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Calgary celebrates pathway paving milestone

Millennials often get a bad rap – but not when it’s the thousandth kilometre of Calgary’s paved pathway system.

Todd Reichardt with Calgary Parks said that the pathway system is the most extensive in North America.

“It’s a multimodal system designed for interconnectivity,” he said.

It expands to natural areas, cemeteries and archaeological locations.

Workers are busy under the heat to finish the thousandth kilometre of Calgary’s pathway system in Carburn Park, Calgary on Monday, July 13, 2020. PAUL VILLENA / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Paving in an online world

The pathway system is Calgary Parks’ largest asset. They lay down between 20 and 30 kilometres annually for revved up soles and tires.

While they take pride in adding the longer stretches, Calgary Parks still keep an eye on “missing links.” These are paths that are travelled on but were planned and developed. They also work closely with the development industry to make travelling more efficient and natural in new communities.

According to Reichardt, the technological advances of Global Positioning System makes the asset management plans more efficient. Back then, they had to determine the pathways with a map (an actual, tangible one!) and physically go to locations for planning.

Now, even the parkgoers themselves have access to extensive bikeways and pathways information through the city’s app.

Looking back down the path

The forefather of Calgary parks, William Reader, was also given tribute.

His initiatives as the superintendent of City of Calgary Parks, Cemeteries & Recreation between 1912 to 1943 laid the foundation for the leisurely and natural look of the city 70 years and 550,000 public trees later.

To celebrate, Calgary Parks is also organizing a contest through social media. The prizes would be a tour with a professional birder to explore the rich ornithic wildlife; visit on one of Calgary cemeteries and; archaeological tour with one of the city’s archaeologists to delve deeper in some of the historic footprints within the city.

Outside and safe

In keeping up with the pandemic situation, the new status quo measures are still in effect – two-metre distancing, masks and sanitizers. The City of Calgary has a comprehensive guideline on going to parks.

Reichardt said theyre staying on top of evolving health protocols.