Neighbourhood Streets - Policy
The City of Calgary is testing a Neighbourhood Streets Pilot Policy with the goal of creating streets where neighbours of all ages and abilities can connect and have access to safe, comfortable travel options.
The new policy replaces Calgary’s 2003 Traffic Calming Policy and:
- Reflects today's values
- Introduces new toolkits like resident-led activation or street labs
- Explores opportunities for shared decision making
- Calls for an equitable intake process
- Looks for more opportunities to collaborate and find efficiencies
Pilot policy outcomes
Throughout the Neighbourhood Streets Pilot Policy, we have been collaborating with identified communities on traffic calming projects. Below are list of outcomes that have been produced from the pilot policy:
- Understanding resident concerns - regularly engaging with residents and stakeholders to understand community needs and requests.
- Empowering community leaders
- Providing safety enhancements
- Retrofitting streets - retrofitting streets to ensure communities are getting the most use out of their roads.
- Piloting street labs - using temporary materials to give participants an impression of possible transportation improvements.
- Managing community volume
- Calming traffic - addressing existing and measurable traffic problems such as speeding and short-cutting traffic through neighbourhood streets.
- Building missing links/connecting communities
- Engaging with youth – collaborating with local schools and communities to involve the local youth.
- Beautifying - beautifying communities by enhancing green space or commissioning community art.
Why is testing the policy so important?
The old version wasn’t working. There were large parts of Calgary that never saw traffic calming improvements and projects were taking long. Engagement was lacking opportunities for neighbours to understand each other's needs and abilities. Before asking Council to approve the new version, we want to see whether it addresses these shortcomings.
Testing the pilot policy allows us to:
- Learn the best approach to collaborate for successful neighbourhood streets through conversations and installations
- Provide inclusive engagement to determine community needs and shared decision making
- Test how different tools can be applied by both residents and The City to address community needs
- Improve how we intake and prioritize future projects
Reporting traffic concerns on neighbourhood streets
While we test the draft Neighbourhood Streets policy on eight projects of different size and scope, we will not be initiating any new traffic calming projects. You may still submit traffic concerns via 311 to be added to our list of concerns for future considerations.
When you submit concerns through 311 try to describe the problem you are experiencing (i.e. I feel unsafe crossing the street here, there is a missing sidewalk on this block) instead of the solution you wish to see.
If the proposed Neighbourhood Streets Policy is endorsed by City Council in Q2 2022 we will prepare a new list of potential projects by September 2022. Following project selection, we would carry out some engagement and then install temporary and permanent interventions in 2023 and 2024.
Other things you can do:
- Submit a request for a Speed Trailer (SLOWS) Sign
- Host a survey through a community group or Community Association to see what the priorities might be for everyone living in your neighbourhood.
- Initiate a paint-the-pavement or other placemaking project
- Look at The City’s open data to learn if speeding might be a problem in your community.
- Complete the Explore Your Street survey where you can evaluate blocks individually, as a group or by asking kids at your local schools to share their experiences.
- Apply for a grant through organizations such as ActivateYYC, and watch for opportunities at city, provincial and federal levels
- June 2022: Administration will recommend a final Neighbourhood Streets Policy to Council for approval. There will also be a new intake process for traffic calming projects.
- Communities will be invited to apply for neighbourhood street enhancements using a new intake process.
- Summer/Fall 2022: The City will announce the next traffic calming projects with a goal of starting new projects each year