Please fill out the Alberta government's online survey about the City Charters!
Important new legislative powers are being given to the City of Calgary through a new legal framework called the City Charter. Calgary's legal powers are given to it by the province through the Municipal Government Act, but this "City Charter" will be the first time the province has created such a framework to extend special authority to Calgary and Edmonton to govern themselves a little differently than other municipalities in the province. Calgary and Edmonton are the only beneficiaries of this legislation at this time.
This is the first time this type of legislation has been created so it's not clear how often the province will allow for any changes. That means it's really important that we get it right. The opportunity to change this legislation might not come up again for years.
It's also important to note that this City Charter merely gives Calgary the option of changing our laws. So, if you believe Calgarians are better at determining our laws than the province is, you should be advocating for lots of power in the City Charter.
The government does a pretty good job of explaining the process and engagement on this page.
The interesting part is found here in this 3 page excerpt: Variations to the Traffic Safety Act document.
13.1(1) Despite anything to the contrary in this Act or the regulations, the council may make bylaws in respect of the following matters:
(a) the use of cross bike treatments, particularly when cyclists are exiting multi-use pathways and entering a highway;
(b) the use of cycle tracks on the left side of a highway beyond providing space for left turns;
(c) the use of separate hand signals for cyclists;
(d) signage requirements in respect of cyclists;
(e) requirements for drivers to allow adequate space for cyclists;
(f) parking adjacent to painted curbs.
Beyond that, there are a few other relevant changes proposed:
Section 106.1(1) will allow Calgary to set blanket speed limits within certain areas of the city (for example 30 km/h in the Beltline)
Section 46(1) will allow Calgary to specify back-in angle parking which has many safety benefits.
So with those proposed changes in mind, please take the opportunity to fill out the Alberta government's online survey about the proposed city charger changes. The "Smarter Community Planning" section will allow you to make comments about these changes in particular.
Importantly, we should be asking ourselves - what powers are missing from this proposed list? What powers would we like to see delegated to the city to make biking in Calgary better? Please share your thoughts with the province and also with us here on this post!