Saturday, June 05, 2010

Biking Calgary and Vancouver

Calgary City council is voting on Monday, June 7 to work up a comprehensive biking strategy for our city over the next year, one that:
“identifies actions The City will take in the short, medium and long term in order to make Calgary a bicycle-friendly city for all – a city where cycling is a great option for transportation and recreation purposes.”
D'Arcy Norman has great post that outlines the need for a plan in Calgary.  Having spent a week in May biking in Vancouver I can say there is hope.  The bike routes in Vancouver work,  the routes are well marked, with bike symbols on the main street signs.  I was able to follow the routes with ease.  Bike lanes on main roads are well marked, and are well separated from parking spaces for cars.  Most of the routes are on side streets, but unlike Calgary there aren't stop signs every block or two.  Cross streets have stop signs but the bike route has the flow.  They also use small traffic calming roundabouts.     When a bike route crosses a major route there are buttons for the lights are placed at the curb where a cyclist can reach them without getting off their bike.    One is not expected to go kilometers out of the we to get to a bike route.  It was wonderful to ride in a city that had planned for people to ride in it.

I rode in Vancouver back in 95 or 96 and I don't remember it being so welcoming to cyclists, so progress is possible over 15 years.   I hope our city council gets started soon.

- Peace

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