Where is Our Provincial Bike Strategy?

With a provincial election coming up sometime this year, it got me thinking - why is there absolutely no mention of bicycling from our provincial government?  Well, the answers are probably obvious but I still want to know!

So, here is a link to a blog post I put up today

http://www.bikebikeblog.com/2012/03/where-is-our-provincial-bicycle.html

Basically, I think that all of the active transport groups in the province, as well as the tri and bike sporting associations need to get together and start talking from the same cheatsheet.

Thoughts?

Forums: 

Email sent to my MLA on this.

I sent the below email to Alana Delong and was informed that there is an Active Alberta 2011-2021 policy in place.  If you read that you will notice that commuter cycling is absent...anyhow, here's the email:

 

From:Alig, Chris J

Sent: August 4, 2011 2:04 PM
To: Calgary Bow
Subject: Status of Transportation Cycling In Alberta.

 

Hi Alana,

 

By way of introduction, I have been a resident of Calgary Bow since 1967, having lived in Montgomery, gone to school in Bowness and am now a 14 year resident of Silver Springs.  If you’re wondering which Alig this is, it’s because I think you have already met my father and my sister.  My volunteer activities include co-chairing CPAC, the Calgary Pathway and Bikeway Advisory Council for the past five years.  And, I’m a bike commuter that isn’t seeing much getting done for transportation cycling in this province.

 

This email is my attempt to understand what Alberta is doing to recognize and promote cycling as a legitimate form of transportation for some trips.  The environmental and health benefits are obvious and well documented, as are the benefits to the communities that embrace cycling as a legitimate mode of transportation.  Cycling is an excellent fit with the PC government’s health care goals, as well as its public safety goals.  This is also a touchstone issue for many young Albertans, since cycling has gained in popularity in recent years with them.  You may want to consider cycling as one way of reaching out to them.

 

Right now I think I have a pretty good idea of what Calgary is (and isn’t) doing for cycling, and I was wondering if the Province had plans to encourage (or even require) municipalities to deliver safe, separated, on-street bikeways in a predictable and ongoing basis to increase the number of people cycling. 

 

Some things to consider are:

 

1.     Provincial design guidelines for safe, separated, on-street bikeways.

2.     Legislation and funding to encourage (or better yet, mandate) municipalities to build and maintain bikeways

3.     An education component to inform citizens that ‘Transportation’ doesn’t always mean ‘Motor Vehicle’.

4.     Mandatory cycling education in schools, as well as for lawmakers, law enforcement, and of course, for everyone associated with Alberta Transportation.

5.     Recognition that more cycling translates into improved health and well-being, offsetting (at least partially) rising health care costs.

6.     Economic impacts to communities usually exceed initial costs, resulting from more active streets and communities and from reduced commute times for all modes from reductions in traffic congestion.

7.     Communities become safer with increases in active modes such as cycling.

 

Is there some way that Alberta could consider becoming a leader in this area?  To date my efforts dealing with The City of Calgary both as an individual and as CPAC have basically been fruitless, since our transportation department hasn’t evolved (or been forced to evolve) to the point where they actually consider cycling as a legitimate form of transportation. 

 

If you are available to discuss this further in person I would be pleased to meet with you.

 

Chris Alig, P.Eng

 

Promoting a provincial strategy

Hi all,

Although I've not posted on these forums often, I've been trying to involve myself whenever possible in advocating for more, and better, cycling infrastructure in the city. At the moment, I'm on the steering committee for Cyclepalooza.

As it turns out I've decided to run for MLA in the spring election as the Alberta Liberal Party candidate in Calgary Bow. This post (and Chris's letter to Alana Delong) caught my attention and I just wanted to put it out there that I'd be happy to promote a provincial bike strategy however I can in the upcoming election.

In my view the Active Alberta strategy, and other corresponding policies, don't go far enough to encourage real modal shift. If I can help with developing a position paper, or with any other collaborative efforts, please let me know.

Cheers,

Stephanie

slshewchuk@yahoo.ca

Oh the comments would fly...

...as soon as the media picked it up. 

If we want to encourage people to live and travel in more sustainable ways then our government has to direct money towards reaching that goal and away from the habits we want to break.  A provincial cycling strategy would definitely be something that could help.

Alig's influence on a provincial bike strategy

You won't know it from his post but Mr. Alig has had a huge influence of late on the success of the provincial bike policy. It is under development and has been for a year and a half. There have been seminars at the Banff Springs and cocktail parties at COP.

Chris has the picture proof (worth a thousand words) of the ongoing and seemingly successful efforts in this regard. You should appeal to him to post it.