Edmonton drivers may soon face fines for passing too close to cyclists, in an effort by the city to clarify the rules of sharing the road.
On Feb. 17, city council's community and public services committee unanimously endorsed a proposed bylaw that would define a "safe passing distance" between motorists and cyclists, and fine motorists for violations, similar to a bylaw passed by the City of Calgary in 2019.
A report presented to the committee states the new rules would align with Edmonton's City Plan, one of the goals of which is to improve the transportation network for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users.
Typically, rules for cyclists on the road are set out by provincial governments. The Government of Alberta's Traffic Safety Act says drivers must pass cyclists safely, but does not clarify what that means.
Cycling advocates have been pushing for this bylaw for over a year. Christopher Chan, executive director of Bikes Edmonton, said the main benefit is that it "would make objective and clear what it means to drive safely around cyclists."