Fire and EMS
Parking & Traffic
Fire & EMS
Why is another Fire and EMS station being proposed in the downtown area?
Fire and EMS are essential City services for our citizens. Because the current Fire and EMS infrastructure in the city centre was built to meet 1970s' needs, the Calgary Fire Department and Alberta Emergency Health Services (EHS) are challenged not by slow response times, but as result of ever-increasing call volumes in the downtown core. At present, the existing two Fire and Alberta EHS downtown stations are twice as busy as the city average (i.e. 1,200 fire calls for each station in 2006). Those stations relied on assistance from stations outside the downtown core 288 times in 2006. As well, the downtown locations have the highest requests for EHS service in the City. In the future, the call volume will only increase as density in the downtown core increases (based on 2035 projections):
- 20,000 to 40,000 additional residents;
- Up to 180,000 more employees as part of the downtown core workforce;
- 13,000 to 26,000 new dwellings; and
- 490,000 to 790,000 square feet of new office space.
In addition to the obvious impacts on safety, security and insurance rates, The City's inability to provide additional Fire and EHS services to the downtown core in a timely manner could impede many other potential developments in the area.
Why was this location selected for this project?
Other sites were considered, however, they did not meet the site selection criteria. Given the immediate and urgent need for a new Fire and Alberta EHS station in the west downtown core, this site was recognized as the only immediately available site that met the Fire and Alberta EHS location criteria with adequate access/egress. Further, the site is well positioned for affordable housing (i.e. proximity to employment opportunities, transit, amenities, services and shopping). Through a comprehensive redevelopment and co-habitation of services, this site ultimately provided The City with a unique, cost-effective opportunity to:
- address an immediate need for additional Fire and AHS EMS services in the west downtown core;
- capitalize on a proposal from the private sector to participate in the development of urgently needed affordable housing in the downtown core;
- minimize the environmental footprint, consistent with the principles of Council endorsed Smart Growth; and
- integration of market and non-market housing.
As such, this initiative represented a unique opportunity to address Council priorities in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Will residents of the community be subjected to siren noise at night?
The Calgary Fire Department and Alberta Emergency Health Services (EHS) will enact noise abatement programs at the new location whereby vehicle sirens will be activated only when necessary and for as short a time as possible. The pre-empting of signals prior to the departure of the Fire and EMS vehicles will also mitigate the need for siren use.
Where are the people coming from who will live in this housing?
This project will likely provide homes for working singles, couples and families, and people with mobility challenges. Residents will come from Calgary Housing Company (CHC) wait lists. The project will enable low-income tenants to gain a sense of independence allowing them to integrate with and contribute to a stronger community.
Is the community going to be subjected to a higher level of crime with the introduction of affordable housing?
The goal of the mixed-income model is to merge market housing with affordable non-market housing. In doing so, affordable housing is integrated into the community as opposed to isolating it physically. Research has proven that the merger of market with non-market housing minimizes impact on crime levels.
Who will manage the affordable housing development after it is completed?
Calgary Housing Company (CHC) will operate and manage the affordable housing development on fourth Ave SW.
Parking & Traffic
What will be the impact of this proposed development on parking in the community?
The impact of this specific project on parking availability in the community will be limited. The proposed development contains four levels of underground parking to address the needs of the tenants. That said, it is important to note that because of significant projected increases in density and traffic volumes in the downtown core over time, parking availability in the downtown will be impacted regardless of this proposed development. Furthermore, the residential parking permits/passes are intended for single family, semi-detached, triplexes, rowhouses, fourplexes, etc. and are not intended for apartments as these buildings are designed to confine all their parking requirements on-site.
Are we going to see higher traffic volume in the community because of this development?
While most of the residents in the 88 affordable housing units will be using transit, it is expected that residents from the 132 market housing units will add to the traffic volume in the community. That being said, this specific project's impact on traffic volume is very minimal.
I heard that the designated fire engine route to get downtown will be third Ave. Is this true?
No, the designated fire engine route is southbound on eighth St SW to allow for direct access to fifth Ave SW one-way eastbound and to sixth Ave SW one-way westbound. Third Ave SW is not a designated fire route. Fire and EMS vehicles will go where they are called to go; however, use of third Ave SW will be avoided as much as possible.
How are the roads in the community going to be impacted by this proposed development?
The only road that is to be altered is eighth St SW which will be converted to two-way traffic between 4th Ave SW and 6th Ave SW. Signalization with Opticom technology will allow for the fluid movement of emergency vehicles from the site to the required destinations.
The roads within the Eau Claire community will not be impacted or altered physically to accommodate the proposed development.
When will construction be completed?
Construction completion timelines are subject to change.
- Affordable Housing Tower - Winter 2010
- Fire/EMS Station - Spring 2010
- Market Tower - Fall 2010
Will there be any road closures to facilitate construction of this proposed project?
The Community will be advised if the need for a road closure is required to facilitate the construction of the project. Currently the northerly lane at fourth Ave SW and easterly land on eighth St are closed.
What will be done to mitigate construction noise particularly at night?
The construction is taking place during daylight hours to ensure local residents are not subject to noise during the evening. Residents were advised of a noise mitigation program put into place prior to the commencement of construction.
What will be done to mitigate dust in the neighbourhood during construction?
There will be measures undertaken to mitigate the potential for dust during the construction period.