dtail's picture

Bylaws... and not so nice things

I just got issued a Summons under Municipal Bylaw 52M87 section 6 (3) 'Bike not on Rack' while stopping off at Caffe Rosso (across from the Glenbow Museum) to grab a cup of coffee. I'm all for keeping society safe - but my bike was leaning up against a wall.   Tax money being squandered away... why not just inform me of the bylaw and educate me?  My court hearing is May 16th.


- Any suggestions? 






2wheeler's picture

not helpful

use a bike rack next time?


I wasn't aware of this bylaw either.  I've often used the patio fences to lock up my bike. 

BowCycle's picture

Doesn't seem like part of the mall

Hey Dave,

If you look at 3. (1) "Those portions of Stephen (8th) Avenue South in the City which lie
between: (a) The West boundary of First Street East and the East boundary of
Centre Street South; and (b) The West boundary of Centre Street South and the East boundary
of First Street West; and (c) The West boundary of First Street West and the East boundary of
Second Street West; and (d) The West boundary of Second Street West and the East boundary
of Third Street West; are hereby established as the Mall"

From that, you were not parked in the "mall" area as you were on First Street between Eigth and Ninth.

Also, I can't remember, but is there signs that state you are in the mall area? If they are going to enforce this shouldn't there be signs for a boundary?


fixmtl's picture

You're right Bob, 8 avenue

You're right Bob, 8 avenue between Macleod Trail and 1 st SE is not part of the mall. You are allowed to ride your bike there. dtail, don't pay the fine. Show up at the courthouse and tell them to waive it. This is just ridiculous.

Richard Z's picture


What's the fine? 50$?

I notice that the bylaw is 25 years old.  Time for a change?  Also, what's up with 6.(2):

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Bylaw the following activities are prohibited on the Mall: skateboarding, roller skating, the riding of bicycles, the throwing of projectiles of any nature or kind, and the feeding of birds on the Mall.

Surely bicycles are permitted after 6pm, when even cars are allowed?

Did you get the summons from police or bylaw?

gyrospanner's picture

The weird thing is ....

I went down there today to check the signage, and cars and bike riding are allowed from 6 pm to 6 am, according to the sign, but not the bylaw? 

Also weird - if you go check it out on google streetview, they have blurred out that sign, but only the specific part about bike riding!  I've sat here for half an hour trying to figure that out, I assume it has something to do with Google's lawyers, but I can't think of a reason to do that!  Anybody have a good guess? 


Conspiracy Theory?

umgray's picture

talk to the CDA

Talk to the CDA and explain the situation and ask if that in fact is their jurisdiction and if they know there is a "crack-down" on this? 

They might be willing to help. 


gyrospanner's picture

$50 OH CRAP!

I looked on google, and unfortuneately there is a bike rack right across from the A&W.  I was thinking that you might be able to argue that "There are no [redacted] Bike Racks!!"  But such is not the case.


Was it a police officer or a bylaw officer?  Did you ask him/her if they had anything better to do? 


gyrospanner's picture

I have a suggestion

You know that old saying "ignorance of the law is no excuse?"  "It's easy to be ignorant of the law when you would never expect 3 city blocks to have their own special bylaw.


I think the city should have put up signs saying "bikes must use bike racks provided.  My reasoning is that they put up signs telling you not to skateboard or ride your bike etc. which is in the bylaw, so why don't they put the bike rack requirement on the sign as well?


Good Luck

DarrenB's picture

Worth a shot

I think this is definitely worth a shot.  A lot of people driving cars get off parking infractions when there is insufficient signage, so why not the same for parking bikes?  I bet there could be a judge out there sympathetic to that logic, particularly if you admit fault and take responsibility and ask for leniency since it was almost impossible for you to have known about this old, bizarre little bylaw.

mikewarren's picture


Is it really not an excuse? How many thousands of laws and bylaws are there in effect right now in Calgary (try asking the judge, I bet they don't know either). You could try saying it's simply unreasonable not to be able to lean your bike up against a wall...

christophish's picture


Please for give mine (ignorance)... But how does one become legally responsible for such fines? There is no bicycle registration, and if you are not carrying ID, how to they know who to give the summons to? I understand a responsible citizen should and would give their correct identity when asked by By-Law, but I can't help but think, if they tried to give me a summons for something as ridiculous as that, I would refuse. Then again, if I were actually in the situation, I probably would be compliant. Just curious more than anything else?

dtail's picture

Awareness is my strategy

Thanks for all the responses - I'm in the process of posting something more detailed up on tumblr... along with an awareness strategy.  I'll fire off that link once ready - but your participation will be appreciated!  The maximum fine is $200 - which I would happily pay if I can generate enough awareness on the absurdity of this situation.  Details to follow. 

A few more details for you:  There was no signage.  It was directly across from the Glenbow Museum on Stephen Ave.  I'm not a courier but I sure looked like one on that day.  It was a police officer not a bylaw officer.  My court date is May 16 but that's for me to plead 'not guilty' - then a trial date will be set.  

Viva los bicicletas libre!  


- Dave

dtail's picture

They dropped my summons... of course


Summons dropped upon presenting myself at the window.  A bit anti climatic.. but I guess common sense kicked in.   :nut: 


I was sure to lean my bike up against the courthouse wall along side my brethren.  ;)









gyrospanner's picture

You Win!

Did they give a reason for dropping it?

gyrospanner's picture

That's Cool

I wish I could get a break lke that for my tickets!