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Calgary Bike Lanes and Bike Paths

Mountain Man

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Man is the city dropping the ball with bike lanes lately, 12 Ave at 9st is closed with no detour around. So if you're a westbound cyclist, then you have to find another road or chance driving into on coming traffic. I'm starting to think the transportation department in this city is beyond useless...

As for the scooters, I think a simple course people have to take before they get on it would be the best. I saw 2 of them crash head on on the sidewalk yesterday because both people had no idea what they were doing. I did laugh pretty hard at it though, so there's definitely entertainment value.
 

darwink

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Took my first Bird ride yesterday. Saved me a bunch of time, though it is pricey. I wonder if people are thinking turning requires turning the handlebars-are people who don't have balance skills and experience turning on bikes trying to ride these? After a few push starts (which I had no experience with) it was pretty easy.
 

Surrealplaces

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Took a walk around EV yesterday afternoon, and there were more scooters than bikes (share or non share). Seems like they are a hit. For how long is hard to say. I still like my bike for getting around, but I will probably try out a scooter just for kicks.
 

JonnyCanuck

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Right now it is the 'wild west' with these scooters. Everything that has been reported in previous posts, I have also witnessed. I read that in the first month these were launched, emergency wards (I assume Sheldon Chumir in particular) reported 60 admissions for injuries caused riding these things. Yes ... there are accidents between cars and bikes, cars and pedestrians and sometimes bikes & pedestrians. However with these scooters added to the mix, I think the odds of very serious accidents and potential fatalities have just gone up substantially. How is the city going to police the use of these?
At least they learned from the experience of other cities on some things before allowing them. You are not supposed to ride them on Calgary roads (some people still do) and max speed is 20 KMH. In places like Denver, you can ride them on the streets and max speed is 30 KMH!
 

Mountain Man

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The thing I want to know about the scooters is who is using them, and what is the justification for them. What I mean is, if they are taking cars off the streets, then awesome! if's they are people who would have walked or taken a bike already, then it's not really a win and the risks just speak to that.

So the bike lane on 12th looks like it's being torn up to replace sewer pipes, there is still no detour, just a sign warning drivers that cyclists are merging. Further down 12th, the lane at 4 st still has no sidewalk and is basically a shared sidewalk now, isn't the mixing of bikes and pedestrians the reason they built bike lanes? The transportation department in Calgary is probably the most useless part of City Hall, I'm not sure anyone there has any clue what they are doing...
 

Surrealplaces

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I think the scooters are mostly replacing pedestrians and some cyclists. It's easy to just grab a scooter and go from point A to B. Cyclists tend to be in two categories; those going for a leisurely ride on the pathways, and those who commute. I would think that a bike is better for commuting than a scooter if replacing a car. It's possible the scooter is replacing some car2go users, but it wouldn't be many.
 

Mountain Man

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A bike is much quicker than a scooter, I blow past them on the pathways all the time. A scooter would be nice as you can just leave it and not have to have 10 hardened steel locks and a webcam like leaving a bike downtown lol.
 

CBBarnett

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The thing I want to know about the scooters is who is using them, and what is the justification for them. What I mean is, if they are taking cars off the streets, then awesome! if's they are people who would have walked or taken a bike already, then it's not really a win and the risks just speak to that.

So the bike lane on 12th looks like it's being torn up to replace sewer pipes, there is still no detour, just a sign warning drivers that cyclists are merging. Further down 12th, the lane at 4 st still has no sidewalk and is basically a shared sidewalk now, isn't the mixing of bikes and pedestrians the reason they built bike lanes? The transportation department in Calgary is probably the most useless part of City Hall, I'm not sure anyone there has any clue what they are doing...
And they are the most "broad brush" of painters - changing their car-oriented process for neighbourhoods with significant/majority pedestrian and bicycle traffic borderline unfathomable, everything needs to be treated identifcally regardless of local conditions. Not every street is a main line suburban commuter car-dominated artery and construction timing, signal timing and closures shouldn't be considered as such.
 

Surrealplaces

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A bike is much quicker than a scooter, I blow past them on the pathways all the time. A scooter would be nice as you can just leave it and not have to have 10 hardened steel locks and a webcam like leaving a bike downtown lol.
Exactly. I find the bike is better for getting around, just not as convenient....not to mention cheaper as most people use their own bike. Scooters are probably replacing mostly pedestrians, and who knows maybe they'll become a form of commuting that replaces cars, but I just don't see it. Over the long haul they're probably going to be replacing Rollerbladers.
 

JonnyCanuck

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I think we are seeing a lot more joy-riding on scooters particularly when you see groups of them. These people would not be using bikes or cars before. It is probably a spontaneous purchase. They are definitely not relieving traffic congestion.
 

Col du Edworthy

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All this is pointing to cars having to give up much more of their space in the inner city at first, but eventually elsewhere. The sidewalks are too congested already, let alone when a couple hundred scooters show up and the inner city continues to add population. Even if they are parked properly - not a guarantee of course - they are taking up too much room. Street corrals should be added all over to fit them but taking out street parking. Bicycle / scooter lanes should follow on almost every street, protected lanes where possible, including in the burbs.
I completely agree that the city needs to recognize the shift happening and accommodate this with more separated bike/scooter lanes. And the city should be focused on moving scooters off of sidewalks by providing a functioning & connected pathway/bike lane network throughout downtown. I may not be the biggest fan of the scooters - especially at this point in their learning curve as people get used to them, but if they can double our bike lane counts and help justify more bike lanes then I'm all for that. My concern is that this city is far too slow to add separated bike lanes and far too willing to listen & accommodate to the vocal minority of car users who vehemently oppose any investment in transportation that doesn't directly help their car based commute
 

zagox

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The thing I want to know about the scooters is who is using them, and what is the justification for them. What I mean is, if they are taking cars off the streets, then awesome! if's they are people who would have walked or taken a bike already, then it's not really a win and the risks just speak to that.
While I love the idea of recruiting new non-car commuters, simple joy-riding in the inner city has benefits as well. The pathway system is a huge asset for the city, but it doesn't get much recreational use from tourists (or even many locals) because it's not convenient to access. I can see taking a scooter ride on the Peace Bridge / King Bridge loop becoming a core part of our tourist appeal, and driving significant numbers of new visitors.
 

JonnyCanuck

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After a few more days out & about downtown, I grow more and more concerned. Yes, scooter use is on the rise. Sure they have a lot of appeal. It's a novelty until every city has them. However crowding sidewalks and pathways with bicycles, and now scooters, puts pedestrians at a little more risk. People walking at 5 km per hour, bicycles travelling at 10-20 KMH and scooters mostly full out at 20 KMH; is a recipe for serious injury. Few cyclists either have a bell, or have the courtesy to ring it it to let you know they are coming. I doubt most people renting a scooter realize there is ringer/buzzer equipped for that very purpose. What I really get annoyed with are people riding scooters on sidewalks right next to a bike lane. All it is going to take is some little kid walking with his parents to veer suddenly to the side on a sidewalk/pathway, and then .... boom ... careless accident! ☹
 

outoftheice

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For me personally I think it's good that the scooters are bringing a bit of chaos to Calgary streets. I think as North Americans we are often too guilty of segregating things in both our urban planning and transportation planning. You look at most European and Asian cities and there's an element of chaos and randomness to neighborhoods and especially to the way their transportation systems work. I think it adds dramatically to the richness and vibrancy of the cities there.

More than anything I think that this element of chaos is good because it forces people to pay attention to the things happening in the city around them. It creates more engaged and aware citizens. Yes when it comes to the transportation part of the equation that heightened engagement and awareness comes from a desire not to be injured but I think that the tradeoff is worth it. I think the perfect example is pedestrian crossings around our LRT network.... Barriers, bells, crossing arms and gates. They are ridiculously over built in the name of safety compared to anything you see in Europe or Asia and still people get hurt and the reaction we tend to see is to consider more safety features including grade separation. How about people just don't walk in front of trains?

Sorry for the bit of the off-topic rant but every city I've been to that offers these scooters is a bit livelier for them. I'm a big supporter of building more segregated bike lanes because I think all users and age groups should have infrastructure available to accommodate them safely. But that being said, once the infrastructure is available I don't care if advanced users decide not to use it. Want to ride your bike in traffic next to a cycle track? Go for it. Want to jaywalk midblock instead of waiting at the signalized intersection? Why not. Want to ride your scooter on the road or in the cycle track or on the sidewalk? Great. But recognize all those choices come with a personal responsibility to accept the level of risk associated with them and if you screw up or negatively impact others with your decision that personal responsibility means you also have to be willing to pay the price.

So I say bring on the scooters, bring on a bring on a bit of chaos. It will help develop more engaged and aware citizens and Calgary will be better for it.
 

Cowtown

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I tried a scooter this past weekend, and I have to say, they're pretty friggin fun to use. Hopefully peds, bikes and scooters can all co-exist on the same pathways without too much trouble. Scooters may end up replacing mostly pedestrians as opposed to cars, but they also make inner city living more appealing as they offer another option for people who live and work in the inner city to get around. Also great for getting tourists out and about in the core.
 

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