Walking Safety a Top Concern in Calgary Neighbourhoods


Walking Safety

Following the 2017 Municipal Election, Councillors convened a roundtable discussion on the key issues they heard at the doors. Again and again, walking safety was a top concern across Calgary neighbourhoods. Calgarians of all ages and abilities deserve to be able to safely walk to work, school, and daily amenities.

As our children head back to school, walking safety will be top of mind for many Calgarians. Be sure to slow down in playground zones, be cautious in school drop-off areas, and watch for pedestrians of all ages throughout our city. Always drive with care and never drive while distracted.

The City is doing its part to improve walking safety through the approval of an award-winning pedestrian safety strategy called Step Forward. This robust strategy seeks to improve the safety, accessibility, and desirability of walking in Calgary. Unfortunately, the Council of the day was unwilling to fund Step Forward’s implementation.  As a result, the strategy has resulted in minimal improvements so far. During the four-year budget debate this fall, I will be pushing to fund Step Forward and boost the City’s commitment to safer streets.

Council also recently supported my motion to improve winter maintenance for walking. The City will now:

  • Clear all sidewalks adjacent to City property within 24 hours, bringing this in line with the timeframe for private property owners to clear adjacent sidewalks
  • Clear an additional 100 km of pathway, boosting the total clearing to 500 km
  • Plow windrows away from high priority wheelchair ramps
  • Introduce fines for those who repeatedly fail to clear adjacent sidewalks
  • Create an advisory panel to push for continuous snow clearing improvement, with particular focus on accessibility

Finally, this September, Council will debate what speed limit is appropriate for neighbourhood streets. The World Health Organization reports that pedestrians struck by automobiles travelling at 30 km/h are 90 per cent likely to survive. Survivability drops to 60 per cent when speeds increase to 40 km/h and below 20 per cent at 50km/h. Cities across the world, and as close as Airdrie, are improving safety by changing speed limits in areas where people live and where their children play.

To sign up for updates on the speed limit discussion and on key community issues, visit www.DruhFarrell.ca or www.Facebook.com/DruhFarrellCalgary