Spider Block | 16.46m | 4s | Certus | McKinley Burkart

CCF

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This is a great human-scale development.
One annoyance I noticed the other day when walking by, is the inconsistent streetscape from this development to the new residential building to the south (which you can see in the photos above). The sidewalks don't line up. In this development, the trees act as a buffer between the road, the next building, the sidewalk is pushed up to the road. It might seems like a small issue, but it makes a different in comfort level in pedestrians, and the fact that there is inconsistency says something about the process/standards. Details matter!
 

CBBarnett

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This is a great human-scale development.
One annoyance I noticed the other day when walking by, is the inconsistent streetscape from this development to the new residential building to the south (which you can see in the photos above). The sidewalks don't line up. In this development, the trees act as a buffer between the road, the next building, the sidewalk is pushed up to the road. It might seems like a small issue, but it makes a different in comfort level in pedestrians, and the fact that there is inconsistency says something about the process/standards. Details matter!
This exactly. The same machine that keeps roads right-of-way clear and organized (for the most part) should have similarly exacting standards on sidewalk widths, locations and designs. Based on the the somewhat random results (good, terrible and everything in between) as neighbourhoods have redeveloped, it feels like no one is in-charge of what happens to the sidewalks in this city.
 

MichaelS

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This exactly. The same machine that keeps roads right-of-way clear and organized (for the most part) should have similarly exacting standards on sidewalk widths, locations and designs. Based on the the somewhat random results (good, terrible and everything in between) as neighbourhoods have redeveloped, it feels like no one is in-charge of what happens to the sidewalks in this city.
BINGO! Unless there is a confirmed streetscape master plan or corridor study, it is sort of looked at and evaluated on a DP by DP basis, with the personalities around the CPAG table being the biggest deciding factor.

In terms of the studies, last I checked, there were 4 groups at the City doing these, just in various scale/capacities (but appear to have a lot of overlap).
- Network Planning, with Transportation Planning: Responsible for large scale corridor studies, such as the current Deerfoot study, but also some more "liveable streets one" like the Macleod Trail Corridor Study and the 50th aVenue SW corridor study:

- Liveable Streets, with Transportation Planning: typically responsible for active modes infrastructure, and will develop streetscape plans for that purpose. I think the 24th Avenue NW cross-section that has recently been shown was from that group, but am not 100% sure.

- Main Streets, with Urban Strategy: This is the group tasked with developing (well, most of them) the cross-sections for the City's Main Streets. For progress on their work, see here:

- There is (maybe not anymore though...) a group in the Transportation Infrastructure business unit that was called "special projects", or something like that. I am less familiar with this group, but they were the ones who built 61st Avenue, down by Chinook. Now, Transportation Infrastructure usually builds the corridor's that Network Planning studies, but I think they also lead the design of this corridor as well:

What is frustrating is the lack of coordination, but there are some improvements happening. Hopefully it gets better soon, but streets like 14th Street will continue to be a problem until the City does a master plan. And even then, as we have seen with setback comments on certain applications, until that table of ROW setbacks in the bylaw is fully updated, even if there is an approved plan that doesn't utilize the setback (all Mainstreets Streetscape plans to date), CPAG will still require that setback to be protected.
 

CBBarnett

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BINGO! Unless there is a confirmed streetscape master plan or corridor study, it is sort of looked at and evaluated on a DP by DP basis, with the personalities around the CPAG table being the biggest deciding factor.

In terms of the studies, last I checked, there were 4 groups at the City doing these, just in various scale/capacities (but appear to have a lot of overlap).
- Network Planning, with Transportation Planning: Responsible for large scale corridor studies, such as the current Deerfoot study, but also some more "liveable streets one" like the Macleod Trail Corridor Study and the 50th aVenue SW corridor study:

- Liveable Streets, with Transportation Planning: typically responsible for active modes infrastructure, and will develop streetscape plans for that purpose. I think the 24th Avenue NW cross-section that has recently been shown was from that group, but am not 100% sure.

- Main Streets, with Urban Strategy: This is the group tasked with developing (well, most of them) the cross-sections for the City's Main Streets. For progress on their work, see here:

- There is (maybe not anymore though...) a group in the Transportation Infrastructure business unit that was called "special projects", or something like that. I am less familiar with this group, but they were the ones who built 61st Avenue, down by Chinook. Now, Transportation Infrastructure usually builds the corridor's that Network Planning studies, but I think they also lead the design of this corridor as well:

What is frustrating is the lack of coordination, but there are some improvements happening. Hopefully it gets better soon, but streets like 14th Street will continue to be a problem until the City does a master plan. And even then, as we have seen with setback comments on certain applications, until that table of ROW setbacks in the bylaw is fully updated, even if there is an approved plan that doesn't utilize the setback (all Mainstreets Streetscape plans to date), CPAG will still require that setback to be protected.
I both hate and love everything about this response. Thanks for the insight @MichaelS , it makes so much sense (in a frustrating kind of way).
 

JoeUrban

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The building somehow looks like it's been there for a long time.
That's one of the appealing characteristics of masonry cladding, it gives a feel of a building that has existed a long time, and will continue to exist for a long time. Sometimes I feel stucco makes a building feel like it's a placeholder waiting for a redo, or at least a redo of the cladding anyway.
 

JoeUrban

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Brick really is timeless. This is a great example of how you can have a modern looking building that also looks like an older character piece to the street.
Agreed, this type of building provides a similar character of historic brick buildings but with a contemporary style which won't likely be confused with being a historic building.
 

Alex_YYC

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Certus also did a great job on the Monogram Coffee outlet in Britannia. I can't find a photo, but it's a cool little design.
 

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