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Sep 21, 2010

3-1-1 and You

I am not sure how things work in other cities, but here in Calgary, when you notice a problem with city infrastructure - like a broken water main or brutal non-detour like we see here, you are encouraged to call 3-1-1 and report it.

This service is something that Calgary cyclists should be using as often as possible, for a few reasons:

- All reports are logged by the city for future (and sometimes) immediate consideration of where upgrades and repairs are needed.
- Transportation Solutions logs all of the bicycle and pedestrian focused reports and reviews them when looking at ped/bike upgrades.  In fact, I have been told by a staffer inside TS that this is the best way to log concerns and complaints with the city specifically regarding bike routes and paths.
- It works!  I have proof!  Check out the image at left with the asphalt ramp.  I took a photo of this area, complaining that there were no ramps here, making it difficult for people to get through here safely and efficiently.  I submitted it to to the city through Twitter (@cityofcalgary) as well as logging the complaint through the city's online 311 page and this ramp appeared very shortly thereafter.

We all know that cycling in this city can sometimes be an exercise in frustration as the Roads Department has demonstrated time and again that efficient cycling detours are not on their radar (witness the construction at Memorial/10 St, under the Crowchild, or Memorial near the Peace bridge).  3-1-1, at the very least gets these issues brought to the attention of the city, and more importantly, shows the city how many people are using cycling as a transportation mode.

Be a part of the solution - take the time to register your concerns as often as possible, and perhaps the city will one day soon begin to make real improvements to our cycling network.

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