May 22, 2009

ADVOCATE IT AND PLAN IT

the city of calgary is holding open forums on their proposed Plan It policy for the city. if you have been paying attention to the local news you will know that there is alot of resistance coming from the "free market" crowd - the same crowd that has given us sprawling suburbs and brutal commutes. if you are merely curious or a supporter of the concepts and direction of this plan, make an effort to go to one of the open houses in your area and dont be afraid to give the "planners" your thoughts. there have been some critisisms leveled at Plan It for not having any "teeth" to enforce the policies outlined - however - i think it is better to have this plan approved by City Council as is - over not at all. Maybe once it is passed the "teeth" can be added?

on a separate, but similar, note - City Council voted on the Memorial Drive Sunday Parkway closure a couple weeks ago and thankfully it passed - although not without some grandstanding from Ald. McIvor and his pals on council. if you are not familiar with this issue - check this out for an idea of what is inspiring this closure. What i dont understand i why the alderman that are opposing this concept are choosing to make such a big deal about yet another road closure. roads are closed all over this city - all the time. stampede. lilac fest. marda gras. the list is endless. the only thing that makes sense is that these alderman (mcivor, chabot, dcu mainly) must have a grudge against the "lefties" on council - that would explain alot.

regardless, if you are in favour of more livable streets, safer roads, street parties, and a calgary that puts people ahead of cars - you should plan to come down to memorial drive on august 16th to enjoy the summer and your fellow calgarians. if the closure is deemed successful, there will be a push to expand the closure's length and add more days of closures in the coming years. see you there?

finally, my time on the BoD of Bike Calgary has been truly inspiring and i have this feeling that cycling for transportation in this city is going to continue to grow. through bike calgary i have met some incredibly passionate people who are fully commited to getting transportation cycling on the agenda at city hall. we (the BoD) have begun to foster good working relationships with the "lefties" on city council and they are listening to our concerns and are beginning to advocate for them. these city councillors are very important to our cause, but they cannot do it alone. they need us - all of us - to support them too.

supporting these initiatives is easy. write a letter to your alderman in support of plan it and/or the memorial closure. if you read the herald online, dont be afraid to leave comments of support for alternative transportation issues. ride your bike to work when you can. ride to the grocery store once and a while. SPEAK UP! anything and everything helps.

1 comment:

Crosius said...

The comments below the story about Calgary's "River Festival" road closure make for discouraging reading.

People (most of whom probably wouldn't be on that stretch of road at that time anyway) seem to be angrily opposed to _potential_ inconvenience to their driving. All of the opposing comments are completely ignorant of the similar, successful events that take place in other cities and make wildly inflated guesses about the cost of such an event.

General tone: "But it might interfere with my CAR!"

I've lived in Calgary for half my life and one thing I can tell you this city does not have is a live and let live philosophy. No matter what someone tries to do in this town, the majority would rather tear holes in it than participate (or even just permit it).

That should change. It _must_ change.
Events like this help.