According to a new article from CBC, when we look at the numbers, dollars spent on cycling/pedestrian infrastructure is money well spent for the results received. More people with more choices to choose from on how they get around seems like a great idea, in my opinion, in city planning and distribution of transportation budget funds. Results such as healthier community members, connecting green spaces for families and kids to play and art to be displayed welcoming residents and visitors alike to get outside and enjoy this amazing city. Smart, right?
Well, not everyone sees it this way. Point being - there is a local special interest group called Common Sense Calgary where the group's leader, Stephanie Kusie, is quoted as saying, in relation to cycling/pedestrian infrastructure funding/planning:
"I especially find it frustrating" she writes "that much of city planning seems to focus around an infrastructure and lifestyle that is an exception and not the norm in Calgary."
Umm... yes, I do understand that as a motor vehicle owner/user, who likely drives more often than using any other mode of transportation available to her, seeing headlines indicating more infrastructure and City dollars being allocated to anything other that roads and bridges for cars and trucks would likely be a bit "frustrating". However, does she also understand that we live in an amazingly diverse and exciting city that is only made better by making way for transportation alternatives that should not only not be called "alternatives" but also are the exact means to make the roads more user friendly for the motorized vehicle users?
Also, when did walking, running or riding a bike become "not the norm"? Why do we even have to have a "bike culture"? Is it not common sense that by linking communities with pathways and cycling/pedestrian bridges we will actually bring the city closer together as a community?
Motor vehicles are absolutely necessary in a city with such sprawl such as Calgary and by helping its citizens have choices in how they get around by allocating just 6% of the City's 10-year planned transportation budget is smart on too many accounts to argue - of course, this is in my opinion.
We are so very lucky in Calgary to have many transportation choices including an excellent and expanding pathway network. By continuing to allocate transportation budget funds to entice Calgarians outside of their homes and vehicles to enjoy their neighbourhoods and surrounding communities we can continue growing as an awesome city.