Bike Calgary's picture

Snow, Ice and Gravel Control: Request for Photos

Winter is drawing to a close, but there are still significant amounts of snow, ice and gravel on Calgary streets, including on Calgary’s on-street bikeways. Through their Snow and Ice Control Policy, the City of Calgary has committed to clearing on-street bikeways to the following standards:

  • Centre City Cycle Track Network - Priority 1 - 90 per cent clear of snow and ice by the end of the first 24 hours after the snow has stopped.

  • All On-street Marked Bike Lanes - Priority 2 - cleared of snow and ice to a safe travel width within 48 hours after the snow has stopped.


What is a “safe travel width”? While the Snow and Ice Control Policy does not explicitly define safe travel width, the 2008 Bicycle Policy and Needs Report states an essential operating space requirement of 1.0m for single cyclist on a “regular bicycle” (i.e. upright, no trailer, etc.).

Bike Calgary aims to maintain an ongoing dialogue with City of Calgary staff with respect to how observed snow and ice control measures against Policy, with the intent of achieving a safe, comfortable and predictable street environment for Calgarians travelling by bicycle, as well as for Calgarians operating vehicles in and around bicycle accommodations.

Bike Calgary invites our members to share any photo examples of their experiences with snow and ice, as well as gravel conditions, experienced this winter with the understanding that these may be used in any conversations or meetings between the organization and members of City Administration or Council.

Photos may be submitted via with the subject 2017-2018 SNIC Photos. It would be beneficial to also have an indication of the location, date, time and estimate of how long since snowfall stopped.




Cword's picture

I gave up on Pictures

I used to stop an take pictures on the road into Edworthy Park, where though the winter the ice often gets between 1 and 2 feet thick on the road.  The drainage there is abysmal with perched water tables on both sides of the road draining into the roadway and the nearest catch basin several hundred feet down the roadway.  It's a recipe for ice buildup.

We were fortunate this past winter due to the dry nature of summer and fall 2017 in that flow from the upper (east side) water source was very low. The lower (west side) flow was still flowing well and building up the ice surface on the road faster than graders could remove it.

This picture was take a few years ago, and demonstrates the dangerous conditions created by the ice and the water flow across the ice. Imagine navigating this at 6:00 am in the dark.

Edworthy ice buildup

mikewarren's picture

Spring Notes

I don't have pictures for these, but:


 - the "pass-through barricade" on 50th street NW (a blue-sign bike-way, near the new school west of Market Mall) was never cleared this winter, I don't think. On top of that, looks like all the parking-lot/street snow was piled on top of it; a huge mound was there earlier this spring

 - 10th and 14th underpasses in Confed might *still* have ice in them (did a bit over a week ago) and *tons* of gravel. There's no "easy" solution here, but that's what happens when "the bike path" is also "the drainage infrastructure"... :/

 - all underpasses on Nose Creek had ice in them two+ weeks ago (and still tons of gravel last week). The gravel is of course a "usual" problem here and I don't ride it often so I don't know how/if the snow-clearing worked out this winter.

Many bike-lanes are of course still full of gravel (because they had snow-bike piled in them in many cases). 40th by the University was particularly bad last time I went.


Does anyone know if the connector from the S end of "Nortland Dr" cyceltrack/lane was plowed this winter? (It hasn't been in past winters, but I didn't ride it at all this winter).



Bike Calgary's picture


Thanks for the pics and descriptions. Good to have them documented. I did note that a couple links appear to be broken.

In terms of the Northland connection to 37th Street. No, I don't believe it was cleared this winter. Definitely it was something that I'd raised with City staff, but there's definitely a couple issues (just to give it context from what I know); (1) it's a pathway link, so it would probably be a Parks mandate and may not be on their clearing list and (2) the 37th Street bikeway is just a signed bike route on a residential street, so probably no snow and ice clearing priority assigned. Definitely neither really helps cycling mobility from a wholistic network viewpoint.

Brent - Infrastructure TF

mikewarren's picture


Random shot of painted lane in Kensington. January 6, 2018. I'd have to look up when the most-recent snowfall was, but lots of other stuff was very clear at this point.


mikewarren's picture

10th painted lane

This was from 2017, but I saw this problem repeatedly on 10th: people are used to parking here "inside" the painted lane, but with the snow they end up parking in the lane itself making the problem worse (because then it can't get plowed).

mikewarren's picture

northmount snow-storage

For a while, Transport was storing the bus-stop snow in the tiny piece of cycletrack that they *didn't* veto from the Northmount/14th intersection. They did eventually clear it after some 311 calls. Thus proving that they CAN in fact snow-clear a cycle-track (they veto'd the planned cycletrack through 14th intersection "because snow clearing" unfortunately).