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Skateboards, inline skates, scooters may soon be allowed on bike lanes

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DH Calgary Staff Feb 27, 2019 3:32 pm

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Calgary’s cyclists may soon be getting some new bike-lane-users to share their turf with.

The Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit met on Wednesday morning to review a list of bylaw amendments that included removing the ban on skateboards, in-line skates, and scooter from the city’s Central Traffic Zone and dedicated bike lanes.

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Currently, three transportation methods are not allowed in the majority of Calgary’s downtown, with “Central Traffic Zone” encompassing “that area of the city which is bounded on the north by the Bow River; on the east by the east limit of 4th Street East; on the south by the south limit of 9th Avenue South; on the west by the west limit of 9th Street West,” according to the City of Calgary’s bylaws.

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Calgary’s Central Traffic Zone (City of Calgary)

The amendments discussed on Wednesday would allow for the use of these transportation devices on sidewalks within these boundaries, as well as within the cycle track network and other exclusive bike lanes throughout Calgary.

Pedestrians would still have the right of way on sidewalks being shared with a skateboarder, and interfering with a pedestrian would remain a fineable offence.

Skateboarders,  in-line skaters, and scooter-riders would also be subject to the same rights and rules as cyclists, including the use of lights when riding at night.

There would also still be a ban on doing tricks anywhere outside of dedicated parks.

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A chart showing where transportation devices could operate if proposed amendments pass (City of Calgary)

Tom Nelson, a representative from the Calgary Association of Skateboarding Enthusiasts, spoke at the committee meeting on Wednesday, stating that the proposed amendments would be a positive change for the city.

“[The amendments] will allow Calgarians more choices for transportation methods, and open up eco-friendly ways of getting around town,” he said at the meeting.

“This will increase the connectivity of downtown, encourage mobility in the central traffic zone, and increase the usage of the bike lanes.”

The committee passed the motion on Wednesday, and the amendments now wait on final approval from city council.

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