New rules for safer roads
Safe passing bylaw comes into effect September 1
New rules are now in place for all road users with updates to The City of Calgary’s Transportation Bylaws. Among the changes is a new safe passing bylaw, coming into effect on September 1, requiring at least one metre of space to be given when passing a cyclist (similar distance as an open car door).
“These changes are a combination of extensive public engagement, research, industry best practices and align with current user behavior," says Andrew Sedor, Business Development Coordinator with The City of Calgary. “The good news is most people are already safely accessing The City’s transportation network and whether you’re on two wheels or four, these updates ensure roads, sidewalks, pathways and cycle tracks are accessible and inclusive for all.”
Changes already in effect include:
- Allowing skateboards, scooters, inline skates, etc. on cycle tracks and in public spaces in the downtown core, including Olympic Plaza and along Stephen Avenue.
- Allowing electric pedal assist bicycles on Calgary Transit during the same non-peak hours that other bicycles are permitted and all bikes weighing less than 55lbs are now permitted on bike racks on the front of City busses.
- People cycling can now use either arm to indicate a right turn and can yield instead of coming to a full stop when entering/exiting a roadway or sidewalk from/to a pathway.
Additionally, a safe passing distance for drivers and cyclists comes into effect on September 1. The new bylaw requires of a minimum of one metre (or 1.5 m if the speed limit is over 60km/h.) from the outermost edge of the bicycle (i.e. the handlebars). To pass someone riding a bicycle, drivers can now legally cross a solid yellow line (when safe to do so). These changes are in line with the regulations in most Canadian provinces and United States.
Calgarians are encouraged to educate themselves on the new safe passing distance to avoid a potential fine of $203. Cyclists are also required to ride as close to the side of the road as is safe.