They have the stencils now on the bike path portion too. You will always have recreational / weekend bikers on the walking portion but regular commuters will be on the separated path which will help. Unfortunately the intersection of bike and walking traffic right at eau claire plaza is poor. Made worse by poor site lines with the food truck there, I've had a few close calls already. They have a giant "SLOW" on the bike path before entering that area but I don't think that's enough - seriously need a speed bump.
In theory there shouldn't be bikes on that portion of the path (there will be of course) once it is all done as I believe they are converting the asphalt pathway that they built last year (seen to the left in the photo) to the bike path.
It'll be nice when the separate bike path gets completed and cyclists who like to go through at a good clip can use that path. One thing really annoying today was the number of cyclists who felt the need to go through at a high speed when the pathway was full of people, including lots of small children. Some cyclists seemed annoyed at having to go around people.
It would help if there was more concerted efforts made by the city and advocates to acknowledge and distinguish between the two roles the pathway system plays; recreation and transportation. IMO, Calgary has almost only ever cared about the former (recreation), while stumbling into the latter (transportation) inadvertently due to the extensiveness of the pathway system and a lack of on-street alternatives. These are not always incompatible functions, but have to be considered throughout the planning, design and operations, which they historically have not been at the same level.
For example, a crowded pathway full of slow walkers, strollers and bicycles usually indicates a successful and popular vibrant space, but obviously is not optimal for transportation which is more concerned about travel time, efficiency and capacity. Had it been a roadway, transportation engineers would be redesigning connections, proposing interchanges or added lanes (especially if they were being typically car-centric in their thinking).
Ignoring or undervaluing the importance of the pathway network for transportation affects all levels of decision-making, data collection and prioritization of which pathways need a higher standard of design/mode separation. Here's some examples:
Our pathway system would be so much better if the transportation qualities of pathways were elevated to equal footing as recreation qualities. It doesn't mean we lose are park space for commuter routes, but would encourage a serious look at things that don't ever seem to be a priority: high quality connections to the road network, reduced trip times and safer/higher quality design choices (e.g. pavement quality, reduced blind corners etc.)
- Pathway congestion (recreation = high tolerance for congestion; transportation = low tolerance for congestion)
- Bumpy rooted pathways (recreation = not a big deal; transportation = reduces travel efficiency and safety)
- Curvy, not direct routes (recreation = good / neutral thing; transportation = increases trip length, decreases safety & reduces speed)
- Connections with/across roadways (recreation = neutral / it's okay to detour on sidewalks to nearest crossing because travel time is unimportant; transportation = unacceptable travel delay and loss of accessibility)
- Access to destinations (recreation = a good thing but indirect is ok; transportation = very important, direct is better)