Photo credits: Thomas Thivener


Calgary is a city in the province of Alberta. It is situated at the confluence of the Bow River and the Elbow River in the south of the province. It is mostly flat but has the Canadian Rockies to the east. The city has mild summers and cold winters.

Like most North American cities, the car is the dominating mode of transportation in Calgary. The low modal split for cycling, gives an inclination that citizens still prefer other modes of transportation compared to the bicycle. Most of the cycling network in Calgary serve recreational purposes and the cycling paths do not form a consistent network. Nevertheless, Calgary has the legislative means to change the bicycle culture, as well as a dedicated budget. A comprehensive cycling network and creative marketing can motivate people to get out of the car and change from other transpotation modes to the bicycle.

Modal split of cycling: 1.9%
Average length of trips made within the city: 0

Calgary has a network of bicycle routes, and on street bicycle lanes, totalling 1032 kilometres. It is possible to buy groceries and other goods within a 5-kilometre radius, so the bicycle can be a solution for quick trips. The city has installed bicycle parking near the transit stations, business and the main public spaces. Bicycle sensors are also used extensively to count the number of cyclists in different parts of the city. A new bike sharing system is planned to be launched in 2018.
Cycling in Calgary is perceived as a recreational activity, and is not used for daily commuting. Children mostly go to school as a passenger in a car; and the share of female cyclists is relatively low. The bicycle shops mostly cater to the sports cyclists. Helmet use is also very high, although it is not mandated by law. This can be an indication of the use of bicycles for sport or the general perception of safety. Nevertheless, the city does have several cycling events every year to promote cycling. There is also mobility advice, like maps and safety information for citizens who want to start cycling. As well as, cycling education programs.
Orgware is a strong suit for the city. Cycling is integrated into the urban master plan. There is a dedicated budget for cycling; however small. There is an advocacy group present, and third parties are included in most decision making. The city is responsible for the construction of bicycle lanes and design guidelines are used for the infrastructure, which can provide continuity in the plans. By law, the land-use plan requires minimum bicycle parking requirements for specific types of developments.