have be be placed between the bike lane and sidewalk. I also think the snow from the sidewalks would just get pushed into the bike lane.

If we had a full extra 3 m of space on each side of the roadway, then there would be some viable designs that might work.  Even at that, though, I seem to recall there are some Alberta traffic regulations that conflict with designs like this, meaning the City is somewhat constrained when it comes to building them (that's a bigger general issue than most realize).

theorangejacket's picture

extra dangerous

Plus in that situation if you see a passenger door come swinging open, one's only option (beside jamming on the brakes) is to try to "hop" the curb and onto the sidewalk to dodge the door- an extra obstacle in an action that requires very quick reflexes.  

Unless, as someone said, the bike lane is wide enough to travel outside the door zone.  I've ridden bike lanes like this before, can't remember where - Seattle perhaps?  or Victoria BC.

fixmtl's picture

That design works very well

That design works very well if there are bollards and/or curb separation between the parked cars and the bike lane. Without it I'm not sure, I haven't seen anything like it. Passengers are indeed not likely to pay attention to bikes.

bclark's picture

Sounds like a Cycletrack

The concept is sort of like a cycle-track, i.e. the cyclists are separated from motorists and pedestrians.  Snow clearing would be possible, I believe, as the City seems to do an adequate job of dealing with the snow in the bike lane on 52nd (St NW) (so long as the timing for snow clearing works out that they get to it before the recycling and garbage trucks compact it too much).  Of course, there would likely be less of a priority on clearing any such cycle-track vs. roadways, likely resulting in a period (following a snowfall) where the track is not useable.  There would have to be something done to mitigate the door zone hazard as well as ensuring pedestrians don't step out into the way of bicycle traffic when trying to get to the sidewalk.  Talking to City staff, it does seem there are major issues around legislation for these types of facilities.  I understand this was a concern on my previously cited 52nd St NW.  I think there is potential for such a layout but I don't know that it is the easiest solution for the short-term.  Bike Calgary has been monitoring 10th Ave (for effectiveness) and made a recommendation for it to be considered (vs. one-way lanes on 11th / 12th Ave) as part of our Centre City Cycle Route recommendations (

christophish's picture

I haven't considered the

I haven't considered the passenger door zone, though I'm sure incidences would be much lower than a driver door zone, but that could compound the problem. I also didn't consider snow removal... I wish I could remember where I saw those photos. I'd like to see them again. I'll look, and if I find them I'll try to post them here. If I could figure out how to do that from my iPad. :)

christophish's picture

Found some

Ok. I found some photos. Not the ones I was thinking of, but something similar. The photo on the right is closest to what I was thinking of, but it allows for a door zone, and no curb for the parked cars. This would require a wider road though. Here's the link:

theorangejacket's picture

that would work

though it is pretty much an entire width of an automobile lane when all is said and done.  But it would definitly work if Calgary drivers could make the sacrafice (or whatever) of a lane.

theorangejacket's picture

passenger side door prizes

Logically there are alot less passengers than drivers, however that statistic could be skewed by the fact that drivers are (hopefully) more aware of this problem and would look before opening.

though in my experience, sadly..... 

christophish's picture

Exactly what I realzed when I

Exactly what I realzed when I said it would compound the problem... The problem would be two-fold... Passengers may be less aware than drivers are, and cyclists may develop a false sense of security knowing there are less chances of a passenger opening a door than a driver.

And yes, it would take up a whole lane, which is ok in my mind, but this is Calgary... Imagine the, unwarranted, backlash!

bike-run's picture


Yes, the only time I've been "doored" was by a passenger.

pinkrobe's picture

All clear!

10 Ave. S.W. bike lane was clear from 1 St. to 8 St. when I rolled through at 4:30-something today.  

winterrider's picture

Mostly clear

I had to watch my kids yesterday afternoon and take them along to an appointment downtown, so I ended up driving most of 10th Ave west bound yesterday afternoon.

Although the bike lane was free of snow, it was not free of idiots. Some yahoo in an SUV decided it was their personal lane and I observed them drive past a long line of traffic including myself before merging back into the main traffic lane.

After that I moved over so that my right wheel was right on the bike lane line, and sure enough two blocks later another VIP tried the same move. When he got stuck behind me (as I only left room for bikes to get by) he tried to gesture to me to move over so he could get by. I gestured back that he should move over which he eventually did. He ended up driving on 10th the whole way, so I can only imagine that his plan was to drive the entire lenghth of 10th in the bike lane.

So that was 2 drivers trying this trick in the span of 10 minutes. Makes me think some more policing will be required down the road as a few drivers still don't get it.

DarrenB's picture


Awesome positioning on the road! Good for you.