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Crowchild Trail Study: Crowchild Trail in the transportation network

Crowchild Trail is a critical part of Calgary’s transportation network.

Crowchild Trail’s function as the main north-south link across the west side of Calgary and access to the city center was identified as early as the 1959 Calgary Metropolitan Area Transportation Study.

Since then, Crowchild Trail’s role in Calgary’s transportation network has been confirmed through a number of transportation plans over the past decades, including the most recent plan - the Calgary Transportation Plan - approved in 2009.

Role of Crowchild Trail

  • The 60-year Calgary Transportation Plan identifies Crowchild Trail as a skeletal road.
  • Skeletal roads attract traffic that needs to travel long distances so other roadways and neighbourhood streets (e.g. 16 Ave., Kensington Rd.) can provide local access.
  • Crowchild Trail is the primary north-south link across the west side of Calgary and for connecting to major destinations across the city.
  • A Crowchild Trail that functions well will discourage commuters from short-cutting through nearby communities.
  • Crowchild Trail needs to accommodate future transportation demands that will result from the continued growth of Calgary.

What is a “skeletal road”?

Skeletal roads are generally designed to move large volumes of traffic over longer distances. They are typically free-flow (no signals), and have little direct access and interaction with adjacent land uses.

North-south skeletal roads that serve the west side of Calgary are:

  • Stoney Trail
  • Sarcee Trail
  • Shaganappi Trail
  • Crowchild Trail

Aside from Stoney Trail, Crowchild Trail provides the only north-south river crossing west of downtown.

Crowchild Trail and the Calgary Transportation Plan

We heard from participants that they wanted to learn more about the Calgary Transportation Plan, and how Crowchild Trail fits within that plan.

To learn more, review the presentation Planning for Growth: Crowchild Trail and the Calgary Transportation Network.

Note: The presentation was originally prepared for an information session hosted by Councillor Evan Woolley on Oct. 1, 2015. It has been modified for web purposes.