News   Apr 03, 2020
 936     0 
News   Apr 02, 2020
 2K     3 
News   Apr 02, 2020
 775     0 

Underpass Revitalizations

UrbanWarrior

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Messages
3,390
Reaction score
7,854
Location
Mission

UrbanWarrior

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Messages
3,390
Reaction score
7,854
Location
Mission
I really like the contemporary artfulness of this one in contrast to the warm earthiness of the 5th Street one.
 

JonnyCanuck

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Messages
828
Reaction score
1,095
At least there is a little more space to work with than the 1st SW revitalization. That one was much improved over the previous but it still feels very confining when you walk thru.
It will be the same space issue whenever they get around to 1St SE and Macleod Tr underpasses.
 

CBBarnett

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 22, 2016
Messages
691
Reaction score
1,879
One of the best things about the 4th Street underpass is the removal of the unnecessary and dangerous slip-lane/alley for northbound traffic to whip around onto 3rd Street S to access 9th Avenue. A total relic of auto-oriented thinking that would gladly add risk and inconvenience to urban pedestrians if it means saving cars from circulating half a block further down on 8th Ave.

Once 4th and 5th Streets are complete Calgary will have the one of strangest collection of "nice" underpasses among our peer cities, I can't recall another city that went this route on all of their urban underpasses so holistically. Of course, some cities removed/buried their heavy rail lines entirely (for big $$$), but this high-quality art-based, retrofit approach is very interesting.
 

artvandelay

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
46
Reaction score
99
One of the best things about the 4th Street underpass is the removal of the unnecessary and dangerous slip-lane/alley for northbound traffic to whip around onto 3rd Street S to access 9th Avenue. A total relic of auto-oriented thinking that would gladly add risk and inconvenience to urban pedestrians if it means saving cars from circulating half a block further down on 8th Ave.
I'm not positive, but I think that lane is staying - at least according to the SD report.

Once 4th and 5th Streets are complete Calgary will have the one of strangest collection of "nice" underpasses among our peer cities, I can't recall another city that went this route on all of their urban underpasses so holistically. Of course, some cities removed/buried their heavy rail lines entirely (for big $$$), but this high-quality art-based, retrofit approach is very interesting.
I don't know if I agree with the strategy of throwing this much capital at these underpasses when they aren't maintained properly after construction. The First Street one was just done and it's already in poor shape: the paint is peeling off the steel bridge supports, the sidewalk is as dirty as it was before, and a piece of the faceted aluminum panel fell off near the Palliser. The 8th Street one is similarly dirty and full of cigarette butts. Nothing against MBAC (I think the designs are beautiful) but we'd be better off chopping $1.5 million from the budget in order to fund a full time position in perpetuity for someone to sweep and power-wash the underpasses every day.

The 4th Street underpass is costing $7.5 million or so - for the same investment we could have revitalized the 4 Street streetscape from Mission all the way to downtown. Now the city is looking at enhancements for Fifth Street SW for some reason. The existing underpass is fine - nice wide sidewalk, well lit, concrete in good shape - and the proposed concept actually detracts from the utility of the underpass by shrinking the sidewalk (who the heck is going to want to sit on these benches anyway?). The First Street SE and Macleod underpasses are far more in need of help than Fifth anyway!

Anyways, sorry for the rant - sometimes I don't understand why the City makes the decisions they do.
 

UrbanWarrior

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Messages
3,390
Reaction score
7,854
Location
Mission
At least there is a little more space to work with than the 1st SW revitalization. That one was much improved over the previous but it still feels very confining when you walk thru.
It will be the same space issue whenever they get around to 1St SE and Macleod Tr underpasses.
I feel like those two specifically are going to require significant structural work in order to expand the walking areas in each, especially if the city is actually serious about turning that area into the Entertainment District. If not, We'll just be ending up with a fresh coat of paint and no real changes to connectivity.
 

kora

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
258
Reaction score
664
Disappointed to see water damage and leakage in the 1 Street SW underpass in several places. One of the purposes of the project was to prevent water seeping down into the sidewalk below. I hope it's under warranty.
 

JonnyCanuck

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Messages
828
Reaction score
1,095
If that keeps up along with the usual littering/spillage you see, it won't be long before that underpass looks dingy again.
 

UrbanWarrior

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Messages
3,390
Reaction score
7,854
Location
Mission
Here is the work underway on the 4 Street Underpass. It really looks quite lovely. I believe a translucent material will be installed over what we see here, which will create a more flowing look to it.

177795
 

Sky of Blue

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
161
Reaction score
210
Definitely don’t want any seats or benches. Would encourage “permanent residents”. Underpasses were the most unsafe feeling spots of my visit when I walked the entire Beltline/Downtown several times. People panhandling, a group of drunks acting out, garbage, and piss and puke... oh my. I’d say lots of light, safe surface to walk on without tripping. Wide enough to bypass people without being in arms reach. Clear line of vision, no nooks or bends to hide someone’s presence. I definitely would not be pausing to admire anything. I was not out late, but I am a small woman and even walking assertively with a mean face on, I tend to look like an easy target and often get hassled. Your mileage may vary if you look like a linebacker or only travel in groups. Just a woman’s perspective.
 

Surrealplaces

Administrator
Staff member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
7,807
Reaction score
20,753
Location
Calgary
Definitely don’t want any seats or benches. Would encourage “permanent residents”. Underpasses were the most unsafe feeling spots of my visit when I walked the entire Beltline/Downtown several times. People panhandling, a group of drunks acting out, garbage, and piss and puke... oh my. I’d say lots of light, safe surface to walk on without tripping. Wide enough to bypass people without being in arms reach. Clear line of vision, no nooks or bends to hide someone’s presence. I definitely would not be pausing to admire anything. I was not out late, but I am a small woman and even walking assertively with a mean face on, I tend to look like an easy target and often get hassled. Your mileage may vary if you look like a linebacker or only travel in groups. Just a woman’s perspective.
I posted some of the pics of the underpass on a Facebook forum and one of the members complained that it was too sterile, and not friendly to homeless people. Nothing against homeless people, but you don't design public realms to be friendly to be homeless people. The homeless shelters would rather the homeless slept in their facilities instead of underpasses.
 

Top