Jan 21, 2011

New Cycling Strategy for Calgary

The City of Calgary is working on our city's first ever comprehensive cycling strategy and part of that strategy was to do some research on Calgarians attitudes towards cycling in our city in the form of a telephone survey and an online survey.  The results are in and Calgarians have spoken - the majority want more bike lanes and safer cycling facilities.

In this case, the old saying "build it and they will come" couldn't be more true!  Here are a few interesting tidbits from the online survey;

- 64% said they do not feel safe cycling in traffic
- 26% said they are currently bike commuting to work/school
- 74% would like to cycle for transportation more often
- 79% want more bike lanes and 79% want physically separated lanes
- 69% want more motorist education about cyclists

The telephone survey is in many ways a better gauge of general attitudes towards cycling than the online survey as most of the online survey respondants identified as a cyclist.  Here are some interesting tidbits from the telephone survey;

- 59% said they would like to cycle more often
- 72% are interested in cycling for transportation
- 6% ride everyday (60,000 people everyday!)
- 80% feel unsafe riding in traffic (ouch!)
- 50% want to cycle more for transportation

Overall, the results seem pretty obvious - Calgarians would ride more if they felt safer, Calgarians want to cycle for transportation more often, and there are a lot of cyclists who are currently riding everyday.

So, giddy-up Calgary City Council - the ball is in your court!


Anonymous said...

Montreal has made massive changes to make cycling better in the last 4 years. Hopefully we can follow suit as quickly!

Anonymous said...

The issue with safe bike lanes is that there is no maintenance/repair happening to existing pathways... ie. nose creek pathways. Still broken asphalt requiring a mountain bike, lanes still too narrow for safe use by cyclists, still no fast cycling lanes to get through the city thus forcing cyclists to use ring roads etc with traffic cutting them off at every exit. It seems that once pathways are made, they are abandoned by the city.
Had the city applied a little common sense we would have had bicycle lanes in the median of
Deerfoot and other divided highways thus offering cyclists separation from reckless drivers.
The main people who should be willing to put money towards cycling facilities are bike shops. Make facilities happen and you'll sell more product each year. Wasting money on advertising is a thing of the past for the cycling industry. If people don't feel safe cycling in Calgary, they won't buy bicycles!
As far as using transit... twice as slow as a bicycle and very stressful being squeezed into a moving box of smelly people every day. Cycling is a better alternative for most people. Make it happen!

BikeBike said...

@Anon Feb 2 - thanks for your perspective however I must disagree with your view that bike shops should fund bike infrastructure. I am not sure if you have noticed but most bike shops are pretty small operations and have a hard enough time making ends meet - the idea that somehow our industry should actually pay for bike infrastructure is akin to asking car companies to build roads or for hockey shops to build arenas. Not going to happen and not economically possible. I will say this, bike shops should be more active in advocay/community and the bike industry at large needs to work harder at getting our voices heard at provincial and federal levels of governmant.