Strong public transit is critical to Calgary becoming a world class city and public transit users must be heard.

Why Calgarians don’t love YYC transit

As many of Calgarians have already noticed, the last few years have launched a cultural battle over the soul of our city. And the canary in the coal mine? Public transit. Since I started chairing the #iloveyyctransit committee, I realize more than ever that Calgary is a city in the midst of a metamorphosis. CBC’s series “Calgary at a Crossroads” nervously discusses what Calgary is in an economic downturn, as if we previously were just a collection of jobs and

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Look at the telltale signs of people, they will tell you what the street needs.

Calgary’s hidden desire lines

There’s a wonderful urban planning principle that what we build for, we will get. The idea is if we build for cars and traffic, we will get cars and traffic. If we build for people, we will get people. The problem is that it’s sometimes difficult to figure out what exactly “building for people” looks like. People are behind the wheel of all those cars, after all, but they are also increasingly on foot, bicycle, and transit. The needs of cars have been studied extensively for many

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Future LRT alignment in Downtown and the Beltline sets the tone for the rest of the line.

Green Line: mobility tool or commuter service?

This week, the “Green Line Team” at the city announced their initial evaluations of the various options on the alignment of the Green Line LRT through downtown. The options include permutations of underground tunnels, bridges, surface routes, and elevated railways, and are beautifully presented on the City’s Engage website. As I was looking through the options and the discussion surrounding each of them, I was conflicted. Option D (the City’s current favourite) puts everything underground, appealing to my “do it right” sensibility.

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Entire BRT program is under-budget, reallocation of funds is part of the plan.

Clearing up Southwest BRT budget concerns

With a major City of Calgary transit committee meeting involving the Southwest BRT scheduled for April 20, I thought it might be useful to put on (virtual) paper some information regarding the budget for the BRT, since up to this point it has been hard to separate fact from fiction regarding the numbers quoted from the city and from other groups interested in the project. The points outlined in this short article come from direct discussion with city officials working on the project. As far

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Park and Ride goes directly against the goals of Calgary Transit.

No Park and Ride needed for BRT

I’ve been participating in the City of Calgary’s online discussion for the BRT, and there is much talk about park and ride, and why they are necessary to make the route a success. After all, they are in a large part the reason the LRT has such successful core-commuting ridership numbers, so they should be included in all new high-volume transit plans, right? First, let’s make it clear. From the city website: There are no plans to include Park and Rides

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It’s not about you – it’s about the percentages

Convenience Barriers

A lot of civic planning is predicated on the efficient use of resources from the public, to provide services to the public. Sometimes these services are direct, for example the ability to ride the C-Train instead of driving. Other times the service is indirect, such as a lack of congestion conferred by many riders who choose to take the C-Train. Every civic service has a cost, and the recovery of this cost is largely predicated on the number of citizens

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Sports mega-complex has little to offer, once the shine is removed.

CalgaryNEXT misses the mark

You’ve probably heard of CalgaryNEXT, the proposed $890 million mega sports and events complex proposed for the west end of downtown Calgary. Recently, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was part of an aggressive sales pitch to Calgary community leaders, in which he threatened that Calgary must embrace the plan or “face the consequences”. He has even gone so far as to state that “the future stability, viability and continuity of the Calgary Flames, and perhaps the city of Calgary, rests on

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City should not be trying to meet a ‘park quota’ in the inner city.

Focus on improving existing Beltline parks

I used to play a lot of Sim City. I remember the enjoyment I got out of watching buildings of all shapes and sizes spring up like plants in a well watered garden. As I played more and learned more about cities in the real world, I even started trying to mix zoning together as much as possible, and I enjoyed creating cities that looked like real places people would live, not just LEGO blocks of different zones pieced together. One thing

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New Urban Farm Partnership advocates for local food growth and productive use of City land.

Urban farming in Calgary

Last week I contacted Audrey Smith, a long time family friend and advocate of urban farming. She was kind enough to respond to my questions with an article length summary of what the New Urban Farm Partnerships (NUFP) is all about, as well as information about an upcoming film premiere “Cultivating Calgary’s Local Food Resiliency”. About NUFP Audrey Smith, Kate Stenson, Katie Husted and Patty Munkittrick are the team of food activists who have created New Urban Farm Partnerships in order to

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Infrastructure projects in Calgary may not be as evenly dispersed as we think.

Is there favouritism in Calgary’s four quadrants?

The city of Calgary has a capital infrastructure budget of $5.8 billion over a course of four-years from 2014-2018. The goal is to balance the infrastructure projects in all four quadrants of the city. Instead what I have found is that the southwest quadrant of Calgary seems to be more immersed in construction. The City of Calgary’s infrastructure plans show that the southwest currently has 17 projects while the northeast quadrant has only five projects underway. This imbalance makes me

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