News / Calgary

Public input driving Crowchild Trail study

City explores extra lane for Bow River bridge

Anyone who drives Crowchild Trail knows about the bottleneck at the bridge over the Bow River. The city is looking to citizens for solutions on this problem and others.

Metro File

Anyone who drives Crowchild Trail knows about the bottleneck at the bridge over the Bow River. The city is looking to citizens for solutions on this problem and others.

Most of us aren’t traffic engineers, but since last February the city has been looking for people’s ideas of how to improve Crowchild Trail.
 
They’ve now reached the mid-point, and council will receive the latest study update Monday.

Project manager Feisal Lakha said this one is going much better than a previous study on Crowchild Trail that council ultimately rejected in 2012.

“This new process completely flips the old process on its head,” he said.

Since early last year, the city has been holding consultations with citizens, especially those living in the communities that border Crowchild.

The process was set up in six phases, with the city making presentations and then gathering feedback at each step along the way.

Coun. Shane Keating, chair of the standing committee on transportation and transit, said the process is going very smoothly when compared with the previous study.

“The last one, it seemed like they had concepts put down on paper and they said, ‘OK, let's go with it,’” said Keating. “This time we’re actually getting positive and substantial feedback from residents on alternatives and making sure the plan is the correct plan for the future.”

Lakha said the messages city administration is hearing have been consistent. Traffic congestion is the main issue, but the impact to emergency vehicles is another problem.

He said participants have been making suggestions on how to solve those problems, both in the short term and long term – with ideas such as removing signals, limiting access, or building interchanges.

“The one (complaint) that we are always familiar with is – fix the (Crowchild) bridge,” said Lakha. “We’ve heard that from day one and that goes to congestion and lane continuity.”

This spring the city will begin a two-year refurbishment project of the bridge over the Bow River.

“It may be possible that we can add an additional lane to the bridge, which could help us in the short term,” said Lakha.

Administration will bring final recommendations to council by the end of 2016.

More on Metronews.ca