Calgary has come a long way in how we consider, plan and build transportation infrastructure. If you take a look at how we have embraced transit, we are the envy of other cities. Year over year, transit ridership growth outstrips population growth. More and more, we are building new communities with an eye to walkability and looking at retrofitting existing communities to increase pedestrian access. Our new Complete Streets Guide incorporates all forms of transportation into the road area. That means our streets are being designed to accommodate all means of transportation: cars, transit, pedestrian and cycling.
The City is working to ensure that Calgarians have a choice in how they get around, and at every turn people are embracing the choices. People are looking for safe and convenient options that allow them to leave their car at home.
This brings us to the proposed downtown cycle tracks.
The cycle track network continues the work that has been going on for years, work that has been supported by Calgarians every step of the way. In 2005, with ImagineCalgary
, 18,000 Calgarians envisioned the future of Calgary for their kids and grandkids. With PlanIt Calgary
we developed a transportation plan for our city based on sustainability and choice. The development of our Cycling Strategy
was approved by City Council a couple of years ago. Each step of the way, Calgarians have asked for choice: in how they get around, decisions that they can make for themselves daily, safety for themselves and for their kids. The cycle track network
increases the opportunities for people to choose cycling as a mode of transportation more often.
We have an amazing pathway network
in our City which has grown over time and now provides a network of 800Km of pathways that people use daily. However, the pathway system is more of a recreational system than a transportation system. The pathway system can get you to the fringe of downtown, using the Bow River or Elbow River Pathway. From there, our cycling transportation system falls short and is almost entirely made up of shared roadways. From the river pathway to work in the downtown, cyclists literally take their lives in their hands each day.
Just like with transit, we each benefit from the improved service, whether we use it or not. Supporting choice for Calgarians means we use our existing infrastructure more effectively. Cycle tracks provide a protected option, so people can choose to leave their car at home, making the entire transportation system work better. Adding this infrastructure is the type of smart investment that City Council should be making.
As we look at how we can maximize our infrastructure, the barriers to cycling in the downtown need to be overcome. A safe and efficient cycle track network that provides direct connections for cyclists is the direction we need to take.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.