Making Calgary's roads safer: bus traps a thing of the past


Fifty years ago, it seemed like a good idea to dig a hole in the middle of a transit lane and put bars across it to stop unauthorized vehicles from entering specific areas. The intent of these holes was to deter unauthorized vehicles from entering “transit only” lanes, ensuring transit service can stay on schedule. They also allow larger emergency response vehicles to pass through, if required.

They’re called bus traps, but the name is misleading. They were built so that transit buses could drive over the traps without issue. It’s the people driving their personal vehicles (either looking for a shortcut or entering the lane accidentally) that would get stuck.

As you can imagine, ending up in a bus trap resulted in damages and costs as well as being a scary experience for drivers. They’re also counterproductive because transit service is interrupted when a vehicle is stuck in the exact lane that was meant to be kept clear.  Additionally, smaller transit shuttles and emergency response vehicles are not able to pass through.

We have a new solution for the old system. The seven remaining bus traps across the city have been filled as we find better ways to keep everyone safe on the roads.


“Mobility is all about keeping people moving safely, whether they walk, wheel, drive or take transit. Where we can, we want to ensure disruption to transit service is minimized and that access for emergency response vehicles is maximized,” says Mobility Director Troy McLeod.

Calgarians will now see that all the traps have been filled with asphalt/concrete citywide. It’s a simple, low-cost solution that goes a long way towards safety.

While the bus traps will be gone, the intent of them remains; these roadways remain off-limits to personal vehicles. Transit-only lanes are not to be used by drivers as shortcuts through neighbourhoods or for any other reason. Signage will be updated letting drivers know it’s a restricted area, and traffic cameras will be used to monitor and assist with enforcement, as needed.

“I’ve spoken with people who accidentally drove into a bus trap, and it was a terrifying experience for them,” says McLeod. “When it comes to these old traps, the consequences are excessive, and they disrupt transit service. We have more effective methods to ensure compliance and safety for Calgarians and removing them was simply the right thing to do. We’re here to support the safe movement of all people and goods in our city.”


Former bus trap locations:

1.          4 Street NE at Beaver Dam Road NE: Bus trap filled January 2024

2.          North Haven Drive NW at Noseman Road NW: Bus trap filled January 2024

3.          24 Avenue NE at 21 Street NE: Bus trap filled January 2024

4.          Pinetown Place NE at 56 Street NE: Bus trap filled January 2024

5.          58 Street SW at Strathcona Drive SW: Bus trap filled February 2024

6.          Rockyvale Drive NW at Rockliff Landing NW: Bus trap filled February 2024

7.          Centre Street N at Beddington Trail N: Bus trap filled February 2024

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