We are all increasingly frustrated by the traffic on our roads. Traffic congestion is about more than inconvenience. It affects our health, our quality of life and our productivity. With Calgary’s population projected to grow by approximately 5.7 per cent – an additional 83,129 – by 2016, this issue will continue to grow unless we begin to plan for innovative solutions.
To address congestion problems and our related growth pressures, Council has approved plans for a significant investment in our Transit system and roads. The RouteAhead strategic transit plan anticipates a $13 billion investment in bus and LRT services over the next thirty years. These investments include connecting major institutions such as hospitals and post-secondary schools, with new routes to compliment the hub and spoke LRT system that we have today. A 40 kilometre LRT line from north to south is also planned to be built in phases.
Our Investing in Mobility Plan contemplates a 10 year investment horizon for our roads and highways. A total of $4.5 billion is planned over the next 10 years to provide the necessary infrastructure for the efficient transportation of people and commercial traffic throughout the city.
Beyond such critical investments, there are several low-cost approaches that can provide relief in the near term. By working together with people and businesses, we can support and encourage the development of flexible work time initiatives and other employee/employer-driven programs that can ease congestion during peak hours.
On December 17, 2012, I introduced a Notice of Motion to Council directing Administration to develop a strategy to address and improve congestion challenges throughout Calgary, and consider initiatives including:
- Promoting flexible work hour programs in cooperation with major employers throughout the city, including The City of Calgary; and,
- Educating and sharing information with local industry on how employers can implement telework and WORKshift options.
The City’s Transportation Department has already made significant efforts to reduce congestion; however, the development of a comprehensive strategy will allow City staff to identify areas that require further efforts and to share successful strategies with other major employers. A particular focus will be to encourage commuters to travel outside of the current peak times, when there is excess capacity on our roads.
Some of the ongoing and previous efforts made by The City to address congestion include:
- 2008: The City partnered with Calgary Economic Development to launch WORKshift;
- 2002: The City partnered with Carpool.ca to provide ride matching services to Calgarians. Since then, over 15,000 Calgarians have visited the site, with approximately 3,000 people actively looking to match trips at a given time; and,
- Transportation Solutions hosts regular Alternative Transit Fairs at workplaces throughout Calgary.
We look forward to working with the Transportation Department and other business units to identify and implement creative solutions to congestion. As always, we would like to hear from you how you think we can address our transportation challenges.
Back to February 2013 report
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.