Bicycle Network Study for the City of Calgary
In 2011, the City of Calgary set a target of creating 30 kilometres of cycle tracks to provide Calgarians with improved mobility options. Mobycon cooperated with Canadian engineering firm Stantec to analyse transportation patterns and target groups in order to develop a comprehensive and inclusive cycling network.
In summer 2013, we traveled to Calgary to experience the city and meet the local community. Our impressions were very positive regarding the strong cycling culture, despite the car-dominated downtown. At that time, our advice for the city was to develop an activity-based network in partnership with key stakeholders, such as shopkeepers and schools. We also recommended Calgary work on the image of cycling, keeping in mind that a good bicycle network must be safe for everyone, including children and senior citizens.
In order to create a comprehensive and integral network, it is a necessity to get the big picture of what is really happening in terms of travel activities and patterns in Calgary: trip origins, destinations, purposes, modes and users. It is necessary to provide a network that can accommodate cycling trips from start to end. Homes, work places, shopping and leisure areas need to be connected in the most direct, comfortable and safest way possible.
To estimate the cycling potential of Calgary, Mobycon analyzed a set of origin-destination data and it was found that 85 percent of all trips in Calgary’s downtown core and surroundings are shorter than 7.5 kilometres (about 4.5 miles). With the current mode share for cycling at 2.5 percent, we believe a tremendous amount of daily trips can be shifted to cycling, provided a connected, accessible, direct, safe and enjoyable network is implemented.
In April, the city council will debate and vote on the design and implementation of the project. We believe that a network design based on inclusive principles will allow Calgary’s cycling culture to thrive.