With pedestrian collision and fatality rates at top-of-mind for Calgarians, The City developed a comprehensive Pedestrian Strategy Framework. In November 2015, a Pedestrian Strategy Update was approved by Council so Administration could go forward with developing strategies for recommendations and engaging Calgarians. The final city-wide action plan for reducing pedestrian casualties and improving walking in Calgary, called STEP FORWARD, was presented to Council on May 2, 2016. The STEP FORWARD action plan outlines how we can create a better quality pedestrian environment in the city. Walking is the most sustainable form of transportation, which is why it is ranked at the top of the Transportation Sustainability Triangle below.
The strategy addresses:
• Number of collisions and fatalities each year (see chart below)
• The decreasing number of people walking, specifically children walking to school
• Walkability in neighbourhoods
• The desire to be a less car-dependent city
• Meeting the long-term walking targets identified in the Calgary Transportation Plan
• Other social and personal benefits
The strategy is structured into four areas with a list of 50 actions items for The City to carry out in the short, medium and long term across the city. The timeline for these include immediate (by 2018), from 2019-2022, and transformation to a walkable City beyond 2022.
The majority of discussion, from inception of this recommendation to Committee to Council meetings, was the one action item that proposed reducing the city-wide speed limit from 50 to 40 km/h in residential areas. At the May 2, 2016 meeting, Council decided to adopt the STEP FORWARD action plan, but to omit recommendation three in regards to a 40 km/h speed limit in residential areas at that time. It was agreed to ask Administration to return to the Committee no later than 2016 November with a report on more public consultation, including detailed maps, on the topic of speed reduction on residential roads, to assess the level of public support or opposition on that action. At this time approach options and a recommended choice will be presented to Council for decision on reducing the residential speed limit. To give your input and check progress and timeline information, please check back on calgary.ca, search for Pedestrian Strategy for updates and to view the 50 action items in the STEP FORWARD strategy.
Council also directed Administration to incorporate the short-term capital and operating funding requirements into the November 2016 mid-cycle budget adjustments for 2017 and 2018, and medium term actions in the 2019-2022 budgets for all other 49 action items. This policy includes 6 Key Results to be used to measure the success of the strategy. Administration will provide a report back on the progress of the approved Pedestrian Strategy to the Transportation and Transit Committee no later than January 2018.