Safe and Smooth - A Better Road Forward for Calgary
Do YOU want to be a part of an exciting event to help make the streets of Calgary Safer?
Safer Calgary is hosting TWO interactive and informative discussion sessions to address the future planning of streets and public transportation routes towards making travelling in Calgary a better experience for all users by increasing their options, making it safer and smoother for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.
Event 1 is 8:30 am to 4:30 pm – Lunch is included. Cost is $25.
This is a major event as a part of an ongoing project facilitated by Safer Calgary – we have partnered up with some University Students in Breda, Netherlands and challenged them to help us create a future design of spaces in Calgary that will encourage the use of multiple forms of transportation – bicycles, buses, light rapid transit and autos. We asked them to use their knowledge and creativity to develop a design for the future that could be used in the thinking the City will use when developing new spaces or redeveloping existing spaces and transportation corridors.
Event 2 is 7:30 – 9:00pm – Coffee , tea and snacks provided – Free!
A panel of experts plus the Breda students will present their ideas on how to make Calgary a safer place for all citizens to travel … and a smoother place to move around.
We have selected four winners from the excellent submissions by the whole class in Breda and we think you will be surprised and impressed with the ideas they have come up with….. the students who developed the winning concepts will be travelling to Calgary to present their ideas and receive feedback from the people of Calgary.
For more information please visit our website: www.safeandsmooth.com/index.php
Come for the day and stay for the evening or just pick one event to attend, but please participate! This is a unique opportunity for Calgarians to be involved in the plans for a Safer Calgary for the future.
Note: The March 22nd event originally planned for this same week has been postponed due to the unavailability of a key speaker…. Watch for further information on when the revised event is planned.
Background on the Safe and Smooth Project
Worldwide, injuries and deaths resulting from transportation are the leading cause of preventable harm. As significant a burden as this is, it is often treated as a fact of life and doesn’t merit the attention of less frequent but more spectacular problems like personal violence and war. One of the most remarkable aspects of this problem is that the solutions for preventing much of this tragedy are well understood. They just need to be implemented. The World Health Organization - starting last year - designated the next ten years as the ‘Decade of Action.’ Not the ‘Decade of Thinking About It’ or the ‘Decade of Awareness’ but ACTION to reduce the harm associated with roads and traffic. Calgary should be at the forefront of this effort. It won’t just reduce harm and tragedy, it will improve the quality of life in our city.
Locally, although the toll is not as high as it is in other parts of the world, it is still among the leading causes of preventable harm in our community. We shouldn’t be too smug though as this may be partly due to the fact that there is less interaction between cars and other users than there is in other places. Put another way, there are very few spaces in Calgary that are heavily traveled by other users and that is just one sign of what the auto age has left us. An age with other difficulties.
Mobility and the use of the automobile has become necessary for modern life but here have been steep costs. Costs reaching beyond the already mentioned toll in life and limb. It has altered our interaction with each other and the roots of our economic lives. It has contributed to losses of commercial diversity, increased costs to both the creation and maintenance of infrastructure. It has led to broad decreases in physical activity while increasing the volume of polluting emissions.
We know how to address these issues. Do we have the will and the imagination to start putting some changes in action? We think so. Calgary is a city of the future. A city creating itself before our very eyes every day. Moving people around safely and smoothly is a central theme in the story of this place.
Safer Calgary (a coalition of interested injury prevention parties) has arranged a collaboration with the NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands to kick off a program that will have the entire senior class in spatial/mobility design carry out projects with the Calgary as the single focus. They will consider work in four areas:
- Mixed mobility (pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles) use areas
- Cycling Infrastructure
- Transit-Oriented Development
- Suburban Renovation
The first two areas are targeted for rapid implementation while the second two areas are more concerned with helping plan into the near term future. The project will begin with an event on November 19, 2012 that will connect the participants in Calgary (including members of Transportation Planning at the City of Calgary as well as Environmental Design and Psychology researchers at the University of Calgary) in a live trans-Atlantic event.
The Safe and Smooth project will complete its first stage with a two day symposium in late March where a number of interested parties including The City of Calgary will work with the project results from the Netherlands and develop a plan for acting on the best initiatives. While the projects are underway and the students are interacting with people here in Calgary, Safer Calgary will be starting a conversation through their website and on Facebook. Encouraging citizen participation in this dialogue is critical
The subsequent steps will be actual implementation of prototype projects in the areas of Mixed Mobility and Cycling Infrastructure followed by influence on plans for Transit Oriented Development and Suburban planning. Safer Calgary will be measuring and reporting on all aspects of these steps while maintaining a conversation with interested parties and the citizens of Calgary. There are distinct stages to this project but it will remain a central theme of Safer Calgary’s work well into the future.
The project will accumulate a number of positive outcomes in terms of the way we work together as well as the changes to the way the city moves people around. Here is a summary of the key outcomes:
- A more complete understanding of transportation issues and their remedies
- New and effective coalitions of interested parties that can positively influence safer and smoother methods for people to get around in Calgary
- Prototyped changes in transportation organization that will lead to increased travel options, lower emissions and less risk of harm.
- New ways of moving around in the city that are both smoother and safer experiences
When & Where
With the goal of reducing both intentional and unintentional injuries in Calgary, Safer Calgary is an umbrella organization that coordinates safety promotion and violence prevention.
There are hundreds of organizations in Calgary that represent a cross-section of the local community networks and social structure of the city. Safer Calgary provides a network for these organizations.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Safe Communities Foundation (SCF) designated Calgary as a Safe Community in April 2003. Calgary can now participate on an international and national level in the WHO and SCF networks in order to share its safety promotion and injury reduction experiences and learn from others.