News / Calgary

Transit 'Quick Wins' make return ahead of Green Line plans

Projects meant to bridge the transit gap until completion of the Green Line

Calgary’s transit bottlenecks are getting more TLC from administration.

The city is currently looking for a qualified construction company to head up road tweaks in the southeast as part of their “quick win” program to prepare for the Green Line. The first project to be revisited is the queue jump bus lanes along 114 Avenue SE, the lanes will go in each direction at the intersection of Barlow Trail SE.

The “quick win” series was developed as an in-between step for transit users in the deep south as the Green Line infrastructure was being built. Coun. Shane Keating described them as “building blocks” for what would someday become the Southeast Transitway.

When council voted in favour of expediting the Green Line from a bus rapid transit network directly to a light rail system, administrators put the street tweaks on the shelf. Now, as the dust settles they’re taking them up again and analyzing which ones still have merit.

“We wanted to make sure we weren’t investing money in something that would only be there for the short term,” said transportation spokesperson Julie Yepishina-Geller.

Coun. Shane Keating said the “quick win” projects are still necessary.

“It made sense to shelve them at the time, but now it makes sense to bring them back and do some things,” said Keating. “These will be permanent in regards to south BRT, or LRT, but they certainly help congestion and help the LRT when it comes.”

The project won’t necessarily give trips a timesaving boost, but will improve on the reliability. It’s going to add bus-only turning lanes to the intersection in both directions and pair with a bus-only road that’s being provided by a nearby developer at 40 Street SE later this year.

“Right now it takes about 60 to 75 minutes, depending on the day, to get the 302 from the deep southeast to downtown, and the reason that time varies so much is because Deerfoot Trail is not the most reliable of routes,” Yepishina-Geller said. “The queue jump will help that.”

In 2015, the city was planning to spend $13 million on “quick wins” to help bottlenecks. But Keating said the projects remaining on the list may not add up to that price tag.

Yepishina-Geller said the city is looking at the old proposed projects, and potentially new ones to complete ahead of the Green Line work.

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