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Road closures planned for Calgary to give more room for pedestrians and cyclists

Downtown Calgary with the Centre Street Bridge and Bow River in the foreground at Calgary, Alberta on June 10, 2014.  .
Downtown Calgary with the Centre Street Bridge and Bow River in the foreground at Calgary, Alberta on June 10, 2014. . THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougal

The City of Calgary is planning to close some roads this weekend to make room for more social distancing as the number of COVID-19 infections spread through community transmission continues to grow.

City officials want to make sure people get the space they need when they are out getting some fresh air.

A City of Calgary spokesperson said the city does not want pedestrians and cyclists flocking to the closure locations.

“We have proactively closed some traffic lanes so that people can get the physical distance we have repeatedly stressed the importance of,” said Jose Rodriguez, leader of public Relations and media with the City of Calgary.

“However, we recommend people take advantage of quieter spaces in their own neighbourhoods rather than heading to the most popular parks.”

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WATCH: Calgary mayor urges citizens to be smart about getting outside

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said on Friday that he wants to make sure space is available for people, but with conditions. Nenshi said he doesn’t want people to see the lane closures as an invitation to go to places that are already busy.

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“We are really doing it much more on a reactive basis rather than saying, ‘Hey, everybody, 16 Avenue N. is open for a street party,'” he said.

“It’s going to be much more along the lines of just making sure that if we need to use roadway space so that people have room, we will do so.”

Nenshi said to stay away from places where it is known many others will congregate. He added that the city will open up more spaces for walkers “if we find that the paths are really crowded.”

The  temporary lane reductions that are part of the pilot project:

  • Memorial Drive south carriageway from 9 Street W. to Centre Street lower deck
  • Riverfront Drive between Reconciliation Bridge and Centre Street lower deck westbound curb lane
  • 12 Street S.E.  west side curb lane between 18 Avenue S.E. and the Zoo Bridge
  • Elbow Drive S.W.  east side curb lane between 38 Avenue S.W. and 4 Street S.W.
  • Crowchild Trail S.W. between North Glenmore Park parking lot A to 66 Avenue S.W. east curb lane
  • All lanes of the Centre Street bridge lower deck

​The lane closures are in effect between 7 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Sunday.