CBC The Homestretch & Calgary Pedestrian Strategy: Calgary’s Walkability
I chatted with the Homestretch host, Doug Dirks, this week about my new book. Calgary has just introduced a new pedestrian strategy (Calgary Herald story) so the interview went in that direction. Some of his questions:
Is Calgary walkable? Well, yes, it certainly is. The inner city neighbourhoods offer variety and connectivity. The parks in the suburbs offer wilderness tucked into suburbia. I love to walk, and I walk everywhere in Calgary, all of the time for various reasons. I chose to live in an area that has many services, in all directions. It also has the river trails system close by.
Could it be better for pedestrians? Yes, it could could be better.
How could the city make Calgary, or some parts of Calgary, more walkable?
- Crack down on distracted driving, bigger fines and lose points. Safety for pedestrians is a must.
- Sidewalks are critical in all areas.
- Cul de sac neighbourhoods are not walkable. The streets dead end meaning that walkers have to travel the main driving road to get anywhere. Retrofit cut throughs for pedestrians in these neighbourhoods.
- Work on the connectivity for walkers and cyclists so that they do not have to follow the road with the cars.
- Get away from BIG BOX store complexes. There areas are not friendly to walkers or to drivers.
- Re-zone for corner stores in all neighbourhoods. Add commercial zoning in various places in a neighbourhood to allow for a cafe, a restaurant or a bakery. People need something to walk to.
These are just some of the ways to make a community, a city, more walkable.