Active Transportation is about getting around by using your own steam, be that walking, biking, and even transit. It may seem strange that transit is in that same mix, but since there are usually fairly significant portions of a trip that are spent walking (be that to a transit stop or to your destination after you leave transit), it often qualifies under the active transportation umbrella. These travel options also happen to be more sustainable since they require fewer resources to get from A to B and also require less capital investment from the City in order to be accommodated. The City of Calgary’s Sustainability Triangle illustrates the progression of sustainable transportation modes.
Planning for active transportation is about having options. The problem is that we haven’t designed our cities with walkability in mind, meaning that we haven’t designed our cities so that short trips can occur. Nowadays progressive city builders (urban designers, transportation engineers and land use planners) consider short trips as a key indicator of a sustainable and vibrant urban fabric. As with life, a specialized tool kit is necessary, meaning that getting around our city requires walking, biking, driving and utilizing transit.
The City of Calgary has an overarching guiding policy to ensure that our city is built to allow for choices. Making sure that we as a community are focused on creating an environment that invites a number of modes, is important in ensuring our communities remain or become more connected.
Ryan Martinson M.Eng., P.Eng. is a Sustainable Calgary board member and sits on the Active Neighbourhoods steering committee. Check back for upcoming information on his neighbourhood walk and talks in June.