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COVID-19 lane closures back in Calgary for second year

Calgary's Adaptive Roadways Program will be in place seven days a week throughout the spring and summer until the city's COVID-19 state of local emergency is lifted. Global News

The City of Calgary is expanding lane closures starting Saturday in an effort to give people extra space on several popular pathways.

The Adaptive Roadways Program began last summer in response to the COVID-19 health crisis, and widened city pathways by closing lanes on certain roadways to allow for residents to physically distance during the pandemic.

Starting Saturday morning, the eastbound lanes of Memorial Drive between 9 Street N.W. and the Centre Street Bridge, as well as the lower deck of the bridge, will be closed to vehicle traffic.

Read more: Calgary waives patio fees for 2nd year of pandemic

The program will be in place seven days a week until the city’s local state of emergency is lifted.

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“I was out on the pathway system last weekend and it was a crush of people. It’s wonderful seeing so many people enjoying the weather, but a bit worrisome because it was so crowded,” Ward 7 city councillor Druh Farrell said. “I’m very pleased, it was always the intention they would come back this summer.”

According to Farrell, work to restart the lane closures began this week after council raised concerns with the pathway congestion.

She said the city had an easier time implementing the program this year, after work was done last year on the curbs along Memorial Drive.

“We’ve learned to be nimble, we’ve learned to try things out,” Farrell said. “If they don’t work, we just adapt, it’s good.”

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Read more: Calgary’s physical distancing-focused lane closures end Oct. 13

The expanded roadways program also includes the westbound parking lane on Riverfront Avenue S.E., the eastbound parking lane on Crescent Road N.W. between 7A Street N.W. and 1 Street S.E., as well as the southbound parking lane on 12th Street S.E. between 8 Avenue and 21 Avenue S.E.

According to the city, more lane closures could be added to the program as the weather gets nicer throughout the spring and summer.

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