Tell City Council You Want Funding for Active Transportation

This month the City of Calgary is going through their annual budget adjustments. While that might not sound like the most thrilling event, a big show of support from Bike Calgary members could mean big improvements to Calgary’s bike lane and bike path network!

Budget adjustments are where the City chooses which projects should receive funding for the next year (and beyond). The public gets to provide their input on which projects we care about the most. This year, the city is considering a 46 million dollar investment in the bike path network, with more in the future.  We are asking you, Bike Calgary members, to come join us and tell City Council how important this is to you!

For more on the budget adjustment process, check out this article from LiveWire. The most specific thing that we expect Bike Calgary members to care about is option 16, ‘Improving Pavement Quality and the 5A Network’. 5A is the City of Calgary’s term for the pathway and bikeway network.

All of us as citizens of Calgary have the opportunity to go to City Council and show our support for what we care about. Everyone is allowed five minutes to speak to City Council and tell their story.  

We realise that standing up in front of City Council can be intimidating and inconvenient.  A cynic might even say that it is designed to be that way, but we have partnered with our friends at the Calgary Climate Hub to help ease the worry and the way. The aim is to prepare our members to get out there in person (or by phone) to speak up for what we care about.  November 16, the Calgary Climate Hub will do free online training on how to sign up to speak, how to tell your story, and the most effective way to get through to the Councillors.  Sign up here for the November 16 training session.

Whether you do the Climate Hub training or just want to go freestyle, we encourage all of our members to sign up here to speak to City Council on November 20, or provide direct feedback on the web form. Tell them that you are in support of more spending on active transportation.

The best story to tell to the council is a personal one. Why is better cycling important to you? We know all of us at Bike Calgary love cycling, and it makes our lives better in so many ways. A personal story that you can tell at council can be very memorable. In case you are trying to think of a good anecdote, here are some broad categories of why we think cycling infrastructure is important:

  • Safety: We, and our kids, should all be able to get around the city by bike safely.  Investing in infrastructure that avoids conflicts with cars and stays safe year round will help this
  • Freedom:  We should all be free to move about the way we want to.  If you don’t want to (or can’t) drive a car, you should not have to. If we have better investment in bike infrastructure and transit options, this gets closer to reality.
  • Affordability: Cars are expensive, the city has spent a lot of time trying to address affordability, and one way to make life more affordable is to make it so driving is not mandatory.
  • Health: Active transit options and better cycle paths means more people out moving under our own power and getting exercise. This is both great for the individual rider and great for society as a whole.
  • Environment: More people cycling and less people driving is better for the environment. This of course includes lowering greenhouse gas emissions, but also, it improves local air quality and decreases light and noise pollution!
  • Fun: Lets not forget that riding a bike is just dang fun! If you’re like us, you never regret taking the bike instead of a car, even in the dead of winter. Getting outside and getting fresh air just makes you feel good. Who wouldn’t want that?

Hopefully that helps get the thought process going, but don’t be limited by these categories.  Any story about your own life is a powerful one. That is the kind of thing that gives us and all our members power to shape Calgary into the vision we want!

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