Common Sense Calgary calls on city to create 'motorist strategy'

calgary-roads.jpgA local advocacy group is calling on the city to develop a motorist strategy to deal with the concerns of Calgarians about traffic congestion — but is getting a lukewarm reception from the city's mayor.

Common Sense Calgary, a public policy group funded by the conservative Manning Centre, says city hall has strategies for transit, pedestrians and cyclists but no coordinated way of dealing with congestion.

The group cites the city's Citizen Satisfaction Survey, in which 26 per cent of respondents mention traffic, roads and infrastructure among their top concerns. 

The group's executive director, Stephanie Kusie, said the city's transportation plan may include millions of dollars in spending on roads and interchanges each year. But it's not working, she said.

"We need to see a plan that addresses Calgarians and their vehicles. This does not focus on vehicles. This does not focus on the motorist. It focuses on every type of mode but the vehicle," said Kusie. But Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the Calgary Transportation Plan will improve congestion and it's being followed.

The city's Citizen Satisfaction Survey found respondents felt that improving public transit would be the best way to improve transportation issues in Calgary.

"We have lots and lots of transportation engineers who work on this every single day, so if our friends from the Manning Centre and Common Sense Calgary have lots of smart transportation engineers with brilliant ideas, I'd love it," Nenshi said.

"If their answer is to build more roads and synchronize all the green lights, try again."

Common Sense Calgary receives funding from the Manning Centre as well as individual donors. It does not sell individual memberships.

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