Diversifying the transportation options available to Calgarians is an important part of the Calgary Transportation Plan. Cycling is one alternative that many Calgarians already choose; however, without proper infrastructure it is difficult to make bicycling attractive to people interested in riding for transportation. This is why we approved the Cycling Strategy in 2011, which lays out 50 actions and a number of targets for the short, medium and long term that will help make cycling an attractive option for more Calgarians.
In June 2012, Tom Thivener was brought in from Tucson, Arizona as our first ever Cycling Coordinator to oversee the implementation of the Cycling Strategy. I recently met with Tom to get an overview of his work to date as well as his work plan for 2013. This year the focus will be on planning, with an update to the twelve year old Pathway & Bikeway Plan slated to get started. This will be an excellent opportunity for the community to identify new improvements and to prioritize them. In terms of infrastructure in 2013, a large focus will be on the City Centre with construction of the first cycle track, and reviewing and completing projects already under way.
The Cycling Strategy implementation team will also focus on coordinating efforts with City of Calgary departments, such as Roads and Water Services, to ensure that our streets and bike lanes are safe for cyclists. Keeping the shoulders and bike lanes clear of ice, snow and gravel and installing bike-friendly storm grates on downtown underpasses and existing bike lanes are two of the ways we are making cycling safer this year.
Education and promotion are another area of focus, with the primary goal being the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. One of the greatest detractors that keeps many people from cycling in the city is feeling unsafe. Public education campaigns will help drivers and cyclists alike better understand how to share the road and watch out for one another. The safety program will require coordination with several key City groups, including the Calgary Police Service, Animal and Bylaw Services, Transit and Customer Services and Communications.
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.