What an inhospitable public realm for human beings. Can't wait for basically no weather protection for pedestrians, narrow sidewalks and no planting/softscaping to speak of to soften this post-modernist hellscape.
Chicken or egg type scenario in my opinion. Redesign the road network and public realm in the core to be more pedestrian/ retail friendly in hopes of encouraging more mixed use, better designed buildings or wait for the change to occur naturally.No clue what a road has to do with a godawful podium design. Fact is, DT Calgary is still primarily a workplace. Yes, we're getting more residences lately but until the roads arent so heavily relied upon by suburban commuters they will stay as they are. The road being there isn't what made them say "you know what Calgary needs? Another monolithic, bland, value-engineered-the-crap-out-of podium."
West downtown has the highest residential densities in the city. It is far from vibrant. It's the roads and adjacent public realm. The fast one-way traffic creates a cold, unwelcoming street environment. Now consider McLeod Trail in Victoria Park. Again, a lot of density entering the downtown, but the podiums cannot support retail because there is little incentive for pedestrian traffic. It is inhospitable and people just don't feel comfortable walking/hanging next to zooming cars.Blaming a 5-lane main artery road into downtown, is not the cause for the behemoth of this podium. That falls squarely on the developers. Is the civic planning of the roads perfect? Hell no. The roads are not the cause for the lack of vibrancy that you and I want, its the lack of residential density in the core. Higher Density brings more restaurants, shops, hotel, etc that don't close at 5PM. With only 18K living in the core, its far from being robust.
I believe there is only a 1 year pause in construction, they are still going to do a lot of work starting again next year.another long term consequence of the city wanting 5 lane one way streets in the inner city.
now you can change the roads but your stuck with sh*t like this for pretty much the rest of our lives.
also the one way loving planners seem to have made the blocks bt 17th ave and 12th ave permanent one way despite the 17th ave construction being complete.