Bike Calgary Newsletter: So much bike advocacy in the works!

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Calgary Climate Hub:
Over the past 18 months, Bike Calgary volunteers have been participating in the Calgary Climate Hub’s “Community Climate Conversations”, led by Bike Calgary member Jonathan Van Heyst.

These events bring together experts in various fields related to climate adaptation and mitigation, including urban planning, renewable energy, permaculture, and of course active/alternative transportation. Each speaker gives a brief presentation on their topic area, followed by breakout rooms where attendees can join in-depth conversations about topics that interest them.

Bike Calgary found these events to be a valuable form of community engagement, as we get the chance to learn about community-level issues, missing links, and ideas related to Active Transportation. 
Mark your calendars! On June 2nd, the COVID-safe digital version of our popular Community Climate Conversation will be going to Capitol Hill and Banff Trail!

National Active Transportation Fund Update:

Since March, there has been a flurry of activity by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Andrew Fillmore in collaboration with Velo Canada Bikes in meeting with advocacy groups across Canada. These regional events were held over a week and the Western Provinces met on March 26th and Bike Calgary was able to contribute. Here are our updates and also a copy of our submission to the initial questions facilitating the meetings: 
The federal government recognized that directing funding was an important option;
The federal government was clear that they were there to listen and gather concerns and ideas; they offered a few clarifications but did not try to answer every question (often responded with “What would you like to see?” and “Do you have any suggestions?”);
It was acknowledged that active transportation infrastructure may be most needed in communities that don’t have it already or don’t have transportation departments with active transportation priorities or expertise; 

Some key suggestions were: data collection, bike theft is a barrier to more cycling, vehicle design standards to make cars safer for pedestrians and cyclists, design guides would help engineers who aren’t familiar with active transportation infrastructure, accessibility is an issue for current infrastructure and affects wheelchair users, cargo bikes, trailers, strollers, passenger bikes (Cycling Without Age), etc.

The meeting had consistent excitement about advocacy for active transportation and positive communication about the funding program and the trend of active transportation more generally.
So what’s next and what are Bike Calgary doing?
Bike Calgary will be looking to collaborate in terms of where Calgary’s best potential is to deliver this funding and will be contacting the City of Calgary to begin discussions with the City teams. Through our Infrastructure team, we will develop our priority list of potential projects. Compose a list of questions and suggestions for our City, to help consider how to put together the best application (e.g. accessibility, equitable developments, with a wide range of benefits for projects).Continue to work with Velo Canada Bikes and monitor for federal announcements and additional opportunities for consultation as the funding process develops.

Accessibility and Safety on our Pathways For All:

Bike Calgary is collaborating with the Alberta Ability Network (formerly the Calgary Ability Network) and is participating in an event called “Accessibility and Safety on our Pathways for All”.  The event will be held over Zoom on June 4th, 2021 at 10 AM – 12 PM.

As summer arrives and pathways are once again bustling with Calgarians enjoying the opportunity to get outside, the safety of everyone using the pathways is critical.  With many different wheeled devices traveling quickly, interactions with other modes can be threatening, especially where disabilities exist that may not be evident to others. 

As part of National Accessibility Awareness Week, May 31 – June 4, The City of Calgary Advisory Committee on Accessibility, the Alberta Ability Network, and Bike Calgary invite you to join us as our speakers discuss how we can share this precious resource safely for everyone’s enjoyment.

For more information about Bike Calgary’s involvement, please contact Bike Calgary board member Karly Ross.
Register here for “Accessibility and Safety on our Pathways For All”

Earth Rangers:

In partnership with Bike Calgary, Earth Rangers has launched a Club Mission to Calgary’s kids called Pedal for the Planet Calgary.  Adapted for a virtual classroom environment, the mission is designed to also be completed with the help of family and friends.

The Calgary Pedal for the Planet mission will help students (and parents/teachers!) understand how cycling (and walking) can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Calgary, through educational material and when safe to do so, through a week-long bike-a-thon. Resources are available for education and research as well as bike safety tips, checklists for bikes, and useful riding tips and tricks.

After the mission, teams will have a chance to provide feedback and discuss what resources are missing from the school to encourage biking or walking as the primary form of school commute. 

CMHA Calgary – Energize Don’t Hide:

Energize Don’t Hide is a way to take care of your physical and mental health, while raising funds for Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Calgary programs and services. Bike Calgary is proud to again be the Bike Partner for the Energise Don’t Hide Calgary event.

Each year 1.6 million Canadians report unmet mental health care needs, and the demand for services has increased as a result of the changing day-to-day activities, work and family pressures, and financial pressures due to the pandemic. Mental health is not a label or stigma and should be treated the same as your physical wellbeing. People who reach out for help take a brave bold step in doing so, and CMHA needs your support to be there for them when they do. 
    
From now until June 30, 2021, complete 3,300 minutes, 55 hours, or around 1 hour a day of activity! You can cycle, run, stretch, dance, walk, meditate, or anything you want. Be active on your own or build a team!

Register Your Bike at Bike Index and Keep it Safe:

Bike Calgary is aware that bike theft continues to be a major problem in our city, especially with the increase in cycling as a result of COVID-19.  We strongly recommend registering your bike(s) for free on bikeindex.org – it is simple to use and only takes a few minutes. The Calgary Police Service (CPS) uses this service as one of its tools to track stolen and recovered bikes. If your bike is stolen, or if you find a stolen or abandoned bike contact the CPS on their non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.

Bike security is described by a simple equation: (Apparent Ease of Taking) x (Value) = (Incentive to Try)Therefore, make it look difficult to take and look less desirable and you’ll see fewer, if any, attempts to steal your wheels. Lock it well and keep it safe! Another deterrent is to register your bike on the Bike Index.
Registered bikes can be reported stolen and you can verify this on their website if you are
purchasing a second-hand bike.
 


Volunteers, New Members & Donations:
Bike Calgary is a volunteer-run organization and donations help us successfully fulfill our mission of making Calgary a great place for all cyclists – present and future – through advocacy, education, and community.  We have operating expenses that help us deliver the improvements we have recently seen in Calgary.  Donations of any size help us continue our efforts, so please consider donating to Bike Calgary and/or sharing this newsletter to help sign-up new members.

If you are interested in helping Bike Calgary, please contact us at volunteer@bikecalgary.org
Calgary is located on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy, Tsuut’ina, Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, Métis Nation Region III, and the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.

Want to get this newsletter early, please go to our website and become a member. Our membership offers a free or paid version.

Bike Calgary would also like to thank John Russell, whom makes this newsletter happen for us!

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