Today we are very excited to launch our series on the cycle track network, presenting views from a variety of prominent Calgarians about the range of benefits the cycle track network offers. Our first article comes courtesy of Evan Woolley, Ward 8 Councillor.
On April 28, Calgary City Council votes on the future of transportation in the core of the city.
The City has proposed a network of safe on-street bike lanes in downtown Calgary, a separated cycle track network. The careful and savvy design is based on years of engaging Calgarians and detailed traffic studies. But the vote on the Cycle Track Network will be very close. Calgarians need to speak up and vocally support the City’s smart transportation choices.
This is a pivotal moment for our city, one I would liken to the decisions to invest in Light Rail Transit and infrastructure when the city was smaller and younger. Decades ago City Council had the foresight to dedicate 7th Avenue to transit and to create a special feel on Stephen Avenue. These decisions have been enormously successful. Well-planned and wisely built systems work. On the C-Train Calgary has among the highest ridership of any light rail systems in North America. Stephen Avenue was dedicated a National Historic site in 2002.
The Cycle Track Network is the next visionary step in downtown Calgary. It will make the city an even better place to live and work.
Cycle tracks make roads safer for everyone. This has been proven in other cities around the world. Streets become more orderly and more predictable for everyone, whether they walk, drive, or ride.
Cycle tracks are also good for health, safety, and the economy.
- Dr. James Talbot, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, endorses the Cycle Track Network: “Providing safer, more accessible opportunities for cycling would encourage more individuals to cycle, and would therefore contribute to the health of Calgarians.”
- Bruce Graham, CEO of Calgary Economic Development, argued in the Calgary Herald that a cycle track network will help Calgary to attract and retain the best talent as well as promote Calgary’s business and lifestyle advantages.
Calgarians have been very clear. The city needs better cycling infrastructure to make it a more viable and safer choice for everyone. This was a key message from years of public consultations.
Council remains divided. In debates, some Councillors spoke eloquently about the benefits of a Cycle Track Network. Others are more skeptical, not seeing a need for new transportation options. In the month ahead of the April 28 vote the debate will become more intense and the voice of Calgarians will be essential.
Contact your Councillor. Tell us why you support the Cycle Track Network, what it means for you, and how it will have a positive impact on the city.
There has been a great deal of public consultation and Mayor Nenshi has said it’s now time for Council to demonstrate leadership and make a decision. I agree. And I am confident any challenges spotted by other members of council can be solved. The Calgary I grew up in, the Calgary I live in, has always looked for solutions and is not daunted by hurdles. We are a Can Do city.
This is a rare opportunity to shape the heart of our city’s downtown. The Cycle Track Network will come down to only a few votes. Send the message to City Council members: tell your councillor to support the Cycle Track Network.
Ward 8 Councillor
A message from Bike Calgary:
We need your help to get the Cycle Track Network passed!
Contact your councillor and let them know that you support the Cycle Track Network.
Contact the Mayor and let him know that you support the Cycle Track Network.
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