hainesdanny's picture

City Charter Engagement Opportunity

Please fill out the Alberta government's online survey about the City Charters!

Important new legislative powers are being given to the City of Calgary through a new legal framework called the City Charter. Calgary's legal powers are given to it by the province through the Municipal Government Act, but this "City Charter" will be the first time the province has created such a framework to extend special authority to Calgary and Edmonton to govern themselves a little differently than other municipalities in the province. Calgary and Edmonton are the only beneficiaries of this legislation at this time.

This is the first time this type of legislation has been created so it's not clear how often the province will allow for any changes. That means it's really important that we get it right. The opportunity to change this legislation might not come up again for years.

It's also important to note that this City Charter merely gives Calgary the option of changing our laws. So, if you believe Calgarians are better at determining our laws than the province is, you should be advocating for lots of power in the City Charter.



The government does a pretty good job of explaining the process and engagement on this page.

Here's the entire 52 page draft City Charter. And the 512 page Municipal Government Act.

The interesting part is found here in this 3 page excerpt: Variations to the Traffic Safety Act document.

13.1(1) Despite anything to the contrary in this Act or the regulations, the council may make bylaws in respect of the following matters:

(a) the use of cross bike treatments, particularly when cyclists are exiting multi-use pathways and entering a highway;
(b) the use of cycle tracks on the left side of a highway beyond providing space for left turns;
(c) the use of separate hand signals for cyclists;
(d) signage requirements in respect of cyclists;
(e) requirements for drivers to allow adequate space for cyclists;
(f) parking adjacent to painted curbs.


Beyond that, there are a few other relevant changes proposed:

Section 106.1(1) will allow Calgary to set blanket speed limits within certain areas of the city (for example 30 km/h in the Beltline)

Section 46(1) will allow Calgary to specify back-in angle parking which has many safety benefits.


So with those proposed changes in mind, please take the opportunity to fill out the Alberta government's online survey about the proposed city charger changes. The "Smarter Community Planning" section will allow you to make comments about these changes in particular.

Importantly, we should be asking ourselves - what powers are missing from this proposed list? What powers would we like to see delegated to the city to make biking in Calgary better? Please share your thoughts with the province and also with us here on this post!



Bike Calgary's picture

Draft City Charters - Feedback

Bike Calgary submitted feedback to the province on the Draft City Charters Regulation. The objective of our feedback is to ensure that cyclists are able to move throughout the Province's road network safely, efficiently and in a manner that is easy to understand for all road users. Essentially, we are asking that the legislation and regulation be inclussive of bicycle travel and that it enable the implementation of best-practice infrastructure so that citizens are comfortable cycling on our roadways and so that motoirsts, cyclists and pedestrians interact in a predictable manner.

 Specific asks were as follows;

  1. Provide clear interpretations and/or definitions within the Traffic Safety Act and associated regulations for bicycle-related infrastructure, including; (1) cycle tracks, (2) bicycle lanes, (3) cross bike treatments (or multi-use crossings) and (4) multi-use and bicycle-specific, pathways and consider wording to address the various types of cycle tracks (i.e. one- and two-way cycle tracks, raised cycle tracks) and bicycle lanes (i.e. left-side bicycle lanes) with conformance to available manuals and guides.

  2. Ensure wording in the Traffic Safety Act and associated regulations promotes consistent and predictable operation of bicycle-related infrastructure, particularly where such infrastructure introduces new traffic patterns, including;

    1. Roadway crossings, comprising any part of a cycling-permitted facility, whether at intersecting roadways or otherwise (as in the case of mid-block crossings), are automatically deemed multi-use crossings with;

      1. Cyclists having right-of-way when crossing astride their bicycles,

      2. Signage and signals commensurate with such right-of-way.

  3. Promote clarity on how motorists are to properly turn at intersections where bicycle lanes or cycle tracks are present, specifically;

    1. Motorists, when safe to do so, should merge into and turn from a bicycle lane where the bicycle lane becomes dashed at an intersection, and

    2. Motorists, when turning across a cycle track, should yield right-of-way to cyclists approaching the intersection within the cycle track.

  4. Include wording within the Draft City Charters Regulation to;

    1. define “adequate space” and consider what such adequate space means in the context of speed and type of adjacent traffic, and

    2. enable the deployment of;

      1. protected intersections, and

      2. shared streets (sometimes known as “woonerfs”).

5. Create clarity on the use of e-bikes and other types of personal mobility devices.


 A link to a formatted version of the letter is included in the forum introduction above.


goforstars's picture

Traffic calming

It is suggested the charter allow a municipality with specific guidelines on traffic calming ...down to even 30 km/hr. for municipalities where identified. This benefits both cyclists and pedestrians.

Otherwise neighbourhoods end up fighting the City and especially other drivers, needlessly when it's needed and there has been clear evidence of injuries/fatalities.