Many of you have contacted our office with questions regarding some of the traffic signals along 17th Avenue SW. The operation of the LRT has significantly altered the traffic situation on 17th Avenue and we currently have a team of Traffic Engineers working hard to improve the way these signals operate. The project team has put together a helpful FAQ page for your information. We apologize for the delays in getting the systems to perform well.
In particular, the southbound left-turn signals at Sirocco Drive and Simcoe Blvd are not operating in an effective way due to the LRT pre-empt function of the signal. Although the team has made some improvements on this issue recently, they are unable to make more substantial improvements within the confines of the hardware currently in place. New equipment has been ordered but will need to be programmed when it arrives and changes will likely be incremental.
A sincere thank you to residents for your patience and courtesy over the past few months at these intersections.
In March of 2012, Calgary Transit launched RouteAhead – a project that resulted in a long-term strategy for public transit over the next 30 years. I was nominated by the Mayor and elected by Council along with Alderman CoIley-Urquhart to work on the RouteAhead committee. The strategy was approved at Council on March 4, 2013. RouteAhead is a comprehensive plan that will improve the customer experience and expand our transit network. The project team based their recommendations to Council on the feedback received during an extensive stakeholder engagement period. The strategies also align with the goals of the Calgary Transportation Plan.
The strategy documents are available on the RouteAhead website. Improvements to the customer experience, upgrading the LRT system to four-car trains and greatly improving the connectivity between different areas of the city will improve the transit experience for the residents of Ward 6 and across Calgary.
Although the 30-year plan is currently unfunded, it provides the necessary framework to develop our transit network in a logical, functional way when funding is made available.
Paving and road repairs in Ward 6
Surface overlay paving program
We are located in a unique climate that is particularly hard on our roads. With the frequent frost and thaw fluctuations throughout our spring and winter months, maintaining the quality of our roads is an ongoing battle. Each spring, Roads crews repave several kilometres of roadway throughout the city as part of the annual surface overlay paving program. During this time, City crews work two shifts, seven days a week to take full advantage of the short road construction season. This paving program is also partially completed by private sector forces under contract.
Roads creates a list of roads that will be repaved during the summer construction season and divides that list by ward. You can see the Ward 6 paving schedule and map here. Roads crews complete repaving where roads are too badly damaged to be repaired piecemeal by filling in potholes and cracks.
Affected residences and businesses receive notice from The City in early spring notifying them that their road is scheduled for work. Closer to the time when work is to begin on your road, paving signs advising of the work will be placed in your area. Any closures or detours are communicated through the daily traffic release in the City of Calgary Newsroom and the Advanced Traveler Information System.
Pothole repairs – call 311
Roads is also responsible for the annual pothole repair program. They inspect city roadways throughout the year to identify areas that need pavement repairs. Major roads are inspected twice a month and collector roads once a month. They rely on 311 reports from citizens and on incidental reporting by field crews to identify needs on residential roads.
Pothole repairs generally begin in April, depending on weather, and continue throughout the summer months. Because the repairs require dry pavement and warm weather conditions to be effective, sometimes Roads crews are not able to begin repairs until later in the season. The majority of repairs are done during the day, but repairs on major roads are done at night when there is less traffic.
Cycling Strategy – education is key to sharing the road
With the weather getting warmer, we are seeing more and more cyclists on our roads and on our pathways, including both leisure cyclists and commuters, making this an excellent time to consider what role each of us plays in fostering a safe environment for this activity.
A key component of the Cycling Strategy, which seeks to encourage cycling as a sustainable and enjoyable transportation option, is to improve the safety of the activity. Many people who would otherwise consider cycling do not feel safe doing so. One way that we are working to make cycling a safer alternative is through infrastructure investments – things like bike lanes, pathways and the Centre City cycle track network that is currently under construction. This infrastructure improves safety by limiting the interaction between cyclists and motor vehicles.
While infrastructure improvements are certainly important, cyclists and drivers alike also have to understand how to properly share the road. Our Cycling Coordinator and his team are developing educational tools to help drivers and cyclists understand their responsibilities. As cycling is becoming a more popular leisure activity and mode of transportation, it is a good idea to educate ourselves as drivers.
There are currently some resources available that are easy to understand and lay out how to properly and safely share the road and pathways. These include:
- The City of Calgary Road Tips: This guide includes tips on a variety of driving situations, including a section on how to interact with cyclists.
- Cycling Education Programs: This listing contains different educational programs available to the urban cyclist as well as several safety tips for kids and adults
- Pathway Laws and Etiquette: This guide contains tips for both pedestrians and cyclists on how to properly use pathways
- Roadway Laws and Etiquette: This guide contains tips for both drivers and cyclists on how to properly share the road
The Calgary Bicycle Program also regularly offers safety tips and cycling information on their facebook page.
Back to May 2013 report
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.