Calgary

Stampede CTrain station to be rebuilt in massive pedestrian overhaul

The aging light-rail transit station near Calgary's Stampede Park will be getting a massive remodel that will disrupt traffic and pedestrians for months, in hopes of improving CTrain access.

Calgary plans to re-do how people get around the key hub of its busy entertainment district

The City of Calgary is planning a major revamp of transit and pedestrian routes around Stampede Park. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

After a night out or a Flames game, many Calgarians make the trek over to the Victoria Park/Stampede CTrain station to get home.

They crisscross pedestrian bridges and board the trains, which leave the station hundreds of times a day.

In a little more than four years, they'll be making that trip from a brand-new station accessed by crosswalks.

The aging light-rail transit station near Calgary's Stampede Park will be getting a massive remodel that will disrupt traffic and pedestrians for months.

Plans for Victoria Park/Stampede LRT station were released Friday, ahead of the transit committee meeting next week.

They show a ground-level train station, accessible from a variety of points, and new pedestrian street-level crosswalks, each with room for crowds to wait for the traffic light to change.

The city has released this early artist rendering of the revamped Victoria Park/Stampede CTrain station. It will be lower to the ground, so more accessible to people with limited mobility. (City of Calgary)

The idea marks a big change for the busy hub area.

The current station, which has 111,300 passengers weekly, will be knocked down and rebuilt entirely. It'll be closed for months as a result — an indeterminate amount of time but Mayor Naheed Nenshi says it'll be less than a year.

Bus service will be offered for transitgoers during any closures.

Northbound and eastbound traffic will see noticeably longer traffic delays due to the construction and once the project is complete, the report said, which warns the city should expect complaints about the waits.

These blue spaces mark where the city predicts pedestrians will gather while trying to navigate the busy entertainment district. (City of Calgary)

However, the city weighs that against the need for at-grade access to the station. The station is aging, as are the pedestrian crossings, and need to be replaced. The platform will be lower and larger, so better able to accommodate more passengers and those with varying degrees of mobility.

"People will find a much better pedestrian environment," Nenshi said. "If you're walking from the restaurants and bars on 17th Avenue, you'll be able to walk into events."

The new LRT station to replace Victoria Park/Stampede will have pedestrian crosswalks surrounding it. (City of Calgary)

The whole project — which includes a new LRT bridge across the Elbow River, as well — is expected to take three years, from after Stampede 2020 to late 2023.

"The idea here is to open up Stampede Park and the entire East Victoria Park Rivers District to the Beltline and to really made it together as one community," Nenshi said. "The key benefits of it are that it'll be easier to get in and out of Stampede Park, especially when there's big events."

No price was included with the early report, which said it'll be paid for through the community revitalization levy. The district is expected to see several major developments in the coming years, including a trio of high-rises near Stampede Park.

With files from Scott Dippel

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