All Calgarians experience the city as a pedestrian. Whether we drive, take transit, cycle, walk, in-line skate, or skateboard, most of us start or end our trips on foot. From the people who walk to work every day, to the hundreds of thousands of riders of our trains and buses, to the bustling activity on our neighbourhood streets, the safety of pedestrians is vitally important.
The pedestrian experience is critical to the success of Calgary and its future. Over the last ten years, Calgary has made tremendous improvements in pedestrian infrastructure; yet much of the city was built without pedestrians in mind, lacking key links within neighbourhoods and to transit stops.
While Calgary has strategies for other forms of transportation including automobile and goods movement, transit, cycling, and pathways, we have yet to develop one for pedestrians and mobility device users. That is about to change. A plan is in the works to improve all aspects of the walking experience and increase pedestrian activity through education, engineering, investment, and enforcement. It will tackle how to make Calgary’s streets safe for our youngest and oldest pedestrians, how to improve connections, and how an improved walking environment can create a healthier and more livable city.
Even one pedestrian fatality is too many. We are committed to protecting pedestrians and creating a culture of safety and respect by addressing street design and behaviour. Working with Calgary Police Services, Calgary’s transportation engineers will analyze data to better understand the nature of collisions involving pedestrians and guide the tools, policies, and education programs to improve safety.
We can take action before the final policy is complete. Plans are already in motion to test new safety tools, including in-road lighting and conflict-analysis technology that will measure near-misses and identify issues before anyone gets hurt. We also expanded our pilot program of Rapid Flashing Beacons with continued success.
The strategy will be the result of a 16 month effort including a series of public meetings to develop a plan of action. In the meantime, let’s look out for one another and ensure that we all return home safe and sound.
To stay up to date with what Druh is working on you can follow Druh on Twitter (@DruhFarrell) and like her on Facebook.
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.