Improved neighbourhood streets inspires Calgary family's bike train to school

North Hill Bike Train 2All aboard! At 7:04 a.m., the text message call-out goes to families in the North Hill community, confirming who will be riding the bike train when it leaves the station.

Sarah, a mom of three, started the bike train to bring the neighbourhood kids together and get them to school in a fun and active way.

“I let the parents know when we are leaving and kids filter in on their bikes from different streets along the route,” says Sarah. “It gives them an opportunity to chat with their friends and get their bodies moving before they sit at a desk all day.”

The North Hill area was recently improved as part of the Neighbourhood Streets program and the Established Area Growth and Change Strategy. The goal is to create streets where neighbours of all ages and abilities can connect and have access to safe, comfortable travel options. Small changes like speed humps, traffic divertors and traffic calming curbs, help to increase pedestrian and school safety.

“Safe streets help to build stronger communities,” says Terry Wong, Ward 7 Councillor. “I am thrilled to see North Hill residents of all ages get outside and connect with each other. Giving Calgarian youth more active commuting opportunities may help to promote life-long healthy habits, reduce stress levels, and get folks out to explore their own backyards.”

Sarah says having safer neighbourhood streets makes it easier for her kids to have a bit more independence as they get older.

“I’m thankful to have routes nearby that are thoughtful places for pedestrians,” she says. “It’s so important that we build communities where our kids feel safe.”

Street enhancements made in North Hill helped pilot the new Neighbourhood Streets Policy, which replaces Calgary’s outdated Traffic Calming Policy from 2003. The pilot communities worked with The City to identify their needs and test out new solutions.

Now approved, the new policy goes beyond speeding and shortcutting, to include things like accessibility improvements, street art and block parties. It describes the many ways The City, residents and partners work together to contribute to great neighbourhood streets.

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