I’m taking the 30 Days of Biking Pledge (30daysofbiking.com/pledge) this April, so I’m hoping for an early and pleasant spring. This month, I want to take the opportunity to share with you one of our most significant achievements to date with regards to turning our hopes into results. At the January 31st Strategic Meeting of Council, we dedicated funding (thanks largely to the $52 Million) for the first ten years of The Route Ahead (www.routeahead.ca). At the top of the priority list, which includes seven new transit lines for Calgary, are the Green Line (the combined Southeast (SETWAY) and North Central LRT lines) and the Central East line (connecting the communities of Greater Forest Lawn along 17th Avenue SE accessing downtown through Inglewood/Ramsay).
These lines are critical to the future of our City, because they’ll help move commuters who are currently underserved and they’ll also focus on Transit Oriented Development (TOD). This means that every station area will become a mini-downtown and when networked together along these lines, more of us will be able to contemplate a high-quality urban lifestyle that is, for the first time in Calgary’s modern history, not car-mandatory. Next month I plan to report on the amazing neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood impact these two lines, and our associated focus on TOD, will have on every Ward 9 Community. I cannot overstate how important it is to take the ten-year plan into the thirty-year vision as soon as possible. We are actively pursuing federal and provincial matching funds through the Building Canada Fund, the GreenTRIP, and Municipal Sustainability Initiative grants. I encourage you to share your support for the Green and Central East Lines with your federal and provincial representatives to help us secure the funding. Another great way to support this effort is to join LRT on the Green, a citizen movement working towards achieving the Green line. Please visit www.lrtonthegreen.ca.
While transit coupled with TOD is the most significant way that we can alleviate the traffic, environmental, and financial issues Calgary faces on account of our sprawl, another is through encouraging cycling as a viable alternative to motorized transportation. I’m excited to be championing some creative ideas around cycling. If you are interested in being up to date on either the Route Ahead or cycling, please contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 403.268.5330 to be added to our electronic mailing list.