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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

who's walking, cycling, or using public transit?

The good folks over at Pundits' Guide have used recently released numbers from Statistics Canada's 2006 Census to put together a fancy list of the Top 10 Canadian ridings where people cycle or walk to work. I've taken a look at the StatsCan data and have put together a list for Alberta's two largest urban areas (but in a dramatic turn of events, I have included public transit, as well as walking or cycling):

Ridings having the highest percentages of walking, cycling, or using public transit to the person's usual place of work:

Calgary Centre - 29,305 - 24.4%
Edmonton Centre - 20,490 - 16.5%
Calgary Centre-North - 20,715 - 16.2%
Calgary-Nose Hill - 12,595 - 12.7%
Edmonton-Strathcona - 16,430 - 12.5%
Calgary Northeast - 13,125 - 11.6%
Calgary West - 14,560 - 11.5%
Edmonton East - 12,930 - 11.3%
Calgary Southwest - 14,370 - 11.1%
Calgary East - 12,080 - 10.3%
Calgary Southeast - 11,180 - 9.5%
Edmonton-Sherwood Park - 7,670 - 6.1%
Edmonton-Leduc - 6,550 - 5.9%
Edmonton-Mill Woods-Beaumont - 7,320 - 5.7%
Edmonton-St. Albert - 7,350 - 5.6%
Edmonton-Spruce Grove - 6,365 - 5.3%

It's no surprise that people living in the urban cores are more likely to walk, cycle, or use public transit to travel to work, but keep in mind that the numbers are probably a little skewed because 1) five of Edmonton ridings include rural and surrounding communities (which suffer from a lack of regional transit service), and 2) Calgary gets points for having an arguably more effective transit and LRT system, but it's an interesting look none-the-less.


Anonymous said...

The expansion of the LRT line in Edmonton should help boost numbers in Edmonton-Leduc and Mill Woods-Beaumont.

If anyone has read Scott McKeen's column the "Alberta Alberta Advantage wasn't a Myth - it was a Lie" will get why municipalities are so far behind the ball. Blame Bill Smith, Jean Chretien, Paul Martin, and Ralph Klein. Dumb politicians.

ryan said...

Interesting list dave. With the U-Pass (!!) and South LRT expansion these numbers are likely up in Edmonton from 2006.

daveberta said...

Anon: While I do think that McKeen raises a lot of valid points (and I do agree that the municipal level is where the real action is, and is the level of government that has had to be the most innovative in the face of downloading and cutbacks from the prov and fed governments), I disagree with name calling.

Smith, Chretien, Martin, and Klein may have been short-sighted in their fiscal decision making (especially when it came to cut backs in public infrastructure maintenance), but I don't believe that they were "dumb."

kp said...

McKeen's article is good and it is derived from a report released by the Canada West Foundation which can be found here.

The purpose of the study was to identify potential solutions for the City of Edmonton in reducing the shortfall in funding for building and maintaining infrastructure.

The paper argues that Edmonton will not be able to address its infrastructure funding issue in a meaningful way given the financial tools currently at its disposal. The great majority of Edmonton’s infrastructure funding gap is in tax-supported infrastructure, but the City is singularly dependent on the property tax, which does not produce revenues that grow in tandem with the broader economy.

The author of the report Casey G. Vander Ploeg arguest that “It is simply unreasonable to expect the City of Edmonton to effectively meet the infrastructure challenge if it remains so singularly dependent on the property tax. The infrastructure funding challenge facing Edmonton, and indeed all Canadian cities, constitutes a powerful argument for new directions and an expanded set of financing and funding tools,”

Cities are now responsible for so much yet exist at the whim of the province but regardless of this McKeen points out that from 1990 to 2007, Edmonton's tax revenues only rose by 5.7 per cent in real value, factoring in population growth and inflation. During those same years, provincial tax revenue - not including oil and gas revenues - grew by almost 50 per cent. Or, as McKeen put it: ...instead of helping its struggling municipalities, the province refused to increase year-to-year funding in any substantive way.

Vander Ploeg estimated Edmonton in 2007 would have received $225 million in additional provincial funding if the ratio of grants to gross domestic product remained the same as in 1992. Simply put, the Alberta government became filthy rich over the subsequent years. At the same time, it let cities in Alberta, including the capital city, starve."

Ralph Klein vainly eliminated the provincial debt on the backs of cities.

Anonymous said...

And I'm certain that spending $156 million to build a 650 car parkade underneath the Legislature grounds and the Federal building will do wonders to increase these numbers.

Anonymous said...

The CWF report outlines the ramifications of the short-sighted fiscal policies of the 1990s. The age of Dinning and Martin cutbacks are direct results of what we were asking for in the 1990s and they showed this by who they voted for. Did they make mistakes? Yes. People and politicians wanted balanced budgets and cutbacks immediately at whatever the cost. Did people think about what this would mean in 2008? Absolutely not.

The costs we are paying now are the costs of not properly maintaining public infrastructure. It fell apart and now we have to pay triple, quad, or quintuple to replace roads, schools, colleges, universities, and hospitals that we weren't taking responsible care of. Financial projections became more important than community, rather than a balance.

We have an opportunity to regain what we had responsibly. Our cities are doing it and they should get the support they need to bring our infrastructure back to par.

calgarygrit said...

Nunavut is number 1?

Anonymous said...

Towns in Nunavut is smaller and people can walk.

in transit said...

The main editorial in today's Edmonton Journal:

Cities must benefit from transit plan

Let's take a closer look at the $2 billion that Premier Ed Stelmach designated for public transit projects last week.

Edmonton and Calgary are both getting their hopes up for a share of the cash for badly needed expansions to their LRT systems -- as well they should. Both cities have waited a long time for some signal that the cash-rich province is willing to support expensive LRT lines that are crucial to managing the rapid growth of recent years.

Anonymous said...

Neat. I live in the 24% riding! Go Calgary Centre!