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Urban Development and Proposals Discussion

darwink

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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Either way, I'm super curious what they come up with, the road doesn't seem outdated or anything to me, just in need of some TLC.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.
Removing parking, just having a few ride share/taxi lay-bys could get it down to one lane plus bike lanes for the most part.
 

retrofiturbanism

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Might be controversial to say this, but we shouldn't care whether people who drive to Stephen Avenue are accommodated or not. To be honest, they are not the market for night time activity, and make up a ridiculously small percentage of the people who use the street. Same thing with 17th avenue. Let's stop trying to accommodate a bunch of suburbanites who complain about not being able to park or whatever, and actually focus on the people who are more likely to patronize this area (hipsters and yuppies who live downtown, or use taxis or ubers to get to those destinations). Sometimes I feel like our strategy for urbanism in this city is akin to Axe Body Spray trying to figure out how to tap the 70+ year old market. Or Saje trying to figure out how to get teenage males into essential oils. Maybe you are looking at the wrong market.
 

UrbanWarrior

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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.
First Street SW from 9th and 6th would make a really nice candidate for a traffic-limited zone. There's only three buildings on that whole stretch built in the past century (Brookfield Place, Len Werry,, and that ugly one across from the Palliser). This stretch would also have the benefit of being bookended by two sizeable plazas and include significant historic structures; the aforementioned Palliser, Grain Exchange, Lougheed Block.

Not that I'm necessarily saying cut traffic on First, but honestly I think it could really do with an addition of 50% or more to the width of sidewalks.
 

BKha

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5 years ago when I worked at Saltlik, Most of the restaurant patrons were suburbanites or tourists, but mostly suburbanites. I'm not saying Stephen Ave needs to cater to cars, but suburbanites contribute significantly to the after hours business at those restaurants. what's the harm in leaving it as it is? or at least have one lane open. @darwink idea of one lane is a good compromise. It opens the mall up to more opportunity for pedestrians and who knows, maybe even bike lane, while still allowing taxis to come through. My own observation is more taxis than private cars use the mall, and there is a fair bit of taxi traffic dropping and picking up from the restaurants. As for having spots for cars to park, it's not needed IMO.

Might be controversial to say this, but we shouldn't care whether people who drive to Stephen Avenue are accommodated or not. To be honest, they are not the market for night time activity, and make up a ridiculously small percentage of the people who use the street. Same thing with 17th avenue. Let's stop trying to accommodate a bunch of suburbanites who complain about not being able to park or whatever, and actually focus on the people who are more likely to patronize this area (hipsters and yuppies who live downtown, or use taxis or ubers to get to those destinations). Sometimes I feel like our strategy for urbanism in this city is akin to Axe Body Spray trying to figure out how to tap the 70+ year old market. Or Saje trying to figure out how to get teenage males into essential oils. Maybe you are looking at the wrong market.
 

Calgcouver

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Curious on what peoples opinions on adding low and mid-rise residential above existing buildings on Stephen Avenue (ie. redoing the Sport Chek or Winners) in a fashion similar to this link:

I think that adding a considerable amount of residential above Stephen Ave with modernized zone similar to Vancouver's HA-1, HA-1A, & HA-2 zone;
that impose significant design and material constraints to encourage redevelopment similar to Gastown, would Stephen Ave a very interesting loft-style historic centre in Calgary. It is one thing to focus on improving the public infrastructure, but the uses are still a lot of garbage retailers and office uses above. It would be nice to see buildings like the Winners building be redeveloped, to have retail that is demised to smaller sizes, and to incorporate residential uses only above grade.

I think that it would be beneficial to rein-vision 8 Ave as a residential and retail core of the downtown on current heritage sites. Just improving the public infrastructure is just lipstick.
 
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CBBarnett

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First Street SW from 9th and 6th would make a really nice candidate for a traffic-limited zone. There's only three buildings on that whole stretch built in the past century (Brookfield Place, Len Werry,, and that ugly one across from the Palliser). This stretch would also have the benefit of being bookended by two sizeable plazas and include significant historic structures; the aforementioned Palliser, Grain Exchange, Lougheed Block.

Not that I'm necessarily saying cut traffic on First, but honestly I think it could really do with an addition of 50% or more to the width of sidewalks.
The data supports what you are feeling about 1st Street SW, it's incredibly pedestrian-heavy. I pulled the 2018 cordon count and looked at the total inbound/outbound trips and active modes - all the regular data limitations of cordon counts apply obviously, but it's the best we have.

1st Street SW has the highest active modes corridor as a percentage of total trips (50.6%) and the second highest overall pedestrian total (8,421) and highest pedestrian mode share (40.2%) of any cordon that had all modes present (e.g. the Peace Bridge excluded as active modes makes 100% of trips on it).

By Total Active % of Trips Counted (of cordons with all modes present)
Cordon LocationSum of Transit %Sum of Peds %Sum of Cycle %Total Active (Transit + Peds + Cycle)
1 St SW North of 10 Av
7.9%​
40.2%​
2.4%​
50.6%​
Centre St Bridge Upper Deck
44.9%​
2.7%​
0.6%​
48.2%​
8 St SW North of 10 Av
16.4%​
30.1%​
1.6%​
48.0%​
5 St SW North of 10 Av
10.1%​
27.9%​
8.8%​
46.8%​
4 St SW North of 10 Av
15.7%​
28.6%​
0.6%​
44.9%​
9 Av SE East of 7 St
31.1%​
1.8%​
1.2%​
34.0%​
11 St SW North of 10 Av
0.8%​
25.1%​
3.9%​
29.8%​
Langevin Bridge (4 St NE)
8.4%​
13.1%​
2.6%​
24.1%​
Louise Bridge
14.7%​
6.6%​
0.5%​
21.8%​
1 St SE North of 10 Av
6.4%​
8.2%​
0.3%​
14.9%​
4 St SE North of 10 Av
1.1%​
9.3%​
3.4%​
13.8%​
Macleod Tr SE North of 10 Av
3.5%​
6.6%​
0.3%​
10.4%​
9 Av SW West of 11 St
5.9%​
0.6%​
0.2%​
6.7%​

By Total Active Trips Counted (of cordons of all modes present)
Row LabelsSum of Transit TotalSum of Peds TotalSum of Cycle TotalTotal
Centre St Bridge Upper Deck 22,650 1,349 317 24,316
8 St SW North of 10 Av 4,816 8,845 474 14,135
1 St SW North of 10 Av 1,652 8,421 506 10,579
5 St SW North of 10 Av 2,233 6,160 1,942 10,335
9 Av SE East of 7 St 8,485 482 314 9,281
4 St SW North of 10 Av 2,880 5,236 112 8,228
Louise Bridge 3,901 1,734 143 5,778
1 St SE North of 10 Av 2,431 3,112 128 5,671
Langevin Bridge (4 St NE) 1,844 2,871 577 5,292
11 St SW North of 10 Av 114 3,403 534 4,051
Macleod Tr SE North of 10 Av 968 1,838 89 2,895
6 Av SW West of 11 St 2,859 27 7 2,893
9 Av SW West of 11 St 2,499 255 91 2,845
5 Av Flyover 2,534 4 7 2,545
4 St SE North of 10 Av 149 1,203 441 1,793
 
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googspecial

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First Street SW from 9th and 6th would make a really nice candidate for a traffic-limited zone. There's only three buildings on that whole stretch built in the past century (Brookfield Place, Len Werry,, and that ugly one across from the Palliser). This stretch would also have the benefit of being bookended by two sizeable plazas and include significant historic structures; the aforementioned Palliser, Grain Exchange, Lougheed Block.

Not that I'm necessarily saying cut traffic on First, but honestly I think it could really do with an addition of 50% or more to the width of sidewalks.
Man, the sidewalks need redone between 7 & 9 Aves so bad. This side is particularly embarrassing.
 

UrbanWarrior

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Surrealplaces

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Wow that looks amazing. Hitting that up today for sure!
A really underrated part of Calgary IMO. I think that in general Calgary's Bow River pathway system is underrated. It seems like tourists are often the ones who notice it the most. That said, the city has done a decent job of upgrading and improving it. The stretch from Louise Bridge to East village has come a long way in the past 10 years.
 

Mountain Man

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Apparently we are approaching 1.6M according to that article lol. I do question whether all our infrastructure runs on renewable power though, that seems like a stretch.
 
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