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A Sustainable Transportation Study for Calgary: A Multimodal Approach


Cities in Canada are adopting new transportation policies that define the relative importance of travel modes by corridor. Calgary, through its newly adopted transportation plan, has identified new road cross sections that help define the desired roadway character and mode hierarchy. Also new to the Calgary Transportation Plan (CTP) are a series of maps that create logical networks for primary transit, cycling, high occupancy vehicle and goods movement. These new plans and road templates are part of the bigger “Plan It Calgary” approach of integrating land use and transportation decisions. The 17 Avenue SE corridor study is the first opportunity since adoption of Plan It Calgary to determine the long term plans for a specific area in terms of both land use and transportation. The 17 Avenue SE corridor plays many important roles. It is the original main street of the Forest Lawn community, a secondary highway with regional connections, a culturally diverse hub dubbed International Avenue, and has recently been made part of Calgary’s envisioned primary transit and cycling networks. Today, 17 Avenue SE is auto-centred with a four, and sometimes six-lane cross section with significant congestion during peak periods. Sidewalks along 17 Avenue SE are discontinuous and have a narrow clear path due to road signs and amenities. No dedicated cycling infrastructure exists, and connecting with Calgary’s downtown involves sharing a narrow pathway with pedestrians over several bridge structures. Transit service is frequent and experiences some of the highest ridership city-wide, despite the many passenger access deficiencies. Promoting a more sustainable transportation can often be achieved by influencing a mode shift from single occupancy vehicles (SOV) to more sustainable modes, such as public transit, carpooling, walking and biking. The objectives of this project included dedicating road space for transit, walking and cycling. Three alternatives for a long term cross section were developed and integrated with the land use plans to support the different character zones along the corridor. The preferred concept: x includes median transit lanes to provide the greatest travel speed, reliability and station integration opportunities x has wide sidewalks and boulevards to establish an urban character and allow inclusion of historic elements, including angle parking x includes on-street bike lanes to clearly define cycling as a legitimate mode and to appeal to less confident cyclists x accommodates an auto capacity that is equivalent to today’s capacity x locates transit stations near higher density development according to the land use concept. Developing a multi-modal cross section in close collaboration with land use visioning will make sustainable travel choices convenient. The result is expected to be increased Page | 3 person-capacity of the transportation network while realizing the social benefits associated with reduced reliance on the private automobile. 

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Naveed Butt
Jen Malzer
Alfred A. Guebert
Heather Stevenson
A’Arif Hamad
Nabila Haque