Officers hand out bike bells, reflectors to remind cyclists of pathway etiquette

Calgary bylaw officers are out on the city's pathways this month, but instead of handing out tickets, they'll be passing out swag.

'When we have all that congestion. we gotta respect each other's space'

A cyclist and pedestrians enjoy the sun on a pathway near Eau Claire in downtown Calgary. (Andrew Brown/CBC)

Calgary bylaw officers are out on the city's pathways this month, but instead of handing out tickets, they'll be passing out swag. 

Calgary Community Standards Bylaw Sgt. Fausto Ricioppo is handing out bike bells and reflectors, and rolls of plastic bags for dog owners, to remind people of good pathway etiquette.

"We just want to remind the public that when they're out there, safety, safety, safety," Ricioppo said. 

A guide to pathway etiquette for cyclists. 1:06

Ricioppo said the pathways will only get more packed as the weather continues to warm up.

"When we have all that congestion, we gotta respect each other's space."

The officer said that Calgarians are generally pretty good, but in crowded spots like along the 10th Street Bridge or in Prince's Island Park, an aggressive or speeding cyclist or an off-leash dog can mean a big headache. 

Cyclist Ray Arsenault was out for a bike ride along Calgary's river pathways. (Andrew Brown/CBC)

Cyclist Ray Arsenault said he thinks the current speed limit of 20 km/h for bikes is fair, but said it's still important to stay alert, even when going slow.

"You really have to watch out for pedestrians, because they tend to not look too much for bikes."

Ricioppo said officers use laser detection to pull over cyclists going over 20 km/h. They can either issue a verbal warning, written warning or summons — it's up to the officer's discretion.

With files from Andrew Brown