Geography can segregate parts of cities. With Calgary, it’s often our urban highways

The roads, rails, and rivers that divide our city

Last week, I attended the Urban Affairs Book Club (find them on Facebook) to discuss the book Subdivided: City-Building in an Age of Hyper-Diversity. There was plenty of interesting discussion about culture, diversity, and immigration. I want to expand on some of those musings here. One recurring theme revolved around what cities can do to make newcomers feel welcome and join the “fabric of Canadian society”, however you’d like to interpret that. Canada has a long history of welcoming immigrants and refugees with

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Truly new modes of transportation are rare, but hyperloop might just fit the bill

The Calgary-Edmonton Hyperloop

I want to propose another pipeline for Alberta. Only this time, it’s for people. In 2013 Elon Musk proposed a “new” type of transportation system. I say “new” with quotations because the idea has been around for a while, but Musk has put his own, sensible spin on the situation to try and bring it to reality. He has called this system Hyperloop. Usually, the first time I explain Hyperloop to someone, they smile wistfully at the idea like I am

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Let’s take advantage of the beauty and efficiency of our city grid

Calgary Transit should embrace the grid

When I talk transportation with Calgary’s politicians, residents, and planners I will inevitably hear some form of the phrase “Calgary was designed for the car.” Upon hearing or saying that, many people shrug and give me a “what can you do?” look. I disagree with the sentiment on two levels. For one, cars are not to blame for how our city operates. The fact that 75% of trips in Calgary are made by car is not because neighbourhood planners gleefully plopped down

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Calgary’s now-permanent cycle infrastructure opens new doors of convenience

SoBi: Hamilton’s route to bike share success

By simple virtue of there being may cities in the world, most innovative transportation and urban planning ideas will not be new to Calgary. We can, and we should, learn from other cities around the world. While it is easy to insist that “Calgary is not Amsterdam”, or “Calgary is different”, the fact is that most cities face the same challenges of geometry and mobility. Solutions that work in other cities have promise in ours. Bike share systems are one of those innovative

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Some of our most valuable land is not being used to it’s real potential

Calgary’s downtown railway needs to serve Calgarians

There are a few things that almost every city in the world has in common. For example, cities are often situated on a river, lake, or ocean, both to provide a source of food and drink and to provide a built-in transportation option. In North America, in addition to rivers many towns and cities were and are built on a railway. As the railway companies pushed westward, towns developed around them for the same reason they do around water: railways were

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“Pass or fail” doesn’t work in transportation systems. Nuanced understanding does.

Cycle Tracks: When numbers and politics collide

It’s been quite an interesting week for Calgary’s cycle track pilot project. The December 8 Transportation and Transit meeting ended at 9:30pm without an official recommendation, leaving the project in limbo until Monday’s city council meeting. During that committee meeting, Peter McCaffrey, “Director of Research” from the conservative think tank Manning Centre, threw a frantic list of accusations at city officials, claiming that officials had changed their target numbers for the pilot project halfway through to make the targets easier

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Even predicting the near future is difficult, but could we be doing it better?

Digging into real time bus prediction

As a thank you for reading, I’m going to let you in on a not-so-well-guarded secret. If you are an even moderately frequent transit user in Calgary, you may be aware that Calgary Transit has an app. It turns out that their app is just a re-skinned and stripped down version of a wonderful transit app called, not surprisingly, TransitApp. So far as I can tell, TransitApp has all the features of the Calgary Transit version, and then some. There

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Arenas and large venues should embrace the power of transit

How Green Line can serve the Stampede

This week, the city’s Transportation and Transit Committee will hear about the work being done narrowing down the route the Green Line LRT will take through the Beltline. As it stands currently, the 12 Avenue corridor is looking the most promising. Much of the discussion about Green Line in the Beltline has been focused on the eastern portion, namely the section East of the McLeod Trail/1St. SE Couplet, up to the river. For reference, here’s a map of the suggested

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Safety breeds diversity, the network makes it useful.

Why Calgary’s cycle tracks are exceeding expectations

There are, in my mind, two key ingredients to a useful and popular transportation system of any mode: Diversity and connectivity. Today’s feature image on the left sent to Calgarians for Cycle Tracks really encapsulates this first ingredient. The cycle track, more than any other cycling infrastructure, draws people to it because it allows people of all ages, backgrounds, and confidence to travel in our city by bike. Our whole city should be a safe, healthy place for children (even after dark), because a

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Calgarians’ travel behaviour is reflected in Car2Go use and planning.

What Car2Go can teach us about Calgary

Car sharing services have been around for a long time, but when Car2Go arrived in Calgary its popularity and apparent success exploded almost immediately. Anywhere you go in the city core you see these iconic blue and white Smart Cars zipping by. If you are not familiar with Car2Go, the system is pretty simple: After you sign up, you can hop in any unoccupied car and drive anywhere inside a Home Area (see map below). You can leave your car in

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