Calgary councillor wants better planning for pathway closures

Druh Farrell says administration needs to warn bike users before detours are put in place

Cyclists who regularly commute to the downtown on the Bow River pathway had to find a temporary new route this summer, and many complained they weren't warned.

A Calgary councillor thinks the city needs to do a better job of keeping pathways and bike lanes open during construction, and she has a few suggestions to make it happen.

Coun. Druh Farrell will be bringing forward a notice of motion at the next regular council meeting calling on the city to do better when it comes to planning pathway closures and detours.

“We certainly got a flood of complaints over the summer particularly regarding the Parkdale closure,” said Farrell.

That closure along the Bow River Pathway, which is ongoing until mid October, has closed one of the main routes cyclists take from the northwest into the downtown core.

Farrell said she’s seen bike routes being re-routed down stairs, and she wants the city to do a better job of working across departments to make sure problems like those seen this summer don’t happen again.

Her motion points specifically at contractors, city administration, and a lack of inter-departmental coordination.

“I’ve been fairly specific in the motion of what they could incorporate, but (I’d like to see) a consistent, high-quality approach across department,” Farrell said.

Among the items she’s asking for are advanced digital signs warning about upcoming closures, better detour route signage, and detour routes that offer similar accessibility and comfort for pathway users.

Farrell said many departments are working hard to make improvements, but they need to do a better job of planning and communicating their plans to the general public.

“We need to treat the users with respect and that comes with a whole series of protocols that need to be put into place,” said Farrell.

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