BowCycle's picture

Posting of a No Bicycles sign

I have submitted a request to 311, but this sign is disheartening. 

It is on Burma (144th Ave) and 85th Street in the NW, a very dissapointing thing to see.


2wheeler's picture

No Bikes

The City can't legally bar bicycles from a roadway without cause.  I'm sure you remember the case in Springbank in the late nineties I think.   The road signed as closed to bicycles was deemed as illegal by the courts.  I think this is the judgement:

winterrider's picture

Any more details?

I'm wondering where along the road the sign is, and if there are more, and when you hear from 311 I'd love to know what they say.

winterrider's picture

Missed the 85th

Ignore my question on where this sign is, I just glossed over the 85th St after reading Burma Rd and 144th Ave I assumed the address was over.

Funny, I was there last night on 85th St heading south, no one out of 15 cyclists even noticed the sign!

2wheeler's picture


I've added a 311 request #17-00699133.  Hopefully some volume of calls will have this resolved soon.  

Crivak's picture

311 in

Absolutely silly. 

And that suggestion to dismount and cross to walk on the left is absurd. 

2wheeler's picture

silly sign

absurd, and according to the previous judgement, discriminatory.

DarrenB's picture

Not in the City of Calgary

That photo looks like it is facing northward, correct? If so, 85th St north of 144th Ave NW would be in the RM of Rocky View, not the City of Calgary. Looks like that RM is up to old tricks again.

2wheeler's picture


I sent the MD a service request.  I'm sure they'll take down the sign right away ;)

winterrider's picture

It's in Calgary

I was on that road this week, and I noted a City of Calgary City limit sign about 1 to 2 km north of Burma Rd on 85th St.
I presume from that that all this land has been annexed.

DarrenB's picture


So this sign is westbound on 144th, not northbound on 85th? Mybad.

Actually, looking at the map you provided, I see that the 85th St NW road allowance also falls within the new City of Calgary boundary. So it would be in the City regardless (mybad).

As Mike says, though, it seems absurd that they would put a no bicycling sign on a primary route in the city's cycling network. I encourage everyone to put in a 311 request on this one (mine is sent). And if anyone lives in Ward 2, you might want to call the councillor's office, also (Joe Magliocca - 403-268-2430 or use the online form here:



BowCycle's picture

Not Rocky View

I contacted the MD of Rocky View first thinking it was in the county. They responded quickly and said it was within the City district. They were also going to send out a team to check further down that there was not one on "their" road. Quite happy with their response in both timing and tone.

mikewarren's picture

primary cycling network

Burma road is part of the city identified "primary cycling network""

When filing 311 requests please ask *why* this stupid sign was put up...

winterrider's picture

Already done

I also took the time to ask them what their cycling coordinator Mr Thivener's views were on this sign. Hopefully that gets this across his desk.

Kerryv's picture


I drove down 144 Ave last night from 85 St to Symons Valley ranch. There were no bicycle signs the same as this in both directions at every intersection between 85 St and Sarcee Trail where Nolan Hill begins. I will also call 311 on Monday. 

BowCycle's picture

City reply

I got an email from Ward2 yesterday. The signs were installed by the city. According to the letter, "They are along both sides of 144th Avenue NW from 85th Street NW to Sarcee Trail NW..." So covering the big valley. The reasoning, they don't know of any cyclists that need to use this section for work and there has "been many "near misses" and many calls of concern related to cyclists and pedestrians on this section of 144th Avenue NW."

I can see why they would think this section is problemsome, but the routes they suggest to get around this from them comes from someone driving a car not riding a bike.

I replied back and cited the result in Springbank when they shut down the road to cyclists and it went to court. I await his reply.




dnorman's picture

Near misses?

That's insane! Near misses are a reason to put up "watch for cyclists" and "drive safely" signs. They can't just ban people from a road because other people can't drive safely. I'd like to request "no cars" signs along Stoney Trail. I've had near misses driving there. It's clearly not safe for cars.

2wheeler's picture

City response


The logic is incredible!  Their have been many "near misses with cyclists and pedestrians", however the sign required that cyclists become pedestrians and walk that section of road.  This is a clear case of discirmination against cyclists in relation to other slow moving vehicles and pedestrians.  This is exactly the case that the Springbank decision made.  The City's response is tellingly car centric.  


If the road has had near misses then perhaps the speed limit should be dropped?  Perhaps vehicles should be prepared to slow down and wait for a safe time to pass a slower moving vehicle?  You know, perhaps drivers should be forced to obey the Rules of the Road and conduct their vehicle in a manner that doesn't jeopordize the safety of other road users?!  And what does the purpose of travel have to do with it?  Their is no stipulation in the Highway Traffic Act concerning the purpose of travel wether it be work/leisure/sightseeing; we are allowed by Provincial legislation to use the road system for which we have paid taxes.


Old thinking dies hard!


Did you find out if Tom Thievner has been notified of the ban?


winterrider's picture

Putting the pieces together

Did any of you notice this story from 3 days ago?

The gist of it is that residents in the north are complaining about gravel trucks which must originate at the gravel pit on 144th and are trying to access Stoney.

I have a couple take aways from this. 

1. The gravel trucks are speeding and driving recklessly (according to residents, they may be biased by the noise).

2. The City has obviously had prior discussions with the gravel truck drivers regarding their needs in the area, this was the main justification for the new interchange work at Sarcee and Stoney which has been going for almost a year.

My presumption is that the no cyclists signs have been placed at the behest of the gravel truck drivers, who are alleged to be driving unsafely through residential neighbourhoods, so no surprise they can't drive safely around cyclists.

Is there someway to leverage this? Possibly contact CBC for a follow up on their gravel truck story with these other restrictions?

bclark's picture

Trying to Find Out More

I've reached out to some of my contacts and am trying to find out more on the reason these signs were installed and whether they can be removed. Seems that, based on precedent in Springbank, these signs would likely fail a court challenge. Hopefully I can get some clarity.

2wheeler's picture


I submitted a 311 request asking why the City had closed a road to cyclists.  I linked to the court decision but haven't heard anything back.  It's been 2 weeks.



bclark's picture

Still working on this

Quick update, I'm still working on this. Aiming to have an answer later tomorrow, or at least something tangible to say.

brenttyyc's picture

City Response from Ward 2

This was the response from the City Ward 2 Contact office. Looks Like they put the sign out?



Thank you for contacting Councillor Magliocca via our webmail.  Joe appreciates hearing from the citizens of Calgary as he considers you his “eyes & ears” in the community.
Our office is very aware of these signs and has been working with Roads Department to have them installed.  We are also aware of the discussions on Bike Calgary.

This section of road is extremely dangerous for both pedestrians and cyclist.  There have been many “near misses” and many calls of concern related to cyclists and pedestrians on this section of 144th Avenue NW.  There are more than adequate detours around this section of road and we are not aware of any cyclists that require this specific section of 144th to access work.  This would include employees on the various farms or acreages, LeFarge, Burnco, Bearspaw Christian School or the three correctional facilities.  As well, any resident of Bearspaw could detour via 85th Street NW to connect with Symons Valley Road NW.  Residents of Rocky Ridge & Royal Oak can use 112th Avenue NW to Sarcee Trail NW.

We understand that cyclist may “enjoy” this more direct route and for sport or recreational purposes appreciate ”the challenge of the hill”, but like cyclists being banned on the Deerfoot, for safety purposes, the same as been done for these few kms on 144th Avenue NW for the forseeable future.  It simply is not safe and continues to create safety issues.  We encourage you to explore the alternative routes for this section of 144th Avenue NW.


The good news is that once 144th Avenue NW from Sarcee Trail NW to Rocky Ridge Road NW has its final alignment completed (like Sarcee to Symons Valley Road) this will all be opened up for bike traffic.
If you have further questions or comments please contact me at the numbers below.





Gregory Hartzler

Communications & Community Liaison

Ward 2, Councillor Joe Magliocca



winterrider's picture

Not surprising

When I saw the story of the gravel trucks, and Councel Magliocca's comments that he was personally aware of the issues in the area, my gut started telling me that he jumped at the chance to ban cyclists from this roadway under any pretext, even a poor one such as that drivers can't safely move around people riding bicycles.

Reading between the lines, this idea started in his office and was pushed through by them.

I find their choice to quote the word enjoy as particularly telling. It gives an air of disdain for anyone riding a bicycle.

I for one would like to know the details of these calls of concern and near misses.

brenttyyc's picture

I pushed for details in

I pushed for details in response, in summary these where the points:

  •       Asking for statistics of the near-misses, who, when by type?
  •       144 Ave is not an access controlled freeway like deerfoot.
  •       Recommended that maybe share the road signage might be a better fit
  •       Asked for details of the Safety Issues he mentioned 

I got a one line response of thanks for your comments and opinions….

2wheeler's picture

Ward 2

What the Communications Liason fails to understand is that this ban is not like Deerfoot at all.  Deerfoot bans ALL slow moving vehicles, not just bicycles.  This sign clearly discirmnates against bicycles and astoundingly suggests that you should walk.  There is no ban on farm equipment, horses and buggies, etc.  What the judgement in Springbank found was that banning only bicycles was discrimnatory.  


This is not about "enjoying" a route or "recreation" this is about the rights of one group over another.  



Crivak's picture

"Aware of Discussion"

They're aware of discussion on Bike Calgary, are they?


Dear Lurker, 

Thank you for your concern regarding the safety of pedestrians and cyclists along the route of 144th. You have made your stance on safety blindingly clear by placing signs that request cyclists to dismount, cross the road where there are no pedestrian crossings, and walk along the opposite side from which they were previously riding as a vehicle. After all, nothing says "we are concerned with pedestrian safety in this area" by requesting all users who are not motor bound to be pedestrians. And not just pedestrians, but crossing pedestrians!

No wait. It's blindingly clear this was not about safety.
If there is truly as large a deal about this area as it's being made out to be regarding near misses and what not, there is clearly a design flaw in the road.
If there is truly concern for the large amounts of pedestrians here, there is clearly a need for better pedestrian infrastructure. 

Curiously, the number 2 (Deerfoot) is filled with trucks coming from up north aiming for down south. It is very busy and dangerous, even especially for regular work commuters. Perhaps you should put a ban on all driving on this road that is not a truck bound for the state side with material, especially any pesky drivers who are going out for a recreational meeting with friends, who think it is safe to traverse along this particular roadway? There are near misses every day. In fact, there are collisions frequently. Based on past recent tactics, I suggest a sign telling drivers to pull over onto the sidewalk and push their vehicles to the nearest alternative route (something like 4th street).

Yours Truly,

Work Commuter Bewildered at the Logical Fallacy.  

mikewarren's picture

"adequate detours"?!

There are four east-west roads: 1A, Burma and 567. I guess 242 counts now, too, as it's paved as far as Symon's Valley (but Symon's valley is terrible as it has basically no shoulder). Any of these would be a several-kilometer detour from 85th at Burma (and of course cuts of many loop opporuntinites). As mentioned above, Burma is apparently part of the "Prmary Cycling Network" and anyway closing this is just ignorant (at best).

bclark's picture

"No Bicycles" Quick Comment

I don't have much of an update to post, but Bike Calgary is continuing to follow-up with the City on this to see if there is potential for acceptable resolution. I did get confirmation the signs were placed at the request of the Ward 2 office, so certainly my personal inclination would be to suggest continuing to direct any additional comments their way for now.

winterrider's picture


Councilor Magliocca doesn't seem likely to give much thought to complaints from people who ride bicycles.

Has anyone contacted Tom Thivener about this? Does anyone at bike calgary have a direct line to Tom Thivener? Or the mayor's office?

Bike Calgary's picture


Hi winterrider, we do have those connections, but for this specific case they are not involved. The decision originated from the Ward 2 office and was implemented by the roads department, so we are speaking with them. We are hopeful that we can come to an easy resolution with them. If we can't, then we will be evaluating what we should do from there.

In the meanwhile, it would help if Councillor Magliocca heard from the public about why this is an important issue. If he understands the impacts, I think it will help find a good solution.



winterrider's picture


I will see if I can encourage people to contact the ward 2 office.

Is there any way we can find out the details of the dangerous incidents? I'd like to know what the problems they are responding to are in order to understand their response to it.

Bike Calgary's picture


We don't know the details right now but we can ask.

2wheeler's picture

Any updates from Bike Calgary

Any updates from Bike Calgary about this situation?  I feel this is a very poor precedent for the city to set as a way to manage problem areas.  The cycling community should not abide.

dnorman's picture

Banning taxpayers from using a public road?

So… a company basically takes over a public road, banning entire classes of tax-paying citizens from using it, without having to pay for construction of an extra lane to make it safe for their commercial trucks? That seems… misguided… We already paid for the road. They tell us not to use it, because we merely "enjoy" it. Come on, kids. Stay off the public road until the grownups are done with it. Apparently. I'm sure they'll leave it in wonderful shape, after the heavy gravel trucks decimate the asphalt as they've done all over the northwest…

Collingwood's picture

Court ruling: Elbow Valley Cycling Club versus Rockyview:

For everyone interested, in 1996, when Rockyview district 44 tried to ban bicycles, Elbow Valley Cycling Club contested it officially. The proposed ban was ruled to be discriminatory against cyclists and quashed. Signage was removed from Springbank road.  It seems then there is a clear precedent. I have copied it all in so that it is easily accessible to everyone.

Action No. 9601-08195




Municipal Government Act, 


1980, c. M-26.1

        certain by-law passed by the


        Municipal District of Rockyview No. 44 on the 23rd day of


        April, 1996, being By-Law 0-4628-96




- and -



of The Honourable Madam Justice B.L. Rawlins



      The issue in this application is whether By-law 0-4628-96 ('The bylaws') passed by the Municipal District of Rocky View No.44 ("the MD") on April 23rd, 1996, is discriminatory as against certain users of Springbank Road, specifically bicyclists ("cyclists"). If so, the bylaw might only survive challenge if such discrimination is authorized at law by the MD's enabling statutes.

The applicants, pursuant to ss.536 and 13 of the Municipal Government Act, R.S.A. 1980, c. M-26.1, challenge the MD's bylaw and seek an order quashing it as well as an order directing the MD to remove the signage on Springbank Road banning cycling. The bylaw restricts and controls the use and operation of bicycles on 7th Avenue (Springbank Road) from the westerly limit of the City of Calgary to Highway 22 by prohibiting cycling at all times other than between the hours of 7:00 p.m. to sunset.





It should first be clearly stated what this application is about and what it is not about. This application is not about public policy or the right of the MD to make political decisions relevant to its constituents. Rather, this application is about two key legal issues. Does the bylaw discriminate between users of Springbank Road and, if so, is that discrimination permitted by statute. As summarized by Rooke J. in Claudia's Restaurant Group Inc. and Lamonaca v. Calgary (City) (1993), 140 A.R. 376 at 386 (Q.B.), a city or MD may have every right to make decisions of policy to meet the needs and wishes of residents within that jurisdiction. However, it may not make such decisions:

        ... outside the limitation of its statutory powers, nor in violation of specific common law principles that require it to avoid discrimination.




      Part 5 of the 

Highway Traffic Act 

      (sections 143-150) of Alberta, R.S.A. 1980, c. H-7 defines a bicycle and describes the rights and obligations of a cyclist:



        S.1 44 Unless the context otherwise requires, a person operating a bicycle or motor cycle on a highway


          (a) has all the rights, and


          (b) is subject to all the duties,


        of a driver under Part 3.


The applicants submit that, for the purposes of the Highway Traffic Act, the rights and obligations of motorists and cyclists are "equal". With the important caveat that the Act contemplates that this equality of rights and obligations may be disturbed if 'The context otherwise requires," I agree with the applicants that this is the plain and ordinary meaning to be given to this provision. The applicants concede that the MD has control over the roads in the MD and, for the most part, the right to make decisions regarding the use of the roads. What the applicants submit the MD may not do, however, is discriminate between users of those roads without statutory right.

It is their position that the bylaw is discriminatory because it treats cyclists different from all other classes of users. lndeed, the bylaw treats cyclists, one subset of the class of slow moving vehicles, different from any other subset of slow moving vehicles. Specifically, the bylaw prevents cyclists from using Springbank Road during certain times of the day without a similar restriction being placed on any other users. They submit that the discriminatory nature of the bylaw evolved from how "the problem" on Springbank Road was originally defined. The heart of this first issue lies in the MD's motive or purpose in enacting the bylaw. As stated by Ian MacF. Rogers, 0.0., The Law of Canadian Municipal Corporations, 2nd ed. (looseleaf) (Toronto: Carswell, 1971), Vol.2, p.1026, para. 193.51:


        A bylaw will not be characterized as discriminatory simply because it is directed at one particular person or lot. Two elements are required to establish discrimination: (1) 

the bylaw must in fact discriminate, by giving permission to one person and refusing permission to another, and (2) the factual discrimination must be carried out with an improper motive of favouring or hurting the individual without regard to the public Interest.

        (emphasis added].

      The learned author describes the requisite public interest, 


      at p.1027:

        The fact that a bylaw is passed to benefit a particular group, even at the expense or to the prejudice or another group, is not sufficient to invalidate it on this ground so long as council acts in what it regards as the best interests of the public.

      And at p.101 9, para. 193.22:

        Generally speaking, the courts take the view that the council, being familiar with local conditions, is in the best position to determine what is or is not in the public interest and 

if it has exercised 

        its discretion 

bona fide, 

        Its judgment will not be disturbed by the court unless good and sufficient reason can be established.

        (emphasis added].

      See also 

Marion v. Regina City 

      (1982), 22 Sask. R. 72 (Q.B.) and Re 

Edmonton By-Law No. 1546 

      (1953), 10 W.W.R. (N.S.) 407 (Alta.C.A.). The burden rests upon the person challenging the bylaw to show that council was not acting in the public interest (Rogers, 



Keily v. Edmonton, 

      [1931] 1 W.W.R. 365, [1931] 2 D.L.R. 705 (Alta)).

      The applicants must do more than simply show that the MD's decision to enact the bylaw was ill-considered or unpopular. Firstly, it must be shown that the bylaw discriminated against the cyclists. Secondly, it must be shown that council's purpose in enacting this bylaw was not 

bone fide 

      or made with or in good faith. Such relief, as in the form of an order quashing a bylaw, will only be granted if the applicants can show that council did not act in the best interests of the public and, in so failing, exercised its discretion to pass the bylaw in bad faith or with an improper motive.


Although the parties disagree as to when the proposal to impose a cycling ban first arose, it is clear on the facts that the proposal first received serious consideration by the Traffic Control Authority Committee (the 'TCAC") on November 24, 1995. The Committee enacted a cycling ban and posted signage on or about February 1, 1996, without prior notice being given to those cyclists who would be affected by the ban. Council for the MD then determined that the introduction of a bylaw would "give greater authority" to the ban. The bylaw was introduced at the April 16, 1996 meeting of Council and was considered at the April 23, 1996 meeting of Council, with third reading and passage of the bylaw occurring at that April 23, 1996 meeting of Council. Among those opposed to the bylaw were area residents who would be "landlocked" if the ban or the bylaw passed. By "landlocked", I find that these residents (including the applicant, Baskerville) would be prohibited from using their bicycles for transportation during the hours of the ban. Recreational cyclists (including members of the applicant club EVCC) were also opposed to the passage of the bylaw as the effect of the ban is to close the road to these users, other than during the hours of 7:00 p.m. to sunset.

Although the Council meetings of April 16 and 23, 1996 were advertised in the local newspaper and submissions were received from those in favour and those opposed to the proposed bylaw, the prior decision of the TCAC, made without prior notice to those cyclists affected by the ban, and Council's ratification of that ban by bylaw, gives more than the mere impression that the bylaw was a foregone conclusion. Such an exercise of discretion by the MD in enacting a bylaw to "give greater authority" to the TCAC's ban was not bona fide. Such an exercise was not in the best interests of the public. It was, for all intents and purposes, a "done deal". Not only was the MD's discretion in enacting the bylaw not exercised in good faith, the purpose or reason why the MD enacted the bylaw was not bona fide.



The respondent submits that the bylaw was enacted for the bona fide 

      purpose of promoting the safety and well being of 


      . I do not find the respondents submission persuasive. On the basis of the documents filed by the applicants, I find that the purpose of the MD in enacting the ban and bylaw was clearly to spare motorists, one class of users, from the very 


       of cyclists on Springbank Road during all hours save 7 p.m. to sunset. This is not the purported 




      purpose argued before me by counsel for the respondent.


      Material which had been before the TCAC was present for consideration by the MD at the April 16th and 23rd, 1996 meetings. Those documents included, 

inter alia, 

      the following filed by the applicants on this motion:



        1. February 6, 1996 - Memorandum from Jim Baldwin, Director of Transportation and Field Services to Peter Kivisto, Municipal Manager 'Baldwin Memo'



2. March 15, 

        1996 - Minutes of the March 15, 1996 TCAC Meeting;



        3. March 15, 1996 - Report from Division 2 Councillor (Gloria Wilkinson) to 




        4. April 16, 1996 - Staff Report To Council from Peter Kivisto, Municipal Manager;

        5. April 22, 1996 - Facsimile Message from Corporal V.B. McFarlane of Cochrane R.C.M.P. to Constable Arnie Wilson of M.D. of Rocky View;

6. Traffic Volumes on Springbank Road; and

      7. Speeding Statistics for Springbank Road.


      Upon review of these documents, as well as the transcript of the cross- examination on Affidavit of Mrs. Schmaltz, I find that the following evidenced "the 


       problem" before the TCAC and Council:

        1. More than 55% of the motorists on Springbank Road travel in excess of the posted speed limit of 80 kph, with nearly half of that number (25% of total motorists) travelling 10 kph or more over the speed limit. 'The problem" was aggravated by speeding motor vehicles;

        2. Those cyclists who had, in the past, insisted on riding 2-3 abreast had aggravated "the problem" on Springbank Road;

        3. Springbank Road attracts multiple users with different goals and objectives. 'The problem" was also aggravated when motor vehicles were required to share the road with other users who were unable to travel at the posted speed limit of 80 kph and must therefore, of necessity, travel at a slower speed. Those other users included:

        a. pedestrians


        b. in-line skaters

c. equestrians

        d. farm equipment (tractors, balers, 

et al.)

      It is apparent that the motive of the MD had little to do with "the problem" as evidenced by the documents before Council. I agree with the applicants that "the problem" was one of general road safety for all users of Springbank Road. I also agree that this problem was not posed by cyclists, or even by other slow moving users of the road 

per se 

      . Danger is not posed to other users of the road simply because cyclists may also be present on that road at any time of the day. The safety of &ll users is jeopardized only when 


       one of the users, including motorists, utilize the road in a manner contrary to the relevant provisions of the 

Highway Safety Act. 

      Lawful usage of the road is consistent with safe usage. The problem of the unsafe or illegal actions by offenders from all classes of users of the road was the issue of public interest squarely before the MD. However, the purpose of the MD in enacting the bylaw, to spare motorists from the very presence of cyclists on Springbank Road during all hours save 7 p.m. to sunset, did not address the problem. The purpose of the MD in enacting the bylaw clearly did not reflect the public interest and was not 

bona fide.



I find that the bylaw factually discriminates against cyclists and this discrimination was carried out with an improper motive of favouring or hurting one individual or class of user without regard to the public interest.


      The bylaw prohibits cyclists from using Springbank Road outside the hours of 7 p.m. to sunset without regard to the presence and use of that road by other classes of users who, because of their unsafe or illegal actions, pose as much of a potential threat to the general safety of all road users as cyclists. Other slow moving users, as well as speeding motorists, may, if acting in an unsafe or illegal manner, pose the very same risk of accident to law abiding users of all classes. Presumably, following the logic of the MD in enacting the bylaw, the same problem is created when motorists encounter these other slow moving users. However, I find that the respondent has filed no evidence to suggest that steps were also taken by the MD to restrict the movement of such other subclasses of slow moving users as pedestrians, in-line skaters, equestrians or farmers driving tractors and balers.


It is equally clear that the problem of road safety for all users was never dealt with as a speeding problem. Nor is there any indication in the record that council took steps to address the issue as a speeding problem. The perceived danger posed by cyclists was created, in part, by the irresponsible actions of certain motorists, a majority of whom were travelling in excess of the posted speed limit. Nowhere in the minutes or the other documents before council does it appear that the speeding problem was addressed. There is no indication that efforts would be made by the MD to enforce the existing speed limit, or to impose a lower speed law. The latter was one of the options suggested to Mrs. Wilkinson, Division 2 Councillor, on a number of occasions (see facsimile message from Corp. McFarlane). If the MD's concern was that certain irresponsible cyclists were travelling 2 or 3 abreast, or were otherwise operating their bicycles in contravention of the Highway Traffic Act, then those individuals should have been charged by the municipal constables.

One subclass of users cannot per se pose a danger of collision and accident to motorists or any other class or subclass of users. It is the individual operator or user or a combination of users who, by driving or operating their vehicles in such an unsafe or illegal manner, cause danger and accident. In light of the documents before the MD and now before this Court, it is clear that motorists are not exempt and have contributed to the problem.

Comments contained in the above mentioned documents and the passage of the bylaw by the MD reflect a belief that cyclists are "second class" users of Springbank Road. Where there was a conflict between the presence of the cyclists and the "right" of the motorists to travel the road, at virtually any speed, it was the cyclists' presence that was curtailed. The cyclists, however, pursuant to s.144 of the Highway Traffic Act, have an equal right to travel the road. The facts do not support any possible argument that the "context (might) otherwise (have) required" the suspension of these rights and obligations.

The respondent submits that the ban is a valid vehicle restriction bylaw. It relies upon R. v. Torrance (1975), 29 C.C.C. (2d) 376 (Alta. S.C.) for the proposition that, providing the classification of vehicles is based upon genuine differences in their characteristics, it is not discrimination to treat classes differently. However, the Court premised that ruling upon the following observation at 381-2:

        The classification of vehicles in this by-law is based upon genuine differences of characteristics 

and all the vehicles in each class are equally affected.

         I do not find the by-law to be discriminatory.


        (emphasis added)


      The respondent states that this situation is analogous to the situation considered in 


      "as the bylaw restricts all bicycles, as a class, from using Springbank Road on the basis of genuine differences between motor vehicles and bicycles. Specifically, bicycles have notably different characteristics than motor vehicles with respect to travel speed and safety issues in that there is significantly more risk of injury if a cyclist is in a collision with a motor vehicle than if a person in a motor vehicle is in a collision with another motor vehicle. Moreover, a bicycle's comparatively slow speed combined with the narrow width of Springbank Road creates a serious hazard for motorists and other users of the road." It is on this basis that the respondent submits that the bylaw is not discriminatory and should be upheld.


      In this situation, all the vehicles "in each class" are equally affected. 


      must be distinguished upon its facts. In 


      the City of Calgary passed a "truck bylaw" which restricted trucks from using city streets other than those streets established as truck routes. The bylaw applied to 

all vehicles

       with a weight exceeding 9,000 pounds intended for the conveyance of livestock, liquids, goods, merchandise, gravel, sand, concrete and other materials. Buses of equal weight were exempt. Laycraft J., for the Court, explained why such a distinction was permissible at p.379:


        In its ordinary meaning, to classify the members of a group is to divide them into sub groups according to the presence or absence of some distinguishing characteristic. There would not appear to be any reason why a classification of vehicles could not distinguish between those which carry passengers and those which do not. That 

one feature may well be sufficient to differentiate between groups of vehicles based upon such factors as silence of operation, speed and silence of acceleration, axie loading and other attributes which are valid elements of traffic control.


        [emphasis added].


      The distinguishing characteristic relied upon by the respondent is a characteristic shared by all users of Springbank Road save for motorists. Cyclists, as well as pedestrians, in-line skaters, equestrians and farmers operating tractors and balers all operate at a slower speed in comparison to motorists. It would be simplistic to classify the users of Springbank Road into sub groups of motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, in-line skaters and farmers operating tractors or balers. In the words of Laycraft J., 


      "to classify the members of a group is to divide them into sub groups according to the presence or absence of some distinguishing characteristic." Speed is that characteristic and that one feature is not sufficient, in this case, to differentiate between motorists and cyclists without regard to all other users who share that same characteristic. In Torrance, the distinguishing characteristic was clearly connected to the 

bona fide 

      purpose of traffic control. In this situation, there simply is no 

bona fide 

      purpose. The respondent likewise relies upon 

All-Canadian Push Cart Co. 


Calgary (City) 

      (1992), 13 M.P.L.R. (2d) 1 at 8-9. And likewise, it too is easily distinguished. In that case, McMahon J. found that the bylaw had been enacted for the proper purpose of crowd control. There had been a 

bona fide 



      The decision of Rooke J. in 

Claudlo's Restaurant Group Inc. and Lamonaca v. Calgary (City), 

      supra, is truly analogous and helpful. An application was brought to quash a bylaw purporting to prohibit "any business" in the "Electric Avenue" area of Calgary from playing or operating a "sound amplification device" in an outside area. That bylaw was quashed because only businesses operating a sound amplification device in an outside area, and not other users of such devices, were so prohibited.


Dickie Dee Ice Cream Ltd. v. City of Winnipeg 

      (1985), 40 Man.R. (2d) 72 (Man.C.A.) and 

R. v. Sharma, 

      [1993] S.C.R. 650 are the leading authorities. In 

Dickie Dee Ice Cream Ltd., supra, 

      Hall J.A. held that any such prohibition must be exercised for a 

bona fide 

      municipal purpose. In the absence of a regulatory rationale, the Court should and must say that such an enactment is invalid as unauthorized discrimination. In 

Sharma, supra, 

      Iacobucci J., for the Court, applied the decision of the Supreme Court in 

Montreal (City of) v. Arcade Amusements Inc., 

      [1985] 1 S.C.R. 368 and held that the power to pass municipal bylaws does not include enacting discriminatory provisions unless the enabling legislation authorizes such treatment. At 668:


        Further, the general reasonableness or rationality of the distinction is not at issue: discrimination can only occur where the enabling legislation specifically so provides or where the discrimination is a necessary incident to exercising the power delegated by the province.


      Upon review of the 

Municipal Government Act, 


Highway Traffic Act 

      and the documents filed by the appellants, it is evident that here, as in 


      this discrimination against cyclists was not "a necessary incident to exercising the power delegated by the province. As stated by Rogers,


      at pp. 406.3-406.4:


        It is a fundamental principle of municipal law that bylaws must affect equally all those who come within the ambit of the enabling enactment. Municipal legislation must be impartial in its operation and must not discriminate so as to show favouritism to one or more classes of citizens. 


        by-law violating this principle so that all the inhabitants are not place in the same position regarding matters affected by it is illegal.


        The general principle does not apply where the enabling statute clearly specifies that certain persons or things may be excepted from its operation or expressly authorizes some form of discrimination.


      The bylaw is discriminatory as against cyclists.







The respondent submits that s.16 of the Highway Traffic Act and s.8 of the

Municipal Government Act 

      grant the MD the express authority to discriminate against users of the highway. However, s.16(l) of the 

Highway Traffic Act 

      first contemplates the following pre-conditions:

        (a) The bylaw must not be inconsistent with this Act;


        (b) The bylaw can only be with respect to "matters for which no provision is made in this Act'; and


        (c) The bylaw can only be for "the regulation and control of vehicle, animal, and pedestrian traffic."

      The bylaw is inconsistent with the 

Highway Traffic Act 

      because s. 144 of the 

Highway Traffic Act 

      does create equality rights for cyclists subject to the Acts provision for variation in an appropriate context. Accordingly, a bylaw that discriminates between motor vehicles and bicycles, when no express statutory rationale exists for revoking the rights and obligations of cyclists, is inconsistent with the 

Highway Traffic Act.

      Moreover, the powers granted to a MD under s. 16(1) can only be exercised for "matters for which no provision is made in this Act." Part 5 of the 

Highway Traffic Act 

      contemplates the safe operation of 


       vehicles and appears to create a "code" which, if followed, provides for the safe operation of 


       vehicles on the highway. It therefore cannot be said that no provision is made for the "matters" which the bylaw purports to address. Indeed, the stated purpose of the bylaw, "to restrict and control the use and operation of bicycles on 7th Avenue (Springbank Road) from the westerly limit of the City of Calgary to Highway 22," clearly conflicts with Part 5 and, in particular, s.1 44 of the 

Highway Traffic Act. 

      With regard to the respondent's further argument that s.8 of the 

Municipal Government Act 

      also grants the MD the power to pass bylaws discriminatory in nature, it is critical to review the section carefully. S.8 refers to business activities within the municipality and not to highway traffic issues. S.8 must also be read in light of s.9 which stipulates that the powers given to the municipality under s.8 only refer to those powers within the jurisdiction given to the municipality. A careful review of s.9, in turn, refers one back to s. 144 of the 

Highway Traffic Act 

      and the provision of equality rights and obligations granted to cyclists. 


      It is particularly significant that no where in either the 

Highway Traffic Act 

      or the 

Municipal Government Act 

      is the respondent expressly granted the jurisdiction to prohibit bicycles from a highway.





      For the above stated reasons I find that the bylaw is discriminatory as against cyclists and this discrimination is neither authorized by the 

Municipal Government Act, 

      the MD's enabling statute, nor the companion 

Highway Traffic Act. 

      Bylaw C-4628-96 is hereby quashed and an Order will also go removing the signage banning cycling on Springbank Road.



________ day of April, 1997.



      R.J. Everard, Esq., for Applicants

      G.B. Scott, Esq. & Ms. J.M. Klauer for Respondent


IN THE MATTER OF the Municipal Government

      R.S.A., 1980, c. M-26.1


      AND IN THE MATTER OF a certain by-law passed


        by the Municipal District of Rockyview No. 44 on the 23rd day of April, 1996, being By-Law 0-4628-96




      - and -



of The Honourable Madam Justice B.L Rawlins

Action No. 9601 .O~1 95

October 1998

Inigo Montoya's picture

Magliocca was in concrete and road construction

I am a resident of Ward 2. I sent an email to his office and registered a complaing with 311. In both, I specifically cited the springbank legal decision that discriminating against bikes is illegal.

As for Mr Magliocca.... he was in the concrete and road construction business before he became a city counsellor. As such, it is no surprise that he is anti-bike and pro-developers. Of course he thinks banning bicycles is the answer to a problem of gravel truck operators not paying attention when they are required to share the road with cyclsits. I am ashamed that he is my Alderman, elected with only 33 percent of the vote. Democracy in action.

Black Bart's picture

Considering the federal and

Considering the federal and provincial laws are over 18 on bicycles have to ride on the road and are held to and considered a motorized vehicle. This is just discrimination towards cyclist. 

As well i dont believe the signs are even legally placed.  They are extremely close to the road which is a danger to all especially big trucks with trailers. 

It seems that someone took it upon themselves to do this. Ill gladly remove them for the perpetrator that illegally installed them. 

bclark's picture

Still up?

Has anyone been up that way to check?

goforstars's picture

go national with this case

I"m intrigued by the court case and ...the ongoing problem.  Go national in social media with this while working locally on problem. 

gyrospanner's picture

Could it all be a matter of the level of jurisdiction?

I currently know of three roads that are posted "No Cycling."  From the top down:

1) Airport Trail, under the runway.  Probably owned by the federal government?  Which probably explains why there was no thought put in the plan for pedestrians or cyclists?  Maybe it is too impractical anyways.  Zero chance of ever lifting that ban on cycles?

2) Deerfoot, which I believe is a Provincial Government Highway.  I have no desire to ride on that or the ring road either, so who cares!!

3) 144th Avenue, as per the current discussion.  I would suspect that the courts could probably lift this ban given the legal precedent with the MD of Rockyview......

Bike Calgary's picture

Burma Road - Update

2wheeler asked if there is any update to this...

Bike Calgary has been working on this with the City. It's our understanding that an acceptable solution is on the horizon, but please be patient as these things can take time (unfortunately) and we want to make sure it does indeed get resolved.

We hope this is sufficient for now. As a note, if any of our members do notice any change in condition, please post to the forum.

2wheeler's picture

311 request

I got a call back form the City regarding my 311 request.  I had upgraded the request yesterday after not hearing back for a month.  It was from someone in the sign deparment and they told me that the sign has been taken down... or is about to be taken down.  Hopefully someone out that way can confirm.  Sounds like a win!  Now if the trucks would be more carfeul passing cyclists on that stretch all will be well!


Nice work Bike Calgary and members!

912R's picture

Sign gone

I was driving out that way Saturday and the sign is gone.  Curisouly, the "walk on the left facing traffic" sign is still there. Kudos to all for getting this ridiculous topic addressed. 


That being said, that section of road is bonkers, so if you are heading that way, there is a nicer road a few miles north of there if you want to add some mileage, accessible from 85th Street on the West end and Symons Valley rd on the East end.  Township Road 261A.