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Silence&Motion

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Calgary

Looks like someone at the City is reading @CBBarnett 's posts:

8st.png
 
Credit to the CDA as well. Mark Garner has been talking about 8th St whenever possible over the past year.

What makes me most optimistic about Calgary's future (and I suppose the future of every downtown), is that most people who want to work for a planning department nowadays are committed to active mobility.
That's good to know. When I moved to this city 8 years ago, the City was just finishing the last redesign of 8th street, which basically leaned into the status quo of prioritizing cars. I could have never imagined that they would have the guts to shrink a 4-5 lane road down to 2-3 lanes. Hopefully this project kicks off a larger road diet for Downtown Calgary.

The City and the CDA seem to have come a long way in the past 8 years.
 
I could have never imagined that they would have the guts to shrink a 4-5 lane road down to 2-3 lanes. Hopefully this project kicks off a larger road diet for Downtown Calgary.
Me neither. Catering to cars is such a Calgary thing, I’m still not used to the city making smart decisions like this.
 
Oh my god. I just watched the presentation that @whatchyyc posted. I could cry. They get it! They finally get it! Everything from separated bike lanes to proper soil for trees. Please, please, please let this plan go forward without getting vetoed by some crusty old fart in the transportation department who thinks policies should actually be designed to deter pedestrians from walking around the city (yes, this is actually how some of them think).
 
That's good to know. When I moved to this city 8 years ago, the City was just finishing the last redesign of 8th street, which basically leaned into the status quo of prioritizing cars. I could have never imagined that they would have the guts to shrink a 4-5 lane road down to 2-3 lanes. Hopefully this project kicks off a larger road diet for Downtown Calgary.

The City and the CDA seem to have come a long way in the past 8 years.
Back in 2016, the case that was pretty obvious to anyone living in the core is increasingly obvious to others too - the city centre is booming and has been for a long time and the streets should reflect that. I recall arguing to the planners at open-houses about 2015-ish about pedestrian volumes, sidewalk clutter and signal control boxes, and how stupidly long our pro-driving green wave signal phases were, during part of the engagement session for the 2016 plan.

Now in 2023, cultural shifts to work-from-home and a decade of 30% office vacancy has pretty much silenced calls for vehicle capacity growth in the core from the traditional commuter and corporate voices, as well as the planners that defended theses views for decades. If the case was obvious for a more walkable core in 2016, there's hardly a counterpoint at all in 2023 - plus the city centre has welcomed some 10,000 new residents since then with no signs of slowing down. That's a lot more pedestrians and cyclists hitting volume counters and calling their Councillors when their sidewalk sucks or a speeding commuter almost hits them because of poor road design.

While the city centre is steps ahead, there are positive green shoots further afield too - the designs are improving and far more functional on all these streetscape and cycling corridors being proposed now (Montgomery main street work, 24th Avenue NW for example). Just an anecdotal observation from a few of those toxic community Facebook groups I am a part of - there's lots more community dialogue than I expected about maybe cycling and walking stuff being a great thing for the community even in pretty sleepy residential areas, so it's not just the totally normal comments about how expanding a sidewalk to fit a wheelchair is actually a UN plot to subjugate my ability to park for free anywhere, at any time, for any reason.

Despite the churn and chaos that is sometime out there, I think we are actually firmly heading on to the right track with all this stuff :)
 
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The City should run a pilot/task force to identify/eliminate unnecessary sidewalk clutter. They could take in citizen feedback through 311. As an example, there is a street I’ve driven down where there are two school/recreational 30 km/hr zones separated by ~50 metres. Instead of having the 30km/h zone continue through the ~50 metres, they have signage switching the speed limit 2x through this zone.
 
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The City should run a pilot/task force to identify/eliminate unnecessary sidewalk clutter. They could take in citizen feedback through 311. As an example, there is a street I’ve driven down where there are two school/recreational 30 km/he zoned separated by ~metres. Instead of having the 30km/h zone continue through the ~50 metres, they have signage switching the speed limit 2x through this zone.
Or better yet - get rid of the ridiculous 30 zones alltogether!
 

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