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Urban Development and Proposals Discussion

JonnyCanuck

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There is all kinds of indoor parking 360 degrees around that section of 8th Ave. If it is to become an even more popular destination than it is, people will find parking if they need to. It is not necessary to park on the street right in front of bars and stores to bring people into the core.
I would also argue that over the years, the foot traffic on 8th Ave has increased significantly because of more people living in the core, particularly the Beltline and East Village. This will only increase as more condos and apartment buildings go up in the vicinity. It is the foot traffic that you want to attract with frequency not the couple who drives from their home in ie. Brentwood to downtown, once or twice a year. You are not going to discourage them just because you can't park on 8th Ave any longer.
 

Surrealplaces

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An easy way to trial the situation would be to put up the vehicle gates barring access and leave it for a period of time. Maybe three months? I would like to see it more catered to pedestrians, but I also remember the old Stephen Ave before cars were allowed. The cars were needed to give Stephen Ave a jump start after hours. Is it still needed? Close access to cars for awhile and see the results I guess.
 

Silence&Motion

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I'm fine with the way it is now. There's just not enough pedestrian volume outside the 9-5 to justify closing down the entire street to vehicles.

We usually treat pedestrianization as a strategy for attracting pedestrians which almost always fails. If pedestrians have no reason to walk down a street, they're not going to start walking down it if cars are removed.

The alternative approach is to respond to existing pedestrian volume, reducing vehicular traffic as necessary. For example, I'd be way more in favor of removing vehicle lanes along 17th ave or 8th street because the sidewalks are too small to accommodate the existing foot traffic.
 

haltcatchfire

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They need those bollards that rise out of the ground like they have at the White House vehicle gates that would be able to be opened remotely by emergency vehicles.

Was amazing to see how fast those came up after police went through. If you were following behind your vehicle would be destroyed.

https://goo.gl/maps/R4VTYGyEnEQxuqie8
 

CCF

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Not sure if mentioned - there's a sign up on a lot in West Eau Claire for another Graywood development.

edit: nevermind, I see it mentioned a few pages back.
 

MichaelS

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So the recent updates on Hub at Banff Trail got me looking more closely at that area. I see that there is an approved DP (from 2017) for an office building further north in the TOD area, at 2020 Crowchild Trail NW:

I noticed the other week that the site had been cleared, it was just a surface lot and I am not sure how far north the clearing went. Here it is in Streetview, prior to clearing:

When you check the City's "My Property" map, you can see a building permit has been applied for back in April, BP2019-04408, so that would seem to indicate (along with the cleared site) that they intend to move forward.

The applicant for the DP is Farmor Architecture. While I couldn't find a write-up to go with this rendering, I am pretty sure this is what is proposed/approved for the site:
199192

Image from the architect's website:
 

ByeByeBaby

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As one of the people here old enough to remember the days when there were no cars, I prefer the way it is now. The problem in the past was after hours, Stephen Ave was a dead zone. The cars after hours keep the restaurants and thus the mall, active.
Surely you remember then that when Stephen Ave had no cars there were a lot fewer people living within walking distance; in 1966 the 6 census tracts that include part of downtown or the Beltline had 26,640 residents; the most recent civic census is 52,741. Not to mention the societal trends that have shifted over this time; a lot more people who walk, a lot more people who dine out. In 1996, about 36,000 people walked or biked into the downtown per day; now it's 87,000. And the total number of people going downtown without a car has gone from 153,000 to 312,000.

I've been walking on part of Stephen Ave for almost 20 years, and back then it was definitely a lot quieter than it is today. Maybe it's because there's twenty vehicles allowed to park per block, or maybe -- just maybe -- it's the hundred and fifty thousand more people downtown without a car. Having seen more than twenty people on a block, I tend to think it's the latter.
 

JonnyCanuck

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Looks like Trico is moving forward with this. There will be 5 buildings in total with the first 3 buildings completed by summer of 2021. These will be purpose rental and the project is named Kingsland, for now.
Driving past this location I noticed construction is well underway now. Perhaps we should have project thread for this. The official project name is Kingsland Junction.
 

Cowtown

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Surely you remember then that when Stephen Ave had no cars there were a lot fewer people living within walking distance; in 1966 the 6 census tracts that include part of downtown or the Beltline had 26,640 residents; the most recent civic census is 52,741. Not to mention the societal trends that have shifted over this time; a lot more people who walk, a lot more people who dine out. In 1996, about 36,000 people walked or biked into the downtown per day; now it's 87,000. And the total number of people going downtown without a car has gone from 153,000 to 312,000.

I've been walking on part of Stephen Ave for almost 20 years, and back then it was definitely a lot quieter than it is today. Maybe it's because there's twenty vehicles allowed to park per block, or maybe -- just maybe -- it's the hundred and fifty thousand more people downtown without a car. Having seen more than twenty people on a block, I tend to think it's the latter.
I don't remember back to 1966, I wasn't quite born yet, and if I was I',m not sure my memory would be good enough to remember. I was thinking more around the late 80's before vehicle traffic was allowed through. I always remember Stephen Ave as bustling during the day, but being terrible after hours.

Part of the renaissance is due to increased population, and lifestyle changes but I remember that the resto boom along Stephen Ave happened right after it was opened to traffic, it happened almost overnight. I firmly believe opening it to traffic was needed to get the businesses going after hours. Is it needed now? Maybe not, but does it hurt having it open to traffic? I think we still need it to be a bit busier before closing off vehicles.
 

CBBarnett

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I don't remember back to 1966, I wasn't quite born yet, and if I was I',m not sure my memory would be good enough to remember. I was thinking more around the late 80's before vehicle traffic was allowed through. I always remember Stephen Ave as bustling during the day, but being terrible after hours.

Part of the renaissance is due to increased population, and lifestyle changes but I remember that the resto boom along Stephen Ave happened right after it was opened to traffic, it happened almost overnight. I firmly believe opening it to traffic was needed to get the businesses going after hours. Is it needed now? Maybe not, but does it hurt having it open to traffic? I think we still need it to be a bit busier before closing off vehicles.
It would be nice if we applied this logic the other way - most retail streets in the city centre are less reliant on personal vehicles than they ever have been (although they are still important in some places of course). We should be scrapping back a lane or two from most corridors to support the expanded residents, pedestrian, scooters and cyclists.

This discussion around Stephen Ave is missing the point - car-free or car-lite street will probably be successful on Stephen if designed properly given the growth in residents and pedestrians in the area. But that's business as usual, that's what we have already. The real opportunity is on all the other streets that are terrible pedestrian experiences, are seeing the same growth in residents and pedestrians but are stuck with terrible, incoherent and complete car-centric urban design.
 

Mountain Man

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Downtown has reached a point where Stephen Ave would survive as a purely pedestrian mall, you can't even come close to parking on Stephen Ave already, unless you get there right at 6, and it's still not guaranteed lol.

Either way, I'm super curious what they come up with, the road doesn't seem outdated or anything to me, just in need of some TLC. Most urban designs the city has come up with in recent years have been fairly well done, lets see if they can keep that going. This is Calgary's most important street, better not screw it up lol.
 

JonnyCanuck

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That section of Stephen Ave, Macleod Tr to 3rd St SW, has the highest concentration of heritage buildings in the city. Unfortunately, there are few other streets in downtown that can be replicated as a pedestrian experience. Virtually everywhere else are blocks of sterile office buildings, a few courtyards and uninteresting storefronts. It would be pointless to waste a lot of time and money trying to create an experience in other parts of downtown.
Whether vehicular traffic continues down 8th Ave, I think will depend on the final design recommendations for both Olympic Plaza and Stephen Ave. I betting it will be more pedestrian focused and less vehicular.

p.s When we talk about cars on Stephen Ave, we seem to forget the LRT line runs parallel, only one block north. The city should also be focused on increasing ridership, after business hours, in conjunction with the 21st century makeover experience.
 

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