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The 7 Day Pedestrian Challenge

I've created a series of walking routes that everyday folks can take to get a glimpse of what it's like to be car-less in Calgary. Ideally,  politicians/decision-makers would be required to, before making decisions that affect only pedestrians and cyclists.

Created after years of passive-aggressively storming around crosswalks, by blending my personal experience with Dustin Jones' research into the most dangerous intersections in the city of Calgary - based on pedestrian-vehicle accidents (see here). 

The Rules:
  • Walk one route per day 
  • Try to walk on a day that the temperature is below -10 (and snowing!), as inclement weather is a major factor in pedestrian-vehicle accidents, and may affect yours and others' behaviour. 
  • When you're safe to do so, record your findings, including other pedestrians behaviour, vehicles' behaviour, and near-misses. 
Route 1

This is an easy one. Hide your car keys, and head to the Calgary Transit website. Find the route from your home to your work, and take it. This route will be unique to each person, and will most definitely involve some walking. A $3 transit ride certainly beats $21 to park all day. No cheating - you must take transit home too!

Route 2

Have a friend drop you at the Greyhound station with a small bag; you're going to pretend you've just arrived here from another city. Unfortunately you don't have any change for the bus, and there's no ATM. Try walking from the Greyhound station, to the closest C-train station. Go!

Route 3

You have a meeting at the Currie Barracks in unit J2, and you don't have a car. No problem. You work at 17th ave and 14th st. and on a map, it looks like a breezy ride up Crowchild on a Calgary Transit bus. Starting at 17th ave and 14th st. walk up 17th ave. to the bus stop on Crowchild. Get off at the Currie Barracks and find unit J2.

Route 4

It's Friday - 4pm - and you're at The Deane House (beside Fort Calgary) for afternoon tea. You heard that Inglewood is a fantastic neighbourhood for local shopping. You want to visit Fair is Fair book store, Inglewood Art Supplies, Recordland, and then some antique shops. Starting at the Deane House, Cross 9th ave. to Fair is Fair (be sure to press the walk button - otherwise your signal will never come on). After Fair is Fair, head east to the next crosswalk and cross again to get to the art shop. Head east on 9th ave. until you reach Recordland. Flip through some 45s, and when you get bored after 2 or 3 hours, go outside and cross to the south side to go antiquing. Be careful of the red light runners at this time on a Friday and Happy antiquing!

Route 5

You're visiting your 29 year old daughter from Toronto. She's an engineer in the oil & gas industry in Calgary and you're so proud. Unfortunately there's no room in her condo for you, so you have to stay at the Holiday Inn on Macleod Trail. While she's at work you decided to walk up to the mall to do some shopping. Starting at the Holiday Inn on Macleod Trail and 42nd ave., take a walk up to Chinook Mall. You're pretty healthy for a 67 year old, but a little slower than you used to be. Slow down 50% when crossing Macleod Trail.  

Route 6

Now we head to Forest Lawn, where there's an array of international grocers you like to frequent. Unfortunately, they're a little spread out. Starting at Hong Kong Grocers at 3215 17th ave SE, head east. 17th ave or International Ave. has long stretched out blocks, which means a lot of space between lights. Try crossing at a few of the 'marked crosswalks' and check out all the stores you've meant to visit, but never made it out to. I promise you'll meet some interesting folks. Calgary's celebrated Chicken On The Way is on the strip, as is Cash Converters-that store from the 90s!

Alright, you're done!
How was it? Did you learn anything new?


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