Calgary’s physical distancing-focused lane closures end Oct. 13

Street lanes across Calgary that have been closed for months to accommodate more people physically distancing while being active outside during the COVID-19 pandemic will be reopening to regular vehicle traffic as of next week.

The adaptive lane project started in the spring to allow people to walk, run, cycle, scooter and do other activities while keeping their distance from others.

Read more: Memorial Drive lane closures for pedestrians, cyclists now only on weekends

Now, with winter approaching, the city said the closures will be removed as of Tuesday, Oct. 13. They include:

  • Stephen Avenue (8 Avenue) from 3 Street to 1 Street S.E.
  • 12 Avenue S.E. from Olympic way to McDonald Avenue S.E.
  • Ogden Road from 42 Avenue S.E. to 50 Avenue S.E.
  • 8 Street S.W. from 12 Avenue S.W. to 17 Avenue S.W.
  • 11 Street S.W. from 12 Avenue S.W. to 17 Avenue S.W.
  • 50 Avenue S.W. from 19 Street S.W. to 14A Street S.W.
  • Crowchild Trail S.W. from the North Glenmore Park parking lot A to 66 Avenue S.W.
  • Elbow Drive S.W. from 38 Avenue S.W. to 4 Street S.W.
  • 4 Street S.W. from 26 Avenue and Roxboro RD SW/Rideau RD S.W. (Mission Bridge)
  • Memorial Drive from 9 Street W to the Centre Street Lower Deck

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Any lane closures that are in place to accommodate expanded patios will stay until two or more millimetres of snow is in the forecast for the city.

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The city is still making it easy for people to maintain physical distance from others throughout the city, putting in one-way staircases and encouraging people to try to treat sidewalks as one-ways, too.

Read more: Calgary city council approves extending fee relief for local businesses amid COVID-19

Those on the sidewalks are asked to walk in the same direction as the traffic moving alongside them whenever they can, with the curb to their left.

While walking on one-way streets, the city recommends pedestrians walk so the curb is to their right.

If there’s only one sidewalk on a roadway, the city asks that pedestrians move onto the grass if they can to let others pass by. If people have to step onto the road, officials say to make sure it’s safe to do before moving.

A sign in front of a public staircase in Calgary advises users that it’s a one-way route.
A sign in front of a public staircase in Calgary advises users that it’s a one-way route. City of Calgary

Some of the city’s large, public staircases that people often use for exercising will also have new signage encouraging people to use them as a one-way route.

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“Signage on-site asks users to only use the stairs when travelling up the hill and provides a detour for those coming down the slope,” the city said.

“These measures have been put in place to prevent people from crossing paths with each other on busy staircases and will support the recommended two-metre physical distancing at all times.​​​”

The city said staff will submit a report to council in the spring of 2021 on the adaptive lane closures, which will include data on how all the roadways were used by Calgarians. There won’t be any decisions made on the future of the program before that report.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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