Red Deer is talking the talk, now we must walk the walk
Moving from single to multiple choices. Turning cost into profit for everyone. Creating choice in how we move around gives individuals the freedom to choose the mode they feel best suits each journey.
With choice we can find the most efficient, most enjoyable and most logical way to make each journey based on cost, time and personal preference.
The ability to choose the mode fit for purpose is what is lacking in Red Deer
There are very few options and this creates wasteful, inefficient and not necessarily enjoyable journey choices. If we have choice then we can base our decision on a combination of factors, such as time of year, recreation or saving cash. Not everyone drives a car. Children, the elderly and disabled have the right to independent mobility too, but a system that is based predominantly on the car excludes these people, and limits opportunity for transport as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Some Things to Consider
Walking is part of every journey we make regardless of mode. Even when driving we walk from where we park to our final destination. In Red Deer, even this can be difficult because the roadways are built primarily for cars.
Cycling could be the fastest and most convenient way to travel, with many secondary benefits to health and well-being. However to create this efficiency and feeling of comfort requires infrastructure and maintenance.
Using transit can be a cost effective and sociable way to travel comfortably, especially in winter. Public transit creates independence for those who don’t drive, generates public life in a city and decreases car congestion and traffic.
Driving is excellent for longer inter-city trips where other modes aren’t viable, when there are a group of people travelling or the weather really doesn’t permit being outside for long.
Climate is a factor in determining how we choose to make a trip - however it does not determine definitively the way we should make that journey.
Integrating recreation with mobility through the trails, extending the networks to serve both recreation, housing and city areas.
How to Grow
The length of time we are willing to spend travelling across the city using a number of modes should be a determining factor in how we let our cities grow. The cost of infrastructure is directly proportional to sprawl - the higher the density the cheaper to implement and improve infrastructure, and the more viable non-private car travel becomes.
Five-minute proximity to amenity is crucial in creating a sense of community, and giving the opportunity to create complete neighbourhoods with mixed mobility. Downtown Red Deer has a high ratio of amenities, but most neighbourhoods are very low.
Whether it is sharing a ride or a car with your whole community, new ways networked on and off line has facilitated new ways to come together as a community.
Want to know more about existing mobility opportunities and challenges?
Check out chapter two of the Mobility Playbook (pdf) .