Walking and cycling as a means to commute has grown in the last five years among Calgarians, with cycling in winter becoming highly popular.
Calgary came from being a car-only city centre to one that accommodates many commuters biking to-and-around the downtown core.
Noting the rise in cyclists, the city has cleared the snow on bike lanes before getting to the main routes, in part due to statistics showing that Calgary has had a rise in cycling to work in the last five years.
City statistics show that cycle commuting declines in winter.
But each year, it grows compared to the previous year. Bikecalgary.org states this may be due to the research being taken in variable conditions.
Calgary went from having cycling being discouraged in the winter to encouraged in a five-year span.
At the University of Calgary (U of C) 20 students attended a recent event to talk and spread awareness about cycling in the city.
Tom Babin led the event as he discussed about how he started winter cycling and how it caught on in Calgary and around the world.
“I think most cities until now have not been able to run bike share systems,” Babin said.
Bike-sharing is coming to Calgary and will be accessible, and affordable for most residents.
In cities that already have an existing bike-sharing infrastructure, such as New York, bike-shares have a start-up fee and then you pay every time you take a bike.
“Bike-sharing has only been in North America for six months,” Babin said.
A key bidder for Calgary’s bike sharing program is Dockless, a company that doesn’t have much infrastructure to add, making it cost effective for Calgarians.
Dockless makes it so a rider can pick up and leave a bike anywhere in the city, much like Car2Go.
However, the company does acknowledge that this may lead to some people putting the bikes in places that are less than ideal to retrieve them from.
Bike sharing has only been in North America for six months. – Tom Babin
Some Calgarians, however, have doubts about bike-sharing programs.
James Tees thinks that it can be a good idea for most of the cyclists, though Tees isn’t convinced himself, as he has his own bike.
“I don’t think it’s for me, just knowing someone else has been using the same bike [that I’ve] been [riding],” Tees said.
Though Tees isn’t enthused about the idea he hopes it would get people out of their houses for the sake of recreation.