Knowledge CentreTechnical Resources SearchConference PapersThe City of Calgary’s Reversible Lane Control Systems

The City of Calgary’s Reversible Lane Control Systems


Begun in 2006 as manual trial projects, the City of Calgary’s lane reversals for Memorial Drive and the 5 Avenue Connector on Bow Trail have proven effective in reducing peak hour congestion and community shortcutting on key routes around the downtown core. Following the successful trial, the City moved forward with the Reversible Lane Control Systems (RLCS) project for planning, design, construction and commissioning of automated control systems for both reversals, making them a permanent feature of the weekday commute. The first such systems implemented in Calgary since the 1970s, the RLCS introduced a number of new control devices to the City’s operations, including traffic gates and prism-type changeable message signs. Through an integrated fiber optic network and traffic cameras, the system is centrally controlled from the City’s Traffic Management Centre (TMC,) providing a safe, effective and flexible system with which to transition the reversals on a daily basis. Commissioned in March 2010, the system makes effective use of under-utilized peak hour capacity to improve traffic flows in and out of downtown Calgary. Having maintained the footprints of the existing roadways, the project has integrated well with nearby, established neighbourhoods and is recognized as a success for sustainable transportation. The paper thus highlights a potential model for municipalities looking to find innovative ways to enhance transportation capacity on existing road facilities without undertaking costly or controversial road widening projects. 

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Chris Delanoy
Travis Gaede
Yeatland Wong