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Roads, Highways & Infrastructure

Oddball

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The announcement, as reported in several news outlets and on the front page of SC, that the city's transportation has approved a plan for the Crowchild Trail seems like a logical place to kick off this thread. Despite all the articles, there was very little about the plan itself. So I managed to find the city's page on the topic.

Here's some screen grabs from the "medium term" proposal which seems to have most of the heavy lifting.

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The main thrust is widening the bridges over the Bow and trenching Crowchild underneath the string of intersections North of the River. It mostly looks good to me.

Only two things popped up that really made me queasy, the lights on 16th Ave. NW as it crosses Crowchild and the return of the lights on 12th Ave. SW underneath Bow Trail. I'm willing to let them slide because in the case of 16th, one more set of lights isn't really going to make that mess much messier and it the case of 12th Ave, I'm not in high school any more so it's no longer on my drive home.

I do drive Crowchild a whole heck of a lot, so anything that can make it more free flowing will be a boon particularly in off peak hours. I don't know if it's going to do much for peak times since the main problem is that there aren't enough outlets into downtown.

The other bit of weirdness that I'm not totally sold on are the surfeit of traffic circles that used to be called Unveristy Drive. I'll have to see it in practice before passing judgement, but it does strike me as a being a touch convoluted. I'm not convinced that the existing semi-cloverleaf needs to be hacked up, but on the other hand, it gets rid of lights at 13th Ave. I wish the plan included another replacing the lights at Unwin road too, but that looks to be out of scope. It will be interesting to see the big changes to University at Crowchild play out on game days at McMahon because with the new plan that may be the only time I drive that stretch anymore.

I also like the "land bridge" concept for pedestrian overpasses that pops up in the documentation. It's kinda like the human version of "wildlife overpasses" that mentioned the Dream Ideas for Calgary thread.
 

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RyLucky

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I'm of the mind that Crowchild could be improved a lot with only a few small fixes. The most costly part of the solution has little to do with Crowchild, and everything to do with 10th Ave SW. Here's what I would do:

Crowchild @...
  • Kensington Rd NW: No overpass, no light. Right-on-right-off.
  • 5th Ave NW: Overpass with no access.
  • 24th Ave NW: a 33rd Ave SW-style intersection
The result would be non-stop a Crowchild Tr, with almost no disturbance to neighbourhoods, and minimal cost. However, some local auto access would be reduced. Fortunately, there is a lot of silly redundancy in the area. For instance, nobody needs to turn left from NB Crowchild to WB Kensington - take WB Memorial instead. There still would be some issues with this plan, but changes to Memorial Dr could address them:

Memorial @...
  • 19th St NW: add a traffic light

University Dr @ 16th Ave NW

  • remove all 5 clover leaves; add two lights on UD with access to 16th; develop every inch of currently-wasted space here
West Village...
  • build a new bridge from Memorial&19th NW over the Bow, and a new CPR underpass at 17th St SW. Connect these in a straight line. Orient the entire WV around this.
 

Surrealplaces

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Looks good for the most part. I like the idea of removing those 5 clover leafs at University Drive, that's one part of the plan that sticks out as making things more of a mess. What do you guys think about not having UD connect to 16th ave, and having only a simple exit/enter connection to Crowchild?

By eliminating those cloverleafs and off ramps at 16th and UD, maybe there can be a decent pedestrian stretch from Motel Village to the new Stadium shopping centre and hospital?
 

Always_Biking

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I'm not a traffic engineer, but looking at the design they have laid out for Crowchild and 16th seems over the top complicated. Especially University Drive? for road that isn't very busy do they need to turn it into Calgary most complicated roadway?
 

Silence&Motion

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I'm not a traffic engineer, but looking at the design they have laid out for Crowchild and 16th seems over the top complicated. Especially University Drive? for road that isn't very busy do they need to turn it into Calgary most complicated roadway?
Things that look complicated from a birds eye view are not necessarily complicated at street level. The new design just substitutes three roundabouts for a series of cloverleaves and signalized intersection. As it stands University Ave is basically a side street that is pretending to be an expressway. The roundabouts will calm traffic and make the avenue much more pedestrian and bicycle friendly. Plus, the new design eliminates one of the most dangerous road design trends in Calgary: the on-ramp without a merging lane, which basically encourages drivers to merge at high speeds straight into on-coming traffic.
 

BKha

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Things that look complicated from a birds eye view are not necessarily complicated at street level. The new design just substitutes three roundabouts for a series of cloverleaves and signalized intersection. As it stands University Ave is basically a side street that is pretending to be an expressway. The roundabouts will calm traffic and make the avenue much more pedestrian and bicycle friendly. Plus, the new design eliminates one of the most dangerous road design trends in Calgary: the on-ramp without a merging lane, which basically encourages drivers to merge at high speeds straight into on-coming traffic.
I agree about the roundabouts acting as traffic calming, but personally I would rather see University Drive not connect to Crowchild or 16th at all. Have the basic interchange at 16th and Crowchild shown in the diagram, but nothing involving University Drive. Build a nice wide pedestrian walk way along 16th all the way to the Stadium shopping centre.
 

Oddball

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I agree about the roundabouts acting as traffic calming, but personally I would rather see University Drive not connect to Crowchild or 16th at all. Have the basic interchange at 16th and Crowchild shown in the diagram, but nothing involving University Drive. Build a nice wide pedestrian walk way along 16th all the way to the Stadium shopping centre.
If it didn't, would it still even be needed as a road? The point of University drive is supposed to be access to the university.
 

Oddball

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I haven't been by Sun Valley Boulevard since I moved out of the south, has anyone recently seen how the Divergent Diamond is coming along?
 

Rollerstud98

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I haven't been by Sun Valley Boulevard since I moved out of the south, has anyone recently seen how the Divergent Diamond is coming along?
Happened to be down there Friday for work. It's coming I guess. Bit of a disaster currently but that is construction.
 

Surrealplaces

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I was on 16th ave by COP on the weekend and noticed that they have made a ton of progress on the interchange at Bowfort Rd and 16th ave. Maybe I don't get out enough, but it's vastly different than the last time I was through there.
 

stevinder

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I drove through the diverging diamond last night for the first time. There is still a lot of construction going on, so driver confusion will likely be an issue for a while regardless of the new type of interchange. Shawnessy is a cluster at the best of times and the construction couldn't have helped. I'll film a new video of it in a couple of months.
 

AJX

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I saw the video of it on CBC's website and decided it was too complicated for me to attempt using it.
 

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