City Funds Cycling Strategy
Following is an excellent summary of recent Cycling Strategy developments from a Bike Calgary press release:
Cycling Community Applauds Landmark Decision to Fund Strategy
Calgary catching up with other major cities to become bike-friendly
In July 2011, City Council passed the Comprehensive Cycling Strategy (Strategy) for Calgary, and referred the associated costs to the 2012-2014 budget process. Because of budgetary pressures, only a portion of the Strategy was funded in the original budget submission by the Transportation Department. Thanks to an alternative funding scheme moved by Councillor Pincott, and seconded by Councillor Farrell, the Strategy will advance from concept to reality.
More and more, Calgarians are adopting cycling as an efficient and economical mode of travel. Actions in the Strategy, to be implemented over the next four years rather than the originally proposed three years, ensure that citizens will have better planned, properly maintained, and safer cycling facilities.
Although a small portion of funding will become available later than proposed, and some operating funds are one-time rather than on-going, this decision represents a sea change in thinking about active transportation in Calgary’s City Hall. “Council has long stressed in its planning documents that cycling is an important part of the transportation mix, and should be emphasized. Now they have put the necessary money behind the Cycling Strategy to make a bike-friendly Calgary a reality”, says Bike Calgary Vice-President Richard Zach.
Education for all road users is another cornerstone of the Strategy, which Bike Calgary has repeatedly emphasized. These measures are effective for motivating more Calgarians to adopt cycling as a transportation alternative, resulting in significant benefits that range from long-term savings on health care, mitigation of air and noise pollution, and safer roads for all.
Bike Calgary congratulates and thanks all members on City Council for their ongoing discussion and support of this courageous initiative to make cycling a valued mode of transportation. Calgary’s cycling community will continue to work with the City to improve the existing pathway and on-street cycle route network, and we look forward to partnering with the City’s Administration in rolling out education and promotion programs for Calgary’s burgeoning cycling population.
For more information on the Strategy and benefits of cycling for all Calgarians, see http://bikecalgary.org/bikeplan
Bike Calgary is Calgary’s largest transportation cycling association with over 2000 members on its website. Bike Calgary provides information and resources to Calgary’s transportation cyclists at bikecalgary.org. The Bike Calgary Advocacy Committee was formed as part of the Civic Camp engagement process, which successfully petitioned The City of Calgary Council to approve the Calgary Cycling Strategy in July 2011. It includes representatives Calgary’s cycling and active transportation organizations including the Elbow Valley Cycle Club, the Bike Root Campus Bicycle Society of Calgary, the Alberta Randonneurs, the Good Life Community Bike Shop, and the Sustainable Alberta Association/Commuter Challenge.
New Comprehensive Cycling Strategy
Do you want to ride your bike safely and more often? We have good news! The City of Calgary’s new Comprehensive Cycling Strategy was passed by Council in July 2011. But there is still more work to be done to see the Strategy fully funded and implemented. CivicCampers and members of many of Calgary’s cycling advocacy groups are working hard to see that happen. Are you interested in getting involved? Volunteers have set up the Calgary Bike Advocacy site where you can follow their progress, register for updates and volunteer yourself. CivicCamp will also continue to provide updates as we move towards Council budget deliberations in November.
Joyride: An Evening with Portland author and cycling advocate, Mia Birk
Did you miss Mia Birk’s visit to Calgary? Don’t despair, we have the video here. (Thanks to Alex Berenyi for recording and uploading it!)
This event was co-presented by CivicCamp and the Calgary Public Library, in partnership with First Calgary Financial and with the support of Clifton Associates, Mistri, Sustainable Calgary and Thrive. Whoo hoo! We love our sponsors and couldn’t do what we do without your support!
After spending the day with the Mayor, members of Council and city staff, cycling advocate Mia Birk spoke to an enthusiastic, near-capacity crowd at the John Dutton Theatre at the Calgary Central Library. Mia, who served as the City of Portland Bicycle Program Manager from 1993-99, regaled the audience with humourous stories about Portland’s path from auto-oriented city to one of the most bike-friendly cities in North America.
Now President of Alta Planning + Design, Mia brought her wisdom gained from 20 years of experience in sustainable transportation focused on pedestrian, bicycle, trail, and greenway planning, design and implementation. Having taken a ride earlier in the day that incorporated a spin along multi-use river pathways, dedicated on-street cycling lanes and lanes shared with vehicles in downtown rush hour traffic, Mia was able to share insights with the audience on Calgary’s unique challenges and opportunities. A full video of Mia’s presentation will be made available here soon, thanks to a wonderful volunteer who recorded the event for us so check back soon.
Meanwhile, listen here to an in-depth interview with Mia by CJSW Soapbox Derby host Greg Chernoff.
To hear CBC Homestretch host David Gray’s interview with Mia, listen here.
Mia shares her thoughts on her recent trip to Calgary on her own blog here.
For another interview with Mia and for ongoing insights into cycling in Calgary, we recommend Tom Babin’s new blog Pedal: Cycling in Calgary over at the Calgary Herald. Then there’s Jason Markusoff’s article on Mia’s visit to Calgary.
We have a limited number of copies of Mia Birk’s new book Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet still available. Purchase price is $20 with all proceeds going to CivicCamp’s Paving the Way initiative. See the Youtube trailer here. then email us to reserve a copy.