In May 2009, AECOM began conducting a Transportation Planning Study (TPS) on behalf of the City of Calgary to investigate alternatives for incorporating enhanced and dedicated transit along the 17 Avenue SE corridor in Calgary keeping in alignment with Council’s “Sustainability Principles” and the Calgary Transportation Plan (CTP).
The purpose of the Transportation Planning Study was to determine the feasibility of a multi-modal corridor that is consistent with the community and the City’s vision and complements the proposed land use concept plan for this corridor. In keeping with the City’s Triple Bottom Line target the main objectives of the study were to: build upon the existing attributes of the area, improve deficiencies in the existing road and sidewalk network, enhance transit services in the area, promote active modes of transportation, and design for the safe and efficient movement of vehicles.
The study involved reviewing several cross sections against the project goals. The recommended 17 Avenue SE cross-section features four vehicular lanes, continuous bike lanes, separated sidewalks, continuous green boulevards and dedicated median transit lanes. The Right-of-Way includes adequate width for the potential future upgrade of the BRT system to a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system when warranted. As part of the study, issues such as safety, parking, access management, environmental and utility impacts and stormwater management were identified and addressed in the preferred concept. In addition, intersections were consolidated to improve traffic flow by reducing conflict points for vehicles and vulnerable road users. The dedicated transit lanes were recommended to be carried through to the Downtown core, and a preferred route selected through Inglewood. The result of the study is expected to decrease the level of reliance on private vehicles, enhanced safety and health of road users, environmental preservation, and a shift to more sustainable modes of transportation.
AECOM, in collaboration with the City, worked on disseminating information to and responding concerns raised by the general public as well as stakeholders. The public consultation included a number of open houses, website updates, and newsletter mail outs. The project was closely coordinated and integrated with the Land Use Planning and Policy Group and approved by council in July 2010.