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Mar 27, 2020

Physical Distancing Road Loops In Calgary

Cities around the world are realizing that while we all need to work hard to reduce our contact with each other to slow down the spread of COVID-19 - so called social distancing or physical distancing - our cities and towns have given over so much of our road space to the automobile that it is almost impossible to maintain the 2 metre spacing on many of our sidewalks, urban shopping areas, and recreational pathways.

Thankfully, our city's leaders have decided to follow the lead of other cities and begin the process of identifying problem areas and claim back space for people.

One of the big issues we are already seeing is there are critical segments of of pathway network that are already at capacity at certain times and using them for fun rides is almost impossible to do and maintain the 2m distance.

The silver lining in this story: The entire city is sticking close to home these days making our community roads almost completely devoid of traffic. Unbeknownst to many is our city has a rather expansive "Blue Route" network that loops together many communities and connects to many quieter pathway segments. They are not perfect. Sometimes they just stop. Sometimes they are on slightly busier roads. But, with a bit of "route spelunking" they can be used to create fun rides all over the city.

To help you get out there and enjoy the good weather to come, we have created 4 routes for you to try exploring. We've got a route for every quadrant in the city (SE route coming soon) so there should be something for almost everyone. Some considerations:
  • Do not ride with anyone other than your immediate family members
  • You must be comfortable cycling on roads with traffic around
  • These roads are almost all on roads so little ones on their own bikes is not recommended
  • Make sure you have your lights on
  • Expect to miss a turn or two - following the route to the letter is not the point - getting out and safely exploring new parts of the city is the point
  • Bring a paper copy of the city's pathway map with you and use it - find your own routes too

The Routes

Route #1 Southwest Loop

Route #1 SW Blue Route Link


Route #2  Northwest Loop
Route #2 Blue Route Link


Route #3 NE Loop
Route #3 Blue Route Link


Stay safe everyone. Follow the recommendations of your local health authorities, wash your hands lots, and live well.

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