Calgary

Northwest Calgary development has some residents on edge

The City of Calgary’s plan to upgrade a major northwest intersection should ease traffic for several large developments, but it’s causing unease for some area residents who say it will change the neighbourhood.

Calgary says expansion project should make it easier for more than just cars to get around

The redevelopment plan includes building the Stadium Shopping Centre, the Calgary Cancer Centre, a West Campus for the University, and the Foothills Professional and Medical Centre. (Mike Symington/CBC)

The City of Calgary's plan to upgrade a major northwest intersection should ease traffic for several large developments, but it's causing unease for some area residents who say it will change the neighbourhood.

The redevelopment plan in the area includes building the Stadium Shopping Centre, the Calgary Cancer Centre, a West Campus for the University, and the Foothills Professional and Medical Centre.

Part of the project involves expanding the intersection of 16th Avenue and 29th Street N.W. with additional turning lanes. (Mike Symington/CBC)

Shirley Walker has lived in University Heights for 37 years.

"It's not going to be the same neighbourhood anymore," Walker said. "We've enjoyed the relative quietness of the neighbourhood but we see that's really going to all change and I'm afraid of it."

Longtime University Heights resident Shirley Walker says the projects are going to change the relative quietness of the neighbourhood. (Mike Symington/CBC)

Jack Wootliff lives in St. Andrews Heights and is worried about all the congestion that will result from construction.

"Our biggest problem is getting in and out of the area. And not just for me, but what about the more emergency things like an ambulance or a fire truck?" Wootliff asks.

Jack Wootliff is concerned about how the changes will affect access for emergency vehicles. (Mike Symington/CBC)

Part of the construction is also an upgrade to the intersection at 16th Avenue and 29th Street N.W. meant to ease traffic flow.

An additional lane is being added in each direction on 16th Avenue, and a roundabout will be built at Uxbridge Drive and Ulster Road.

City project manager Anne Cataford says it's not just about vehicular traffic.

"Our BRT or bus rapid transit is going to be running along 16th Avenue," Cataford said.

City project manager Anne Cataford says the development should improve access for cars, cyclists and pedestrians. (Mike Symington/CBC)

"We are hoping that more people will come by transit, not just cars. It's looking at all modes getting into this facility. The development is planning for more walking and cycling accommodations."

Walker said it may just be a matter of going with the flow, but she's not happy with it.

"We'll just have to watch and get to live with it I guess," she said.

With files from Mike Symington

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