City council will vote on amending some of the bylaws that govern the use of the cycle tracks downtown and could result in skateboards, in-line skates and scooters being added into the mix.

A committee discussed a report on Wednesday morning that proposes bylaw amendments to increase safety and accessibility and allow for the use of a variety of modes of transportation.

The recommended changes include

1. Hand Signals for Cyclists
2. Signage for Cyclists
3. Safe Passing Bylaw
4. On-Street Parking Adjacent to Painted Lines
5. Back-In Angle Parking
6. Changes to where one can use Non-Motorized Skateboards, Inline Skates and Scooters
7. Yielding When Entering a Roadway or Sidewalk from a Pathway
8. Bicycle Parking in City Bike Racks
9. Allowing Electric Pedal Assist (E-Bikes) On Public Transit
10. Active Modes On Transit Station Pedestrian Bridges
11. Definition of Sidewalk
12. Definition of Skateboard, Scooter and Bicycle

The cycle tracks have been in use for a few years now and cycling advocates say it’s important to get clarification on the type of travel that is allowed on the downtown tracks.

The group that campaigned to get the downtown cycle track says it is happy to share the lanes as long as other users meet the infrastructure’s intended space and speed.

“As long as people can integrate into the flow of traffic seamlessly, smoothly, without any safety concerns, then that's fine. Certainly, most electric wheelchairs, those sorts of things, travel mostly at walking speeds and I think they’d be fine on sidewalks,” said Gary Millard from Bike Calgary.

Bike Calgary says it's important to consider the wording of the bylaw.

Darby Young uses bike lanes for her scooter and says sidewalks aren’t always the best place for people with limited mobility.

“In winter, oddly enough, if we take a look at the bike path right now and the sidewalk, the bike path is actually more clear,” she said.

Young says she is pleased to see a committee is considering bylaw changes to allow devices including scooters, skateboards and roller blades but agrees that safety needs to be considered.

“So when you ride up on somebody with a disability you have to make sure that they're fully aware that you're there or be cautious and same for myself, if I see bikers coming, I get out of their way,” she said.

Tom Nelson with the Calgary Association of Skateboarding Enthusiasts is also encouraged by the proposal.

“It'll open up skateboarding downtown so we'll have more choices for eco-friendly methods of transportation. I think it sends a great message to Calgarians,” he said. “It's a safe activity and we might as well decriminalize a safe activity.”

The report says there is a risk of collisions between the different user groups but that the risk can be mitigated with education and promotion of the bylaw changes.

The committee on transportation and transit voted unanimously to recommend the changes. City council is scheduled to vote on the proposal in March.

For more information on the Downtown Cycle Track Network, click HERE.

(With files from Alesia Fieldberg)