Introducing Tom Thivener, Calgary’s New Cycling Coordinator
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!