A pedestrian strategy wants to make Calgary a better place for walking and is set to go before a city committee this month on January 20.
The plan, dubbed Step Forward: A Strategic Plan for Improving Walking in Calgary, focuses on four areas:
Shared via an online board, the strategy’s aims are to make Calgary more walkable all year-round, and its goal is to increase the number of people walking.
Out of 50 action items detailed in the plan there lies aims that will see immediate action (in 2016 to 2018) such as reducing the speed limit to 40 km/hr on residential roads, expanding safe and active routes to school programs, and build more things like street crossings, signals, and signs.
According to a consultation with the public during March to July 2015, the top issues of concern were street crossings, speed limit, and sidewalk conditions and repair.
In 2014, 208 pedestrians were hit and required hospitalization and medical care, according to the city’s plan notes.
Eventually, in around 2019 to 2020, the hope will be to launch a ‘Vision Zero’ Campaign, which focuses on reviewing each intersection to improve safety for pedestrians. The Vision Zero’s aim is to see zero pedestrian deaths in Calgary.
In total, $2.5 million annual operating budget is required for the short term strategy goals. In the future the strategy will require capital funding of $15 million to support pedestrian programs enough to make measurable progress on strategy actions. Currently, funding programs can contribute $4 million towards the strategy.
Framework for the plan has already been presented and approved by the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit on July 18, 2014. The next step occurs this month, when the final report will be presented to Council for approval.