Since its inception in 1968, the Calgary Parking Authority has had an important mandate to serve our community in the best way we can. This includes developing technological innovation, ensuring parking enforcement, generating revenue for projects undertaken by The City of Calgary, and facilitating public safety initiatives.
In 2018, the Calgary Parking Authority introduced the Sponsorship Program to continue building on this mandate. The goal of the program is to fund parking, transportation, or mobility related projects within Calgary that benefit members of the community.
The Sponsorship Program provides access to a pool of funding to help complete projects, build engaging community spaces and raise awareness of the outstanding groups and organizations that are contributing to the betterment of our city. In 2019, the CPA received 42 applications and was able to fund 19 of those projects, investing a total of $33,258 back into Calgary communities. The projects were innovative and diverse, ranging from neighbourhood scooter racks, a permanent supply box for a skateboard park, and funding a bus to transport seniors on their grocery shopping trips.
With its extensive pathway system shadowing the Bow and Elbow rivers and miles of recently created urban bike lanes, Calgary has one of the most extensive urban bikeway networks in North America. The City maintains over 980 km of regional pathways and 96 km of trails. Therefore, it’s no wonder that many of the Sponsorship Program entrants requested funding to support bike related projects. One of the more notable bike projects funded by the CPA Sponsorship Program is the Inglewood bike rack. Not only is it practical in nature and creative in aesthetic design, the bike rack project also helps foster a renewed sense of pride in one of Calgary’s oldest neighbourhoods.
The community of Inglewood sits in the shadow of downtown, across the river from the site of the original settlement of Fort Calgary. Steeped in history, this neighbourhood of heritage homes, quaint boutiques, and locally owned restaurants has gone through a regentrification over the past few decades to become a trendy postal code. Located along the Bow River, with the Calgary Zoo for a neighbour and easy access to Stampede Park, biking is a popular option for weekend visitors, a natural choice for area residents, and an efficient option for downtown commuters. The addition of a bike rack not only provides relevant parking for the two wheelers but has added to the area’s aesthetic and promoted a sense of community identity and pride.
The Inglewood Business Improvement Area, or BIA as they are more commonly referred to, applied to the CPA’s Sponsorship Program to support their Project Bike Rack entry. The BIA wanted to creatively combine the practical need for secure bike storage with the esthetic appeal of public art. Mixing fun with function, the letters of the name Inglewood in large red iron structures line the sidewalk along 11th Street and 11th Avenue S.E. in support of a year-round safe storage bike rack. The bike rack is a component of a larger neighbourhood revitalization project driven by the Inglewood BIA that won recognition in the Community Initiatives category for the prestigious Mayor’s Urban Design Awards in 2019.
This permanent, structural reminder of the community’s namesake contributes a bold and colourful addition to the energy and vibrancy of this area. “It was rewarding to be on the Sponsorship Committee and play a role in awarding funds to these deserving groups of people,” shares Sidney Starkman, Planning and Development Analyst with the CPA. “I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about the work these organizations do, and it was really exciting to see the projects like the Inglewood bike rack come to life. It’s a fun landmark that reflects the vitality of this unique community and its residents.”
When the CPA decided to move toward a more customer focused approach and changed the name of its enforcement department to Parking Safety and Compliance (PSC), the team had no idea that its mandate would include not only parking safety and education but also lessons in local culture.
Prominently featuring the iconic Palliser Hotel and the Calgary Tower, that for decades defined the downtown skyline, 9th Avenue is cemented in the city’s history as a primary east-west thoroughfare.
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