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Project update – September 2016
Construction of the bike lane and traffic calming curbs began in early September and is expected to be completed by the end of the month. If you have any questions or concerns about the project please contact 311 and the Community Traffic team will respond.
In 2015, a community traffic issue identified by the Erin Woods Community Association was selected for a traffic calming project. The City collected data on pedestrian safety and vehicle speeds in the community. Based on the number of locations identified, Erin Woods was selected for a traffic calming project and to pilot new traffic calming curbs throughout the community.
City staff worked with the Erin Woods Community Association and a small group of residents to develop a traffic calming plan to address concerns regarding the safety of people walking and cycling throughout the community, and to reduce the speeds of people driving.
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As part of the traffic calming plan a number of different traffic calming measures are being installed throughout the community of Erin Woods. Traffic calming curbs are being placed in the shape of curb extensions at 13 intersections and as median extensions at two intersections. The curb extensions will encourage people driving to slow down as they approach the intersections, while the median extensions will encourage people driving to slow down when making left turns.
A bike lane is has been installed on Erin Woods Boulevard S.E. between Erin Woods Circle and the Erin Woods Park. It will narrow the travel lane, encouraging people to drive slowly, and give people cycling a designated space to ride their bikes. It will not impact the number of travel lanes or on-street parking spaces.
The playground zone sign at Erin Woods Drive and Erin Croft Crescent S.E. will be moved closer to Erin Park Drive S.E. Shortening the playground zone will help people driving remember that they are travelling through a playground zone and need to reduce their speeds. When a playground zone is extended too far people driving forget that they are travelling through a playground zone and tend to speed up.
An open house was held on June 29, 2016 to gather feedback from the community regarding the traffic calming plan, along with an online survey that was available from June 20 until July 4. For more information about the engagement that took place for this project, and any future engagement opportunities, please visit the engagement page.
More about the project
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Traffic calming curbs were designed with both the safety of people walking and driving in mind. They are yellow to ensure that they are highly visible, and provide a barrier to protect people walking. They are designed to be the same height as other roadside curbs, so a vehicle should not rollover if it collides with one of the curbs. Traffic calming curbs, in key locations, will have plastic reflective posts installed on them to increase their visibility to people driving. They are heavy enough that we expect that only City crews with specialized equipment can move them, but they can be pinned to the ground if needed.
Benefits to people driving:
The new traffic calming curbs and bike lane will make it safer for people driving. By narrowing the street, The City has designed the roadway to encourage travel at safer speeds, which will reduce collisions. In addition, the measures provide a space for people riding their bikes separated from vehicle traffic, and makes it easier to see people who are waiting to walk across the street.
Benefits to people walking:
The new measures will reduce the crossing distance and provide a safe, visible space to wait before crossing. By encouraging lower travel speeds, walking in the community will be safer and more comfortable.
Benefits to people riding a bike:
The new bicycle lane will provide a dedicated space on-street to ride between the pathway on the west side of 36 Street S.E. to Erin Woods Park, which in turn provides other connections into the community.
What should I do if I’m crossing the street? What should I do as a driver approaching a crosswalk?
People walking should be alert when entering any marked or unmarked crosswalk or indicating their intention to cross the street.
People driving must stop their vehicle safely before the crosswalk and allow anyone who has either entered the crosswalk, or indicated their intention to do so, to cross the street.
Remember, a crosswalk is the section of roadway connecting two sidewalks, and may or may not be marked. Regardless of whether the crosswalk is marked, the same rules still apply.
How do I make right turns from Erin Woods Boulevard S.E. now?
If you are turning right from Erin Woods Boulevard S.E. you will make your turn from the right most travel lane. In order to turn right you will need to do the following:
- shoulder check to ensure there is no one biking in the bike lane;
- when the bike lane is clear, cross the white dashed line and merge into the right hand lane;
- yield to anyone crossing the street; and
- turn right when it is safe to do so.
According to the Traffic Safety Act, any right turning vehicles must yield to any cyclist already in the lane.
Why is there a bike lane on Erin Woods Boulevard S.E.?
A buffered bike lane has been installed on Erin Woods Boulevard S.E. from 36 Street to Erin Woods Drive. It provides people cycling from the west side of 36 Street S.E. with a connection to the pathway entrance on Erin Woods Drive S.E. that leads into Erin Woods Park. This in turns connects to other destinations in the community.
Also, it encourages people to drive slowly because of the narrowed the travel lane, while giving people cycling a designate space to ride their bikes. It does not impact the number of travel lanes or on-street parking stalls.
Can I drive in the bike lane?
No. Only people riding bicycles can use the bike lane. The bike lane operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Buses are allowed to cross the bike lane to access bus stops. People driving are allowed to cross the bike lane to park alongside the curb, but cannot drive in the bike lane or use it to pass other people driving. Before crossing the bike lane, people driving need to shoulder check to make sure there is no one cycling in the bike lane and signal their intention to turn right.
A fine from Calgary Police Services for driving a motor vehicle in a bike lane is possible.
How will the bike lane on Erin Woods Boulevard S.E. slow down traffic?
On-street bike lanes narrow the road by creating a designated space on-street for cyclists. The lane markings for a bike lane clearly indicate where motor vehicles are expected to travel and where people riding bikes are expected to travel. People driving need to pay attention to whether people are cycling in the bike lane, which typically results in people driving at safer speeds.
If you are concerned about speeding or traffic violations in your community please report these issues directly to the Calgary Police Service. They coordinate the enforcement of traffic violations. For information on how to submit a traffic service request please visit their traffic reporting page.
The traffic calming curbs should have little to no impact on snow clearing. The posts that are installed on the concrete piece increase the visibility of the traffic calming curbs, so snowplow drivers will be able to see them even if they are covered in snow. For general information about snow clearing please visit Calgary.ca/snow.
When will the traffic calming curbs be cleared of snow?
The traffic calming curbs will be cleared of snow as part of the seven day snow event plan. They will be cleared of snow starting on Day 4 of the snow event plan, when crews are out clearing steps, walks, and bus pads.
If community members clear the snow from the traffic calming curbs before City crews do, please place the snow between the traffic calming curbs and the sidewalk curb or on the grassy boulevard. If you remove snow from the traffic calming curbs, please do not place snow in the crosswalk. City crews will come back on Day 4 of the snow event plan and clear any snow that remains on or around the traffic calming curbs.
If you are new to cycling, below are links to some tips and information to help get you on your way:
Connect with cycling
Take a map on the go! The City of Calgary Pathways and Bikeways iPhone and Android App is free and available to download from the Apple and Google app stores.
Download the IOS AppDownload the Android App
Join our online Facebook community for cycling tips, bike maps, info and news by pressing ‘Like’ on the City of Calgary Bicycle Program page.
This webpage will continue to be updated as the project progresses, so please check back for updates. If you have questions about this project please contact 311 and the Community Traffic team will respond. For general information about the traffic calming program please visit the Community Traffic Studies webpage.