It’s been a big week: Summer is finally here, my eldest turned nine and rode his bike to school on his own for the first time, and I’ve also had a chance to get outside and enjoy the warm weather during my walks to work as part of the Cool Commute Challenge. The Cool Commute is an annual campaign at Stantec that encourages employees to get out of their cars and into alternative modes of transportation throughout June!
When my wife and I were getting my son ready for his solo bike ride, we grilled him with the usual parenting questions: Do you have your helmet on? What side of the road will you ride on? Do you have your lock? Will you look both ways? Got your helmet on? (Okay, so we may have asked him that one about five times.) When he was finally ready to ride, I gave him a big hug.
His reaction to this was, “Dad, that’s not cool.”
I would have thought the same thing at nine years old.
As I looked at my wife, I could see a combination of nervousness and pride—her little boy was going off by himself. But he answered all of our questions correctly, so I was confident we did a great job training him on safety and I knew he’d be fine.
It’s this kind of life experience that helps put the Stantec promise to ‘design with community in mind’ into perspective. It seems that many of the studies and projects we’ve been working on lately have had a bicycle and pedestrian focus.
For example, our Ottawa transportation planning and traffic engineering is helping Ottawa become a more cycle-friendly city for our future generations through work on projects such as the Cambrian Road Environmental Assessment, where Stantec has developed a plan to transform a traditional four lane roadway into a community street complete with cycling track and multi-use paths—or even the St. Laurent Road Diet, where Stantec is converting an old five lane roadway with little traffic into one with cycling lanes.
It’s through cycling projects like these that I get to see firsthand the benefits to our community both personally and professionally. And it’s great knowing we’re helping kids get to school safely on their bikes so that, someday, they’ll be Cool Commuters too.
Submitted by Christopher Gordon