Name a recent positive trend in walkable urbanism and Calgary’s politicians and planners are right on top of it. The city released their Complete Streets plan in 2014, forcing all new and retrofit road construction to be designed for safety and convenience for all traffic modes. While not yet reaching the standards required by Vision Zero Initiatives this plan was a great step forward and included actual bylaws to enforce the city’s vision.
Last month, Calgary followed up on their Complete Streets plan by releasing the new Pedestrian Strategy Report. This is a fantastic read on the current state of pedestrian-focused design in North America and lays out clear goals for Calgary to increase its walk share from 11.7% currently to 15% by 2025. The city will get there by first focusing on safety changes and small capital projects in the existing pedestrian network: mid-block crossings, lower residential speed limits and building sidewalk infill.
This plan is a great example for what our own city’s Growing Forward Active Transportation plan should look like and also serves as a great primer for getting up-to-date on the latest in walk-centered urbanism. Calgary has always been an aspirational model for Saskatoon, let’s follow their lead on making walkable urban design a priority.
Plus Calgary is building a fricking Circle Drive for trails!