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Crowchild Trail Study: Issues today

High traffic volume - between 81,000 to 107,000 vehicles per day - makes Crowchild Trail one of the busiest roadways in Calgary. See table for current and historic traffic volume

Emergency response and health services delivery cannot rely on Crowchild Trail due to congestion despite it being the most direct north-south route and east-west access.

Bottlenecks have resulted from high volumes of traffic, lane reductions, and lane changes in short distances along the roadway.

Traffic is lined-up for 10 to 12 kilometres during the morning and afternoon commutes (from Brentwood Station in the a.m. to 33 Ave. S.W. in the p.m.).

Traffic merging and weaving on the bridge over the Bow River and at intersections along the corridor.

Access to adjacent lands are provided by dedicated traffic lanes (e.g. to University Drive), traffic signals, and driveway accesses to businesses. Where there is a high volume of traffic like Crowchild Trail, these features contribute to traffic delays.

The duration of rush hour traffic congestion has been increasing and affects access into and out of bordering communities.

Transit service is delayed by traffic congestion.

Bus stops can be difficult to access and are not comfortable environments for people waiting for buses.

Pedestrian and cycling access to major destinations (e.g. Foothills Hospital, University of Calgary, Bow River pathways) is indirect and difficult to find.

Crossing Crowchild is difficult for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers at signalized intersections. Pedestrian overpasses are narrow and some of them no longer meet today’s accessibility standards.

Road Safety Review

As part of the Crowchild Trail Study, the project team conducted a road safety review in 2015 from 24 Ave. N.W. to 17 Ave. S.W. The purpose was to identify improvement opportunities that can be incorporated in the study’s recommendations.

It identified short, medium and long-term improvement opportunities along Crowchild Trail.

Short-term recommendations include:

  • Signage improvements such as installing signs like Variable Message Boards (speed reader boards with congestion and speed information).
  • Improve capacity and operations at busy intersections to address collisions caused by congestion.
  • Identity opportunities for better way-finding signs for people who walk and bike.

Medium-term recommendations include:

  • Review bus stops for improvements such as relocation of stops, enhanced lighting and addition of features such as a bus call system.
  • Indentify opportunities to improve accessibility such as adding wheelchair ramps, audible pedestrian signals, etc.

Long-term recommendations include:

  • Design alternatives to provide lane continuity along the corridor, longer merging distance and geometric changes at intersections.
  • Updating road geometrics.
  • Improve connections for people who walk and bike.

Next Steps

In general, findings from the road safety review are consistent with the key issues we heard from Calgarians. Recommendations will be considered one of the technical inputs into the Crowchild Trail Study.

Short-term recommendations have been shared with City of Calgary Roads to be incorporated in routine maintenance schedules and operational improvements, where applicable. Medium and long-term recommendations will be incorporated into the Crowchild Trail Study.

Read the Road Safety Review Summary to learn about the methodology and key findings.

Map of Crowchild Trail study area today

Click here to see a map of the community boundaries, historical properties, and other areas of interest along the Crowchild Trail corridor.

Traffic Volumes

The City publishes traffic volume flow maps to show the average number of vehicles on major roadways on a weekday. Click here to see the traffic volumes along Crowchild Trail and other city-wide roadways by year.

Crowchild Bridge over Bow River

Throughout Phase 2 of the study, Calgarians told us that bottleneck points and traffic weaving along the Bow River crossing needs to be addressed. 

A preliminary technical review suggests that one additional lane could be added to the bridge. The City is investigating if this additional lane may be added in conjunction with the bridge rehabilitation work anticipated to start in 2016. 

Further review and analysis is also required to confirm the implications of the additional lane to the adjacent road network.