Monday, June 20, 2011

Calgary to become a premier cycling city, someday.

Calgary's proposed Cycling Strategy lays out the vision.
The City has a vision to become one of the premier cycling cities in North America
Unfortunately there's not much analysis on where we are or what it will take to get there. Calgary likes to tell its self it's a world class cycling city and it is, as long as you see cycling as recreation not a way to get from A to B. The pathway system is wonderful to ride, but unless your A to B aligns with the river it's not much help.

While the Stategy doesn't directly ackowledeg this there are hints:
The Calgary Streets Bylaw 20M88 or Traffic Bylaw 26M96, for example, could specify a penalty for parking in a bicycle lane.
OK so that explains why there is always at least one car parked in the bike lane on 53rd St NW. That's not a bike lane, that a place bikes can ride, if no one parks their car there.

The Strategy calls for hiring a Dedicate a Bicycle Design Engineer, Bicycle Planner and a Bicycle Education and Promotion Coordinator. Let's face it, the people who put up signs like this

Say what...

need the help. I'm guessing that's why there aren't more concrete plans in Strategy, we just don't have the expertise to do it.

The proposed Bike Share program has gotten some heat as being a frill given how far behind we are. Though the strategy does propose getting a sponsor to cover the $425 000 / year cost. If they can do that then great. Of course Montreal had to bail out it's bike share program recently so the city should tread carefully.

I'm in favor of the plan, just wish we could be more honest about how far we have to go. If you'd like to see the city move forward on becoming a premier cycling city be sure to let your Alderman know. The next vote on this is Tuesday.

- Peace

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