Inglewood pathway sign vandalized as frustration with 'dangerous' detour boils over

Frustrated cyclists and pedestrians are blasting the City of Calgary over a detour around a closed section of riverside pathway in Inglewood that they say is confusing, lacks proper signage and has dangerous sections.

Inadequate signage, busy intersection crossing are among concerns

Detour signage fail

3 years ago
Detour signage fail 0:22

Frustrated cyclists and pedestrians are blasting the City of Calgary over a detour around a closed section of riverside pathway in Inglewood that they say is confusing, lacks proper signage and has dangerous sections.

In fact, one critic was so angry that he or she created elaborate fake detour signs in mockery.

The pathway normally goes along the west side of the Bow River, under the Cushing Bridge south of Pearce Estate Park. But it was closed for flood mitigation and bank stabilization along the river as part of a series of projects intended to make Inglewood safer and more accessible.

The pathway that runs along the west side of the Bow River and under 17th Avenue S.E. is closed until September. (City of Calgary)

Now pedestrians and cyclists are being routed along the busy intersection at 19th Street and 17th Avenue S.E.

"I don't like it. It's dangerous," said cyclist Ryan Kemp. "This area is very industrial, lots of big trucks. You don't know what's coming from behind when you're trying to make a left hand turn. It's not ideal as a cyclist to be caught in all the car traffic."

One of the few signs notifying travellers about the detour was recently vandalized, with the irate culprit wondering where the detour map was and accusing the city of "putting pedestrians and cyclists in harm's way."

A frustrated commuter in Inglewood vandalized this sign to express concerns with the pathway detour. Profanities in the photo have been blurred out. (Anis Heydari/CBC)

Lindsay McLean has lived in Inglewood for seven years. She said that as a mom with two young kids, it's too far to walk to Ninth Avenue to find a place to cross safely, and they'd have to contend with a lack of sidewalks for part of the trek.

"So we have to cross the busy street. And there's lots of construction going on and they don't have proper detours up for us to kind of cross at a safe interval," she said. 

Lindsay McLean says the Inglewood detour doesn't include a safe spot for pedestrians to cross. (Anis Heydari/CBC)

Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra, who represents Inglewood and other communities in Ward 9,  said he knows the detour is inconvenient. 

"I think that this is a temporary situation. It's unfortunate but it's in service of a much much better outcome, and I think that the solution is better signage," said Carra.

Workers were seen taking down the vandalized sign on Thursday, and the city said locals can expect to see more signs soon. 

Colin Chapman is a deputy project manager with the City of Calgary. (Anis Heydari/CBC)

"It does help that we get those comments from those that use the routes frequently that, 'hey, we're not sure where to go.' We try to respond to those as quickly as possible," said Colin Chapman, transportation engineer with the City of Calgary. 

Chapman said the city is responding to concerns from the councillor's office and from 311 as the complaints come in. 

The pathway will be closed until Sept. 15. 

With files from Anis Heydari and David Bell