Aug 13, 2009

Hypocracy on the Pathways?

the calgary herald has an article in the paper today about speed enforcement on the pathways.

why hypocracy?

simple. the city has been actively encouraging calgarians to get out of their cars and to try and find other ways to commute to work - including cycling - and invariably, many of these cycle commuters end up on the regional pathway network because calgary lacks a connected network of crosstown, on-street bikeways that are safe, well signed, and maintained.

the problem is that the speed limit on the pathways is 20kph - and 10kph in many other areas - and any reasonably fit person can cycle at 25-35kph without much difficulty - possibly resulting in a speeding ticket from bylaw bill.

so, from the saddle of this guys bike, calgary bylaws seem to unfairly targeting cyclists on the pathways. i have never seen an irresponsible dog owner or clueless pedestrian receiving a ticket, or even a warning - yet bylaws feels that cyclists are the user-group that needs to be punished more than any other.

i guess what i am getting at is this - bylaw bill would not need to worry so much about speeding cyclists on the pathways if there was a well signed and maintained city-wide network of on-street bikeways (pained bike lanes) with route-finding signage. if we had such a network, people could travel from all over the city on a direct road network and maybe never need to be on the recreational pathways during their commute.

less cyclists on the pathway = less conflicts with slower user-groups.

what is this city waiting for?

calgary has arguably the biggest "network" (term used loosely) of pathways (and some on-street bikeways) in north america yet this "network" is not yet connected to itself in so many places, making use of this "network" becomes an exercise in route-finding, map-reading, and urban exploration. all of that is fine on the weekend, not so fine when you are trying to get to work on time.

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