How we get around is key to our quality of life
As Calgarians, getting around is a key component of our quality of life. Whether we’re heading to work, school, the supermarket, or the hockey rink, we all want to arrive safely and efficiently.
While there have been major new investments in Calgary’s transportation system elsewhere, Ward 4 has been mostly left out. We lost Stage 1 of the Green Line and the incumbent's record on improving safety and connectivity in Ward 4 communities is limited.
We need an informed advocate to start making actual progress on these issues. Here’s my plan.
Bring the Green Line further north on Centre Street, where it should have started
The Green Line LRT is a big step forward for Calgary's public transportation system, unfortunately Ward 4 communities will be missing out. This, despite the fact that our city planning department recognized the north central line as the top priority for years, well above a southeast line.
As it stands today, the Green Line will not go north of 16 Ave in Stage 1. Funding and timing for anything north of 16 Ave is unknown. Centre Street is Calgary's most heavily used bus corridor and it’s already over capacity. Without the Green Line, Ward 4 commuters will be left out in the cold and Centre Street will grow even more congested for years and maybe even decades to come.
And we can't simply expect that we'll get the next extension just because "it's our turn". We can expect there will be strong pressure to split the next phase between the north and the southeast. As your Councillor, I would continue my work as a community advocate for the north to fight to ensure the next communities serviced by the Green Line are those with the highest density and ridership, which in this case, is Ward 4 communities.
I will also work to build partnerships between the City and local developers to leverage investments in new developments so we can fund our extension of the Green Line sooner. Calgary needs an airport train link and there is tremendous opportunity to work with higher levels of government to bring the train north to provide rail access to Calgary’s airport sooner.
Build the long overdue intersection upgrades at John Laurie and McKnight
Plans for improvements from 2005 for the John Laurie and McKnight Boulevard intersection have yet to be escalated to the City’s priority list for construction.
In 2005 the city completed detailed design plans to smooth out this very sharp corner, while at the same time enabling safe access for traffic, cyclists and pedestrians from North Haven. However, progress on actually funding and building the upgrades has been stalled for years. Now is the time to prioritize this as part of an overall McKnight Boulevard traffic plan for residents headed to Deerfoot, the Airport and across the north.
Support cost-effective, city-wide BRT to speed up crosstown transit
Rendering of BRT station.
Our LRT system was designed to get people in and out of downtown, but many Calgarians work, live and play outside downtown. As a cost-effective supplement to the LRT system, the City of Calgary has been investing in Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes to serve Calgarians around the city and expand the reach of our rapid transit network.
I support the South West BRT, an important leg of the network that would provide access to Mount Royal University, Rockyview Hospital, Heritage Park, Glenmore Landing, Fish Creek Park, Deerfoot Meadows and Quarry Park in the south. MRU is the only post-secondary institution with no LRT service. Our students and all Ward 4 residents would benefit from the South West BRT. The current Ward 4 councillor opposes this key transit service.
The BRT network is important for Ward 4 residents looking to travel throughout the City more quickly and with fewer transfers. I will support building smart, cost-effective, efficient BRT projects that make our city more accessible.
Make our streets safer for people walking, biking, riding, and driving
Everyone deserves to get around our city safely, whether they're driving, taking transit, biking, or walking. Last year the city suffered a pedestrian-involved collision almost daily. 10 people died on our streets. Many people don't feel safe crossing the street or biking to the grocery store. We can and must do better.
You can also hear more from me on getting around safely with Newstalk 770. Go to September 27th at 5:12pm.
City of Calgary map showing high pedestrian collision areas, pedestrian fatalities and school locations.
Today, even though many of us live close enough to send our kids to school on foot or by bike, as parents we don't feel safe letting them. Our kids are missing out on the experience and physical exercise of walking or biking to school.
The City released a new Pedestrian Strategy that proposes a way forward for addressing safety on our streets with 50 recommendations with everything from better snow clearing on sidewalks to improved street lighting, mid-block crosswalks and better street design. However, the strategy has not been funded by City Council, meaning most of the recommendations and plans in the report will not be implemented.
If elected, I will fight to secure funding to properly implement the Pedestrian Strategy.