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people.talking

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Oh wow, quite the cluster.

Just imagine if the whole Foothills complex was walkable or built along true rapid transit. It would look pretty similar except be more functional to more people, cheaper in time/money for staff and visitors to use, and have a significant reduced environmental footprint.
Imagine if 16th Avenue wasn't such a crap-shoot.

Aside from that one day I'm sure there will be a C-train line out west towards Bowness/COP and it will probably stop by here. But one can only hope.
 

CBBarnett

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Imagine if 16th Avenue wasn't such a crap-shoot.

Aside from that one day I'm sure there will be a C-train line out west towards Bowness/COP and it will probably stop by here. But one can only hope.
One day, in a distant future. To get anywhere close, I think we first need to stop building car-oriented things, in car-oriented locations at a car-oriented scale - especially big important things that last 50 or 100 years such as hospital towers.

Sure, there is a path-dependency because all the other hospital infrastructure already exists there, but we do have to stop missing our shots, we don't build $2B hospitals very often. The last time we built one placed it right in the middle of some fields in the SE to raise the value of some random greenfield tracts for more sprawling developments rather than next to the existing LRT line.
 

darwink

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One of the difficulties of relocating is that research hospitals end up with better outcomes when they are very close together. Where someone can go from teaching to research to patients in 15 minutes. One of the reasons why there were complaints about the two site option for the cancer centre.

An automated people move would solve the problem of building new facilities at McMahon for example, but if you’re building an APM from the LRT to Foothills via another site anyways why move unless you really need to.

At least $10 billion to rebuild elsewhere. Now- there are very limited rebuilding opportunities on the current site especially since the new parking went up where the first phase of the old hospital rebuilding plan was meant to be.
 

CBBarnett

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One of the difficulties of relocating is that research hospitals end up with better outcomes when they are very close together. Where someone can go from teaching to research to patients in 15 minutes. One of the reasons why there were complaints about the two site option for the cancer centre.

An automated people move would solve the problem of building new facilities at McMahon for example, but if you’re building an APM from the LRT to Foothills via another site anyways why move unless you really need to.

At least $10 billion to rebuild elsewhere. Now- there are very limited rebuilding opportunities on the current site especially since the new parking went up where the first phase of the old hospital rebuilding plan was meant to be.
Yeah that makes sense, a full relocation would never occur. I think the Foothills complex is a microcosm for all car-oriented design that is frustrating to change. It's a classic chicken-egg problem:
  1. We build the new hospital next to the old one for many good reasons (learning, research, infrastructure, site control etc.)
  2. Existing site and location was never very integrated or pedestrian-friendly, new project is saddled with the burdens of the old
    1. Even if it wanted to be more pedestrian-friendly, it can only do so much in a sea of anti-pedestrian design accumulated for decades.
    2. Land uses are out of whack nearby for such a major employment centre, so few could live in reasonable proximity anyways
    3. Hospital doesn't control the transportation network which has been continued to upgraded for decades to accommodate more hospital traffic, exclusively car infrastructure.
  3. Project design therefore discounts pedestrian, transit access and integration into the community because all other elements of the site already do and some parts are out of their control. All the contributors to the new design are informed by the old one, focusing on problems (e.g. we need more parking) rather than opportunities (e.g. we need more people to get here without driving). The value proposition for active transportation and transit is weakened compared to business as usual.
  4. More car-orientation follows as new hospital opens and the same issues repeat to inform the design of the next project.
I've had a lot of doctor friends come from other parts of the country as part of their practicums or research over the years and the thing that they are always surprised is that they need to purchase a car immediately when they start working due to all 4 hospitals being in the suburbs, none with good transit access (PLC get's half-points, but the walk between Rundle Station leaves a lot to be desired). I hope a continued push to enhance Orange MAX starts to chip away at this over the next decade, but it's telling a direct bus with rapid transit (potential) was only implemented in 2018. Of big cities, even Edmonton does hospital-transit integration, with a weaker overall transit system.

On another note, I would love a investigative journalism deep-dive into the site selection process for the South Health Campus from back in the 2000s. It appears as if a lot of people got rich off that decision, at the expense of having a more transit accessible hospital available at the end of the Red Line with similar "southern Alberta" accessibility, or whatever the official rationale was marketed as. Hell, much of the SE leg of the Green Line's justification uses the South Health Campus as the future major terminus. Imagine if we just built the hospital at Somerset Station from the beginning...
 

darwink

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The whole medical students and residents being surprised they need a car: this is not a unique Calgary thing. In small centres with only one large hospital it is different-even then smaller cities are sometimes left with a legacy of many spread out small hospitals. Perhaps in Montreal for english speaking trainees it is possible. Edmonton when their new line opens to Mill Woods will have mass transit to 3/4 hospitals, and in 6 years will have service to 4/4.

It is also a big difference for how AHS runs Alberta's system as a single system, whereas in other places it is common for every hospital to be functionally independent. One of the reasons Ontario's doctors have been a bit annoyed for years is the creation of things like Alberta's old regional health authorities, which they called Local Health Integration Networks, so hospitals could share resources and coordinate better instead of competing. And that means covering shifts in different locations. Which usually means having a car.

Most hospital workers are not doctors, and most only work at a single site. We don't need to design systems around the doctors.

TLDR: there are lots of reasons why Doctors need cars. We shouldn't focus on doctors, we should focus on others who work on the same site every day and will for years or decades.
 

CBBarnett

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Most hospital workers are not doctors, and most only work at a single site. We don't need to design systems around the doctors.

TLDR: there are lots of reasons why Doctors need cars. We shouldn't focus on doctors, we should focus on others who work on the same site every day and will for years or decades.
oh totally agree with you - the doctor example was just my first introduction years ago into considering how inaccessible our health facilities are to non-drivers. The thousands of other staff and patients are the far bigger audience and more relevant, including those more transportation cost-sensitive than doctors and a large population that doesn't drive at all. The good thing about improving transit accessibility to health facilities is that everyone benefits.
 

The Familia

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Just curious, but do people plan on skateboarding, biking, or walking to the hospital if they are hurt or need to bring a family member there?
"Hunny! I'm going into labour." "Ok sweetie, let me take the bicycles off of the garage wall..."
I am the biggest supporter of urban renewal, increasing downtown density, improving the pedestrian realm all over the inner city, and generally making Calgary the best city in the world with top of the line facilities in education, health, and entertainment. I also live in the suburbs and would never live downtown. I like having a giant yard, landscaping, privacy, and places for kids to play. I also like driving. Calgary will never be Rome. God knows we can improve in a lot of ways but I say we focus on the inner city. Suburbs will always exist and will only continue to grow. I think Calgary should grow into a city that does both well, suburbs and inner city.
Foothills is a hospital. People drive to hospitals. If we improve the inner connectivity of Foothills and redevelop the Stadium shopping center to provide that "urban node" of residential and retail, than I think we will have a winner. Just my two cents.
 

darwink

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On another note, I would love a investigative journalism deep-dive into the site selection process for the South Health Campus from back in the 2000s.
So ...

The province/Calgary Health Region owned 21 acres of land one block west of Macleod Trail at 162nd Avenue S.W. between the Calgary Co-op shopping centre to the east and CP Rail's tracks to the west. It was sold to Qualico in approximately 1994. It was originally supposed to house a hospital of an identical design of the PLC in the NE - the contracts to build them both were in the same tender but the south project was never put into action.

About half of this site:
1590511090484.png


By 2003 the 25 acre site at Deerfoot and 196th was purchased. I would bet that the site was purchased either around when the land above was sold, when the highway was announced, or as part of Alberta's very long term planning and reserving of land for public projects.
 
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darwink

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Just curious, but do people plan on skateboarding, biking, or walking to the hospital if they are hurt or need to bring a family member there?
"Hunny! I'm going into labour." "Ok sweetie, let me take the bicycles off of the garage wall..."
I am the biggest supporter of urban renewal, increasing downtown density, improving the pedestrian realm all over the inner city, and generally making Calgary the best city in the world with top of the line facilities in education, health, and entertainment. I also live in the suburbs and would never live downtown. I like having a giant yard, landscaping, privacy, and places for kids to play. I also like driving. Calgary will never be Rome. God knows we can improve in a lot of ways but I say we focus on the inner city. Suburbs will always exist and will only continue to grow. I think Calgary should grow into a city that does both well, suburbs and inner city.
Foothills is a hospital. People drive to hospitals. If we improve the inner connectivity of Foothills and redevelop the Stadium shopping center to provide that "urban node" of residential and retail, than I think we will have a winner. Just my two cents.
Patients are different that workers. Way more workers than patients+families. The focus on patients is like the opposite of the subway to the sea/airport transit planning fallacy 'I can see myself using it for occassional trips which are otherwise inconvienent therefor it is useful' -- 'I can't see myself using it, so therefor no one would'.
 
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CBBarnett

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So ...

The province/Calgary Health Region owned 21 acres of land one block west of Macleod Trail at 162nd Avenue S.W. between the Calgary Co-op shopping centre to the east and CP Rail's tracks to the west. It was sold to Qualico in approximately 1994. It was originally supposed to house a hospital of an identical design of the PLC in the NE - the contracts to build them both were in the same tender but the south project was never put into action.

About half of this site:
View attachment 247844

By 2003 the 25 acre site at Deerfoot and 196th was purchased. I would bet that the site was purchased either around when the land above was sold, when the highway was announced, or as part of Alberta's very long term planning and reserving of land for public projects.
Very interesting thanks for this. They were *so close* to efficiently locating a major trip-generating provincial public facility!

Stories like this always remind me of how amazing it is that two highly dependent layers of government (city and province) can't align it's facility (hospital, schools, universities) and infrastructure investments (LRT) despite decades of plans, maps and discussions. Most of the capital funding has always come from the province, you'd think they would have a natural tendency and aligned incentives to leverage existing or planned investments for greater benefit and outcomes. Alas, the mysteries of budget timing, Alberta politics and closed door decision-making will always be with us.

1994 was right around the time of the 1990-era health cuts too - Holy Cross (Mission) was sold in 1997, Calgary General (Bridgeland) was blown up in 1998. Lost 2 highly accessible existing hospitals + 1 future accessible hospital site (this Shawnessey one) in the span of a few years. None of my 2020 ranting would have happened if these decisions went differently two decades ago :)
 

Urban4Lyfe

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What blows my mind is that there are 1000s of workers/visitors at the FMC complex (outside of COVID anyway) and the development directly north of FMC is still sitting there doing nothing. Like what's the problem?
 

darwink

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^ by the mid 90s the vision for LRT in the area that was to become Seton was official policy, as I believe was making Seton an alternative 'town centre'.
 

Surrealplaces

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Has there ever been talk of havoing a people mover of some kind loop through The University, the Foothills medical complex, LRT and anything in between?
One of the difficulties of relocating is that research hospitals end up with better outcomes when they are very close together. Where someone can go from teaching to research to patients in 15 minutes. One of the reasons why there were complaints about the two site option for the cancer centre.

An automated people move would solve the problem of building new facilities at McMahon for example, but if you’re building an APM from the LRT to Foothills via another site anyways why move unless you really need to.

At least $10 billion to rebuild elsewhere. Now- there are very limited rebuilding opportunities on the current site especially since the new parking went up where the first phase of the old hospital rebuilding plan was meant to be.
 

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