Every four years the City of Calgary updates its budget. This fall, they are setting the budget for 2019-2022.
This means that, if a project is going to happen in the next four years, it has to be in the budget now.
We want this budget to reflect our needs. Here’s what you need to know.
The City’s budget, called One Calgary, is split into service lines. Each service line contains several programs. Many programs will affect biking in Calgary, but the main ones are:
- Community mobility
- Includes biking, walking, and local traffic safety (like this). To complicate matters, Community Mobility is shared between two service lines: Sidewalks & Pathways and Streets.
- Missing pathway links
- Under the Sidewalks & Pathways service line.
The budget recommendations will be presented to Council on November 14. On November 22, they will also receive a package of citizens’ feedback.
What is being proposed?
City staff have been working for several months compiling their budgets, program by program. They have now arrived at a recommendation for Council to consider.
They are recommending some service levels to decrease, some to increase, and some to stay the same. You can see a summary on the City’s web site.
You’ll notice that, while walking and local traffic safety are recommended for increases, bicycling is not mentioned anywhere— not under Sidewalks & Pathways and not under Streets.
The City has not published their recommendations regarding budget for bicycling, so we don’t know what they intend to do.
How do I get my say?
Whether your priority is building out the cycle track network, filling in some missing gaps in the pathway network, providing safe routes to school, improving snow and ice control, or making your local road a complete street, now is the time to speak up.
There will be four main opportunities to get your voice heard:
1. Submit your feedback on the City’s web site. You have until October 23.
- Go to the feedback page and fill in the forms under Increased Service Levels (to comment on Sidewalks & Pathways) and Decreased Service Levels (to comment on Streets)
- In both places, tell the City that you want increased budget for bicycling, and how it would affect you and your family
- Tip: You can also provide your feedback in person at one of the engagement sessions. Go to the feedback page and look in the right-hand column for a list of dates and locations.
2. Submit an email to City clerks between November 14 and 21.
The City tells us that:
On November 14, City Council will be presented with the proposed 2019-2022 Service Plans and Budgets. You will have an opportunity to provide your feedback by either emailing or delivering it to City Clerks between November 14 and 21. Feedback will then be packaged and provided to Council on November 22 for consideration during their deliberations.
3. Email City Council directly.
You can email the entire Council here.
You can find your councillor and contact them here.
- Make your request clear and explicit. If you want budget for biking, say so.
- Personalize your message. How does biking touch your life? How about your family’s?
- If you’re writing your local councillor, tell them, and talk about local issues.
- Be polite. Nobody responds well to rudeness.
- Be brief.
- Copy us (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can track feedback.
- If you don’t know who your councillor is, you can look it up here.
4. Present to Council in person on November 26.
Stay tuned for details, but this is a very impactful way to get your message heard. If you can, save the date now.
Tip: We’ll be there in person too, so we can help you prepare and support you on the day.
Bonus: Get a friend to speak up too.
The more people that say something, the better. Get your friends involved, talk to your family.
And if anybody has questions, don’t hesitate to ask us.