Jaywalking tickets spur changes near downtown Calgary construction zone

The city is asking commuters to be patient as it tries to resolve some of the problems around a downtown construction zone. More than 90 tickets were handed out to jaywalkers in the area Tuesday by Calgary police.

More than 90 people were ticketed Tuesday after police received complaints about jaywalking in the area

A flag person telling people to walk straight ahead instead of jaywalking is now at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Fifth Street southwest where construction has been taking place since the beginning of the summer. The city also moved a nearby bus stop after more than 90 people received jaywalking tickets Tuesday. (CBC)

The city is asking commuters to be patient as it tries to resolve some of the problems around a downtown construction zone.

More than 90 tickets for $115 were handed out to jaywalkers in the area Tuesday by Calgary police.

"The police got numerous complaints from drivers who were understandably worried about having hundreds of people walking out in the middle of traffic there," said Ward 8 Coun. Evan Woolley.

But the construction site, which is located at Seventh Avenue and Fifth Street southwest, sits between a C-Train station and a busy bus stop and takes up the adjacent west sidewalk. 

Calgary transportation spokesman Ryan Murray says a temporary sidewalk is not possible because it would take up a lane of traffic.

"We would have to butt further into traffic, and again its about balancing all modes of transportation," he said.

Delay for changes criticized

"So we have to make sure Calgary Transit can get through there, pedestrians can get through there safely, motor vehicles, goods and services. It's a busy place downtown — lots happening everyday."

The nearby bus stop has also been moved away from the construction zone on a temporary basis.

"We're going to move that north a block to just remove that desire for folks who want to jaywalk," said Murray.

A flag person will also remain on site to make sure people don't jaywalk. 

But not everyone is happy.

"You really think that council would have thought of this ... before the construction started," said Peter McCaffrey, who works nearby.

The construction work started earlier this summer, and includes the demolition of a nearby building.

The sidewalk will be back in commission this fall when work is completed.


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