September – Councillor Druh Farrell’s Report

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Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian safety and cut-through traffic are top issues for Ward 7 communities. Most older neighbourhoods were built on grid networks, where streets connect at right angles with frequent intersections. The grid makes our communities easy to navigate by foot and by bike, but it also makes them easier to shortcut through, given that multiple routes can be taken to reach a destination. While communities that have “loop and lollypop” streets experience less cut-through traffic, they work poorly for walking and cycling. Both types of Calgary communities have their challenges, which is why we need a wide-reaching approach to make Calgary a better city for walking.

The City’s new Step Forward pedestrian strategy is a long-term plan to improve the safety, accessibility, and desirability of walking in Calgary. The strategy includes 49 actions which were shaped by input from thousands of Calgarians. To learn more about Step Forward, visit: www.Calgary.ca/StepForward

The world is also taking notice of Calgary’s plan to become a more walkable city. In September, we will play host to the International Walk21 Conference. Previously hosted in global cities like Hong Kong, London, and New York, it is an honour to sponsor this prestigious conference in partnership with the University of Calgary. It comes as a direct result of Calgary’s work to shift from a city known for its auto-dependent sprawl, to a city that offers real transportation choice. Delegates will include walkability experts from around the world. To learn more about Walk21 and how you can participate, visit www.Walk21.com

As Step Forward rolls out, and as we celebrate Walk21 in Calgary, you can take action today to improve walkability and street safety in your community.

Many communities apply for community traffic studies to identify ways to redesign residential streets to prioritise walking, slow down traffic, and discourage cut through traffic. Due to high demand, a thorough traffic study can take time to complete. Sometimes what is needed is a quick, temporary, and inexpensive way to address concerns. That is why Council supported my motion to create the ActivateYYC microgrants. Communities can apply for grants to fund “temporary local projects and events that motivate Calgarians to walk, play and be neighbourly.” For details, visit www.CalgaryCommunities.com/ActivateYYC

If your community is interested in a community traffic study, residents should work with the local community association to generate broad support for a study. To learn more about how to apply for a community traffic study, visit www.Calgary.ca and search for “Community Traffic Concerns”.

Let’s foster healthier and more vibrant neighbourhoods by working together to make walking safer, more accessible, and more desirable.

To sign up for updates on key community and Ward 7 issues, please visit www.DruhFarrell.ca.

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