Cycling to work in Calgary, at least for me, has always been pretty easy. Over the past 5 years I’ve been fortunate to live within a 7km radius of my workplace. I’ve moved twice, and have had to adapt my routes to ensure I’m still on time, but for the most part I’ve found this city’s drivers and cyclists are very accommodating to each other. Navigating the city streets and designated pathways has been and continues to be, relatively painless. I’ve heard all the horror stories of course, which is probably why I’m so much slower than the vast majority of cycle commuters.
Yesterday, when the Calgary Cycling Strategy report was released to city council, I was intrigued by the number of individuals interested in the topic and spent a little time researching the plan and overall opinions. In particular, after reading some of the comments in Jason Markusoff’s Calgary Herald article on the topic of a Cycling Strategy, it became obvious the issue of spending taxpayers money to make our city safer for cyclists, is a controversial one.
It was also interesting to read about the new City of Calgary positions that would be created if the plan was fully implemented:
Bicycle Design Engineer, in the Roads business unit, to help develop a
bicycle design guide and prepare conceptual and detailed designs for onstreet
bikeways, Complete Streets and other bicycle amenities.
Bicycle Planner, in the Transportation Planning business unit, to coordinate
and plan bicycle route improvements and pilot projects and manage the
creation of a new Pathway and Bikeway Implementation Plan.
And my personal favorite:
Bicycle Education and Promotion Coordinator, in the Transportation Planning
business unit, to develop an ongoing education and promotion program and
work with partners on delivering educational messages and promotional events to Calgarians.
But back to my point. I’m always excited to explore new ideas for cycling in Calgary, and ways to encourage more individuals in our city to switch to two wheels, even if it’s just a couple times a year. It’s cheap, good exercise, and fun.
In case you’re not aware, a council committee will debate and vote on this strategy June 21st (which also happens to be Go Skateboarding Day) so I thought I would encourage you to check out some of the key points of the Cycling Strategy before then.
Regardless of how you transport your body around our city, I think the ideas brought forward like the expansion and upgrade of current cycling lanes and infrastructure, or a cycle sharing program like the popular ones in Europe or Eastern Canada, are all very interesting and make for great conversation and debate.
For more information, please visit some of these resources and if you have more references for information on the Cycling Strategy to add to this conversation, please add them in the comments section:
CivicCamp Public Information Sessions and Workshops
7:00 pm, Monday, June 13th
There are four locations where you can participate:
- Room 342, Earth Sciences Building, University of Calgary
- Rosscarrock Community Hall, 4411 10 Ave SW
- Old YMCA, 223 12 Ave SW
- Forest Lawn Library, 4807 8 Avenue SE
CivicCamp will be holding public meetings for those interested in the City’s new comprehensive cycling strategy. Learn more about the strategy and offer your feedback about what does or doesn’t work for you.
CivicCampers and cycling enthusiasts will be on hand to walk you through the strategy, answer your questions (where we can) and guide a discussion to solicit your input. Information will be collected from the meetings and brought forward to the Standing Committee on Land Use, Planning and Transportation.