Calgarians share ideas on improving Crowchild traffic woes

Dozens of Calgarians made it to an open house Tuesday night to make their voice heard on plans to improve traffic on Crowchild Trail.
Some Calgarians have lots of ideas about what to do about traffic woes on Crowchild Trail. 4:38

Dozens of Calgarians made it to an open house Tuesday night to make their voice heard on plans to improve traffic on Crowchild Trail.

Some of the ideas from city planners include new interchanges or bridges across the Bow River, and could mean some of the homes in the area are demolished along the way.

City planners say Crowchild Trail was designed to handle 70,000 vehicles a day, but now it tops a 100,000.

Fixing that traffic jam is going to take hundreds of millions of dollars, but — since the city has no funding set aside for improvements — the project could take decades of planning and preparation.

"I think we need to do something," said Ald. Druh Farell. 

"It's a matter of choosing which components of this plan make sense and recognizing we want to protect the neighbourhoods that are adjacent as well."

She says it's not a done deal, though.

"It's a draft plan and we're seeking community input at this point," she said.

Ryan Murray, with Calgary Transportation Planning, says they are looking at everything from a complete buildout of the roadway to some smaller fixes.

"And then they'll also give us options of how we could stage Crowchild Trail improvements, because we might do a quick fix say over the Bow River by adding a second bridge or a 16th Avenue interchange and that might actually solve the problem or increase the flow of Crowchild Trail for the next 10 to 20 years," he said. 

"And we might actually have to go to the ultimate design."

Another open house planned

Another open house will be held Thursday night in Marda Loop and comments for the Crowchild Trail Corridor Study will be accepted on the city's website until the end of the month.

Planners say Crowchild is an artery used by most people in Calgary, so there's going to be a lot of interest in future changes.

"I always make sure I leave at least 45 minutes," said Jenna Price, who gets stuck in rush-hour traffic both ways on her way to university.

Her mother Denise say it's time for major upgrades to fix the bottlenecks on Crowchild.

"I think the infrastructure is a good idea no matter what," she said. "I mean you just have to do it because this city is just going to keep growing and growing."

Lloyd Hamilton says Calgary should look to China where major roadways are elevated.

"North America is so behind in roads and transportation," he said. "China is the example — Shanghai, Beijing are excellent cities."

Cyclist Laura Grant says the plans also account for other modes of transport.

"It seems to me that it's going to be for motorists and cyclists," she said.