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Calgary's Beltline

GoVertical

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Love this one:
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Mountain Man

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Sounds like the city is preparing to do improvements on 11St from 12th to Cameron Aves, anyone know what specifically they are going to be doing? I think it's a waste of money as long as 11St north of 12 Ave has super narrow sidewalks, unprotected bike lanes and the CPR tracks to deal with.
 

Surrealplaces

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I hadn’t heard about the improvements, but I agree The improvements would be better suited between 12th Ave. and the Kirby LRT station. I don’t have any stats in front of me, but that seems to be where all the 11th street foot traffic is.

Sounds like the city is preparing to do improvements on 11St from 12th to Cameron Aves, anyone know what specifically they are going to be doing? I think it's a waste of money as long as 11St north of 12 Ave has super narrow sidewalks, unprotected bike lanes and the CPR tracks to deal with.
 

CBBarnett

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I hadn’t heard about the improvements, but I agree The improvements would be better suited between 12th Ave. and the Kirby LRT station. I don’t have any stats in front of me, but that seems to be where all the 11th street foot traffic is.
I think they picked the right section, the focus would be the extension of the bike lanes south beyond 12th Ave and a bunch of intersection improvements along the corridor, particularly to get bicycles across 17th Ave which is a big barrier now due to the weird signal configuration. 11 Street is actually a fairly heavy pedestrian route south of 12th Ave - although I would assume more locally-focused, rather than commuter-focused - particularly from 17th to the strip of heritage retail and the dog park between 15 and 14 Ave. The crossing on 13th Avenue is likely one of the busiest for pedestrians on that stretch (currently a blinker with no pedestrian bump outs), with school traffic and it being one of the best east-west walking routes (IMO aesthetically, traffic calming, safety) in the Beltline. The improvements sound to be mobility only - no street trees are likely. Looks like they are timing the construction for a road resurfacing, hence the focus of smaller spot improvements rather than a full rebuild.

Given all that, I can see why investing south of 12 Ave is the right call, while north of 12th is ugly and uncomfortable, it already operates as a strong multi-modal corridor with bike lanes established already. To get material improvements along that stretch would be awesome, but also would be much more serious business (e.g. grade separation of the CPR tracks), reduction of 9th Ave's signal priority, reconstruction of the whole right-of-way to make the sidewalks wider for street trees etc. Would be amazing if we could knock those improvements out - but will take way more effort/funding than what is proposed here (similar to the challenges getting 8 Street SW's corridor improvements moving as well).
 

MichaelS

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An RFP was recently issued (probably closed by now) to bring a design team on board for a functional planning study of an 11th Street SW underpass for the CPR tracks. So, it is on the books, but will just take time/funding.

When 11th and 11th is finished, I think we will get a nice wide sidewalk and double row of trees for that portion of 11th Street, which will be nice. But, only for half the block.
 

UrbanWarrior

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I don’t understand why we are likely to get a 5 Street SE underpass before we get one at 11th. It is literally an embarrassment that we have an at-grade heavy rail crossing in our downtown core.

edit: haha looks like MichaelS beat me to an explanation on my rant by mere seconds 😂
 

Surrealplaces

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I think they picked the right section, the focus would be the extension of the bike lanes south beyond 12th Ave and a bunch of intersection improvements along the corridor, particularly to get bicycles across 17th Ave which is a big barrier now due to the weird signal configuration. 11 Street is actually a fairly heavy pedestrian route south of 12th Ave - although I would assume more locally-focused, rather than commuter-focused - particularly from 17th to the strip of heritage retail and the dog park between 15 and 14 Ave. The crossing on 13th Avenue is likely one of the busiest for pedestrians on that stretch (currently a blinker with no pedestrian bump outs), with school traffic and it being one of the best east-west walking routes (IMO aesthetically, traffic calming, safety) in the Beltline. The improvements sound to be mobility only - no street trees are likely. Looks like they are timing the construction for a road resurfacing, hence the focus of smaller spot improvements rather than a full rebuild.

Given all that, I can see why investing south of 12 Ave is the right call, while north of 12th is ugly and uncomfortable, it already operates as a strong multi-modal corridor with bike lanes established already. To get material improvements along that stretch would be awesome, but also would be much more serious business (e.g. grade separation of the CPR tracks), reduction of 9th Ave's signal priority, reconstruction of the whole right-of-way to make the sidewalks wider for street trees etc. Would be amazing if we could knock those improvements out - but will take way more effort/funding than what is proposed here (similar to the challenges getting 8 Street SW's corridor improvements moving as well).
I guess I haven't been around the area south of 12th ave very much. I always thought it was rather quiet com pared to the section north of 12th. For me the big issue is the train tracks and having people wait around for trains to pass, or as we've seen in the past, people trying to cross while the train is stopped. It's only my personal opinion, but I'd rather see money go towards an underpass at 11th than sprucing up the section south of 12th....though as you mentioned it would probably be a lot more expensive to do the underpass.
 

CBBarnett

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I guess I haven't been around the area south of 12th ave very much. I always thought it was rather quiet com pared to the section north of 12th. For me the big issue is the train tracks and having people wait around for trains to pass, or as we've seen in the past, people trying to cross while the train is stopped. It's only my personal opinion, but I'd rather see money go towards an underpass at 11th than sprucing up the section south of 12th....though as you mentioned it would probably be a lot more expensive to do the underpass.
Yeah I totally agree, the underpass would be a better bang for the buck, but with the major caveat being a much higher minimum investment. The types of things they mentioned south of 12th is likely a few million (excluding the already planned road resurfacing), the last inner city underpass we did was at 4 Street SE and came in at $70M in 2011. Put another way, if we saved 20 - 30 of investments of the scale of what they are talking about south of 12th you could buy 1 underpass. Would be a great project, but just will need to be funded from an entirely different mechanism that the community-scale minor improvements funding.
 

Mountain Man

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11th south of 12 is a decent little street and I have no issues fixing it up a bit. I do think the CPR underpass should be 100% the priority for 11th as that is too busy of a street for the undersized sidewalks and unprotected bike lanes. North of 12ave 11st is a major connector into the west end of downtown, access to the LRT and the cycle connection to the river pathway system. North of 12, improvement is badly needed, south of 12 is cosmetic.
 

GoVertical

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Not to be a downer, but I got an email that both the Mount Royal village and Stephen Avenue London Drugs locations are closing permanently October 10. I don't know if I'm that surprised, but sad about the one on 8 st. Does anyone know if they are building another location in the inner city, or is this just a sign of the times as I believe?
 

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