News / Calgary

Chu calls for bike lanes on Calgary sidewalks instead of streets

Calgary should put new bike lanes on sidewalks instead of roads, according to one city councillor, but city staff say that would make many sidewalks unusable for pedestrians.

“Why can’t you put it on the sidewalk?” Coun. Sean Chu at Monday’s council meeting. “Why do you have to compete with the vehicles? Why can’t you take three feet, four feet, five feet off the sidewalk?”

Cycling co-ordinator Tom Thivener said that’s just not feasible in the areas being examined for bike lanes or separated cycle tracks because sidewalks are too narrow.


Calgary’s new standard for sidewalk width, in metres, in residential areas, up from the previous standard of 1.1 metres, which was “by far the narrowest” in Canada, according to city staff.

Coun. Druh Farrell pointed out it’s illegal to ride on sidewalks under provincial law and noted many of Calgary’s older sidewalks are already the narrowest in Canada at 1.1 metres (3.6 feet).

Chu said there are some areas it could work, however.

“I would suggest that the sidewalks, actually, in most parts of downtown are pretty wide,” he said.