#sharedstreets alignment with City’s 5A Network plan

“What’s the 5A Network?” we hear you asking and, “How does this relate to the #sharedstreets campaign and the adaptive roadways (Covid lanes)?” Well, let us explain about the 5A Network and tell you about what we are doing to make cycling safer and more accessible for all Calgarians.

Rest assured that we’ve not deviated in our efforts to retain the adaptive roadways. We realize that some of them replace missing infrastructure or address existing pathways that are insufficient for the volume of users. They need to be retained to bridge this gap. They will be used in winter as Calgarians don’t hibernate until the thaw (see our upcoming blog about winter riding, counter to the views of the NY Times) and we need these spaces more than ever! But our letter to the City also focused on the future and the need for an updated review of the 20 year old design of the network we have. “Times have changed” as we noted.

In our letter, issued to the City on the 9th September we spoke about the future vision of our pathway system and its evolution to meet demand, and an accessible, connected, and safe pathway network. The City’s own 5A Network provides the guidance needed to deliver on that vision.

photograph by @JamieHarling5

5A Network

The City’s 5A Network (5A stands for “Always Available for All Ages and Abilities”) is an update to the Calgary and Area Pathway and Bikeway Plan. The 5A Network principles support community connections, providing Calgarians of all ages and abilities with safe and accessible year-round opportunities to walk and wheel throughout Calgary. They support travel for all purposes, including to work, school, social, recreational or commercial activities. Also, the 5A Network principles provide connectivity to other transportation services, like public transit and parking. This is a very detailed set of documents, and a lot of work has gone into their production. It is a very long terms plan as you can imagine. Here’s where the transition to the city’s RouteAhead and Engage Calgary’s Next 20 comes in.

Next 20 is a specific review of the Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Transportation Plan. You can see a copy of the 5A network map in this document via this link. If you’d like to access the entire Calgary Transportation Plan document (it’s quite large), visit the Next 20 page and click on 2020 CTP and open the document; on PAGE 92 is the 5A Network map. This details the City’s existing bikeway and pathway plans and shows where recommended additions are to be made.

Still with us? Ok, now for the clever bit!

Bike Calgary’s Advocacy Work

Bike Calgary has many volunteers, and we are fortunate to have Shiv Ruparell with us on this journey. Shiv is the Strategic Lead and Policy Coordinator for the Bike Calgary campaign and is an expert in public affairs (you may remember Shiv from the dam opening). As a team we are working to establish the foundations for creating a “Phase 1” deliverable for the 5A Network that gives pathway users the greatest benefits. To do this, we are meeting with City Councillors to explain the plan, gain support, and then access federal funding.

If you want to help or have any questions, reach out to the #sharedstreets team by email on pete.spearing@bikecalgary.org; shiv@bikecalgary.org or connect@bikecalgary.org

So again, #sharedstreets = #5A Network = #Next20 in the City’s language. Got it?

Photograph by @albertaadrienne

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