Introducing Tom Thivener, Calgary’s New Cycling Coordinator


City of Calgary

Thivener only started his new job last Monday, but he’s already got some thoughts about where he’d like Calgary to go:

The first thing I’m going to do is try to learn, as much as possible, what are the barriers to bicycling, as seen from the cycling advocates, from staff, from the aldermen and their aides, and the general public. I think a lot of people have a lot of knowledge out there, and I want to learn from it.

It’s not all about building bike lanes. We need to build a network of bikeways that connect to each other.

We know we have a lot of great roadway infrastructure in place already, but we will need to make some modifications, to carve out some space for bicyclists,… to make it safe and attractive for bicycle users.

We’ve got to have better bike infrastructure in the downtown. It’s not enough just to unleash the bikes without new infrastructure.

Calgary’s weather is cold, but really it’s not that different from some of the Scandinavian cities, like Stockholm, where they have 10% bike ridership. They have great infrastructure, and they can overcome the weather.

The vast majority of cyclists [in Calgary]— about three fourths— are men…. The research shows that if you can get a lot of women biking, you will get a lot more men biking as well— and a lot more older people; a lot more younger people.

All the best!

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4 responses to “Introducing Tom Thivener, Calgary’s New Cycling Coordinator”

  1. randyhub says :

    Just loved all the palm tree cycling pictures… Not one picture of -30 cycling or the gridlocks along 11th St SE. No mention of the increased carbon emmisions from 11,000 daily commuters being forced from 4 lanes into 2 lanes in this Industrial area. Some many people impacted for so few, but at least we can clainm more new bike lanes even if they will always be for the most part unused like 11th St SE.

    • The Bike Route says :

      randyhub, thanks for your comment.

      If you’re interested in winter cycling, I encourage you to check out Tom Babin’s write-up on the winter cycling conference he attended a few months ago. (http://blogs.calgaryherald.com/2013/02/13/never-mind-the-plows-five-things-i-learned-from-the-worlds-most-bike-friendly-winter-city/) If you’re really keen, you may be happy to know that the next conference will be much closer to Calgary, in Winnipeg.

      I’m not familiar with 11 Street SE. I’ll see what I can find out about it.

      However, don’t forget that workers in industrial areas deserve a safe and comfortable choice to arrive at work by bicycle. I have heard about frustrations from employers at some of those industrial facilities that they can’t find enough people to work shifts, and transportation to work is a major consideration. For instance, new immigrants cannot afford a car (which is an expense of about $10,000 on average), and busses don’t run conveniently for those working overnight shifts.

      • Randyhub says :

        I have lots of photographs and dashcam videos showing 40 to 60 minutes of gridlocked traffic in summer as well as winter with maybe one or two cyclist using the route. Fact of the matter is 11,000 idling vehicles spewing pollution into our air is never going to be a good thing… Remember these new workers will take a bus before cycling from across the City but all one needs to do is canvas the businesses along 11th St SE to find out the real truth…. The flyers we are delivering will tell the real story here as far as the true impact to businesses. As well the videos and photographs do not lie. All we need to do is open up 1 additional southbound lane to ease the congestion for this Industrial area.

    • The Bike Route says :

      Hi randyhub, I’m afraid I wasn’t able to find much information about 11 St SE. It seems like a local issue I’m just not familiar with. I hope you’re able to reach a good solution.

      Cheers.

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