HELP NEEDED: Save the Cycle Track Network!

Please read my response at the bottom of this article. 🚴<{===

Begin forwarded message:

From: Calgarians for Cycle Tracks <info>
Date: 22 November, 2016 23:21:29 MST
Subject: HELP NEEDED: Save the Cycle Track Network!



The Cycle Track Network pilot was opened in June of 2015 and has been a huge success. But the pilot is now officially over and City Council will soon decide whether to make it permanent or scrap it altogether.

We’re thrilled with just how much of a success the cycle track network has been:

We need your help to ensure that the cycle track network is not scrapped by City Council!

Please consider helping us in two ways:

1) Email City Council and tell them why you support making the cycle track network permanent. Click this link or copy and paste the list of addresses at the bottom of this message into your email.

2) Speak in support of the cycle track network at the Transportation & Transit Committee Meeting at City Hall on Thursday, December 8. See our Facebook Event for more details and to RSVP.

Thank you for your support.


Calgarians for Cycle Tracks

You can click this easy link or copy and paste the following addresses into your email to City Council.

Ward Sutherland <ward.sutherland>; Joe Magliocca <joe.magliocca>; Jim Stevenson <jim.stevenson>; Sean Chu <sean.chu>; Ray Jones <ray.jones>; Richard Pootmans <richard.pootmans>; Druh Farrell <druh.farrell>; Evan Woolley <evan.woolley>; Gian-Carlo Carra <gian-carlo.carra>; Brian Pincott <brian.pincott>; Andre Chabot <andre.chabot>; Shane Keating <shane.keating>; Diane Colley-Urquhart <diane.colley-urquhart>; Peter Demong <peter.demong>; Mayor Nenshi <themayor>

Calgarians for Cycle Tracks

Created with NationBuilder, the essential toolkit for leaders.

🚴<{===The value of good city planning is not people fearing for their lives if they aren’t wrapped in a steel cage at all times, it is parents and children being safe enough to enjoy going anywhere in Calgary without fearing they’ll die on the roads.

The easiest and most inexpensive way to convince people to spend money downtown is to take away that fear of road fatalities. People will spend more money in places where they don’t feel threatened, places that they can access more quickly by bike than walking or driving.

Exercise makes people hungry and thirsty. The money saved by not having to pay for expensive transportation options frees up money for local businesses and shopping.

Calgary has tried to re-infuse life back into downtown with high parking fees, expensive transportation, and abandoning pathways to winter. It hasn’t worked.

All of my trips downtown are over 30 kilometres by bike on pathways, especially during the Winter Bike to Work day at Eau Claire every second Friday in February (during winter).

The high speed limits through the downtown core are terrifying for drivers. There is not enough time to take in everything that is going on… looking for parking, looking for a business, watching out for pedestrians, swerving to avoid bad drivers who make 3 turn lanes out of 1 or 2 lanes. We have turned driving downtown into a rat run nightmare, a task that is at the very least so unappealing that drivers will even cut off buses that signal lane changes. If drivers do this to buses, they are even more disposed to doing worse to pedestrians and cyclists. The only way to bring a balance of safety for all users and quick access to downtown is via cycle tracks and pathways.

There is no more room to build streets downtown without tearing down buildings. We have built ourselves into a corner. The best we can do now is to use that space more efficiently… parking 12 bikes to each parking space, promoting more pedestrian access over the average of 1 person per car. If we do not do this, we are limiting the number of people who will spend time and spend money downtown.

For those of us living in the suburbs, we are denied access to downtown cycletracks in the winter by threats of liability from Calgary Parks for clearing snow off pathways.

Some of us are trying to undo the damage of expecting city hall to solve all of our transportation problems. There is less liability when pathways are plowed and there is not enough money to plow them all. So when snow angels take their time to protect the city from liability issues from iced over pathways that people have to use every day, it should not be misconstrued as a criminal act to keep those expensive pathways in safe condition and in use all year long.

Any business where you can grow productivity by 40% in one year is genius. Given a few more years, much of the remaining untapped potential will be realized.



Introduction to Bicycle Snow Plowing

Time and again, I keep coming back to bicycle snowplowing as a mode of transportation that produces the most good for the least investment. So, I wrote a book about it which is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and about 35,000 other book outlets as well as an earlier ebook version at

Writing the new book version was an immense task that occupied years of my life. Summer days were spent all day writing when I’d rather have been out bicycle touring or camping.

When winter came, there was the blogging and recording plowing sessions, sharing my discoveries and overcoming personal challenges. There was also the commitment and perseverance to join a growing number of bicycle plowers who changed Calgary for the better.

We don’t often consider cycling and winter to be mutually compatible ideas, let alone plowing snow with bicycles. It was quite the revelation to realize how well bicycle plows worked. My concerns had more to do with figuring out how to do it than whether it was feasible.

The experiences continue to improve since plowing in 2014. We had quite a bit of snow that year! You could say that plowing altered a lot of my perceptions about what is possible from that moment on.

Plowing wasn’t just about cycling advocacy, it was about breaking down outmoded ideas about that cycling advocacy can’t include people who don’t cycle.

We often think that cycling advocacy is all about what cyclists want. It turned out that cycling advocacy is more about what cyclists can give back to their communities, thereby breaking down opposition to cycling as year round transportation.

On December 15th at the Country Hills Library in Calgary from 7-830pm I will be presenting information and doing questions and answers.

I strongly believe that the way to better cycling infrastructure in cities is through supporting cycling all winter long and showing that bicycle plows can do as good as city snowplows.