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COVID-19 changing the way Calgarians get around

Walking on the lower deck of the Centre Street Bridge in SE Calgary. Sunday, May 26th, 2019. (PHOTO: Tom Ross - 660 NEWS)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – The strict COVID-19 precautions put into place are starting to impact how Calgarians get about the city.

As part of the Transportation Data Collection Program, the city has seen traffic on major commuter roads fall 60 per cent since the Municipal Emergency Plan was activated on March 12.

Decreases are seen all around the city, but the impact on industrial areas such as Ogden Road and Bonnybrook Road is less dramatic.

Deliveries still depart from businesses and the number of heavy trucks on the road has remained consistent.

However, most of the traffic in Calgary is being seen on the pathway network, where walkers, runners, and bikers are taking up so much space that the city has had to accommodate.

To allow more room for those hitting the pathways and practicing safe social distancing, the city closed lanes on some roads.

“It’s important that we monitor our transportation system to ensure it is operating effectively – for example, on the adaptive roadways that allow pedestrians and cyclists to practice physical distancing,” said Manager of Transportation Data and Forecasting Ekke Kok in a release.

“From a long-term perspective, it will be important to continue to monitor the system to see if there are future travel behaviour trends after the pandemic has passed.”

Moving forward, the city will continue to evaluate these trends and make sure pedestrians can stay active while maintaining safe physical distancing.