An etiquette refresher for Calgarians on the move
Calgarians enjoy the largest urban pathway network in the country. Over 800 kilometres of pathways and 95 kilometres of trails throughout the city connect communities for a variety of users. As we approach the middle of another beautiful summer, it’s a great time to review pathway etiquette for walkers, joggers, in-line skaters, pet owners and cyclists.
Most pathway guidelines are common sense and safety-oriented. For instance, users are asked to keep to the right, yield to the right-of-way and move off the path to the right side when stopping. It’s also encouraged to avoid the use of ski poles while in-line skating or skiing. Pet owners are expected to maintain control of pets and diligently clean up after them.
To hear others and remain attentive, users should keep the volume low on headsets, and signal to others when passing.
More complicated and strictly enforced rules come into play for cyclists. Bicycles are classified as vehicles under the Alberta Traffic Safety Act, so cyclists are subject to many of the same rules as other vehicles on the road, in addition to City of Calgary bylaws. When using city pathways, cyclists are expected to keep their speed below 20 km/hr, or even 10 km/hr, depending on the posted limit. Also, riding on sidewalks is prohibited for cyclists aged 14 and over.
When it comes to legal bicycle obligations, safety is the major factor. Any riders under 18 must wear a helmet, and all bicycles must have either a bell or a horn. Cyclists lacking this vital piece of equipment are one of the biggest annoyances for other pathway users.
Bikes also need at least one working brake, and anyone riding outside of daylight hours must have one or two white headlights, a red tail light and a red rear reflector.
In addition to these rules, the City of Calgary suggests several tips to increase safety and co-operation with others. While in motion, using hand-held technology should be avoided. When in groups, ensuring others can easily navigate around is encouraged. Finally, pathway users should keep their eyes up and pay attention to their surroundings, watching for slippery sections covered by ice, loose gravel or other debris.