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3 Avenue South Walking and Wheeling Upgrades

Project Area Map

3 Avenue South is an important street in the communities of Chinatown and Eau Claire that provides a link to the Bow River Pathway Network, transit routes, local amenities, and a range of businesses and residences.

About the project

Now, more than ever, the way that Calgarians move in our city is changing. In recent years, we have seen growth in the total number of walking and cycling trips into our Downtown. As the city grows, our pathway and bikeway capacity needs to develop to ensure a safe and enjoyable space for everyone.

The 3 Avenue South Walking and Wheeling Upgrades Project aims to make it easier to walk and wheel along the corridor while providing vital East and West connections to our existing network. The 2018 Centre City Bicycle Volume Map shows that 3 Avenue South is one of the busiest cycling routes in the centre city. Creating a high-quality facility, that is accessible for all ages and abilities, will address some pedestrian and traffic safety concerns that have been raised in past engagement with the communities of Chinatown and Eau Claire, and pathway users along the Bow River and River Walk pathways.

A dedicated option for people wheeling provides separation between people travelling at different speeds, which improves safety, predictability and comfort. The project will improve active transportation connections to businesses, residences, transit, and existing pathways and bikeways. There is an increased demand for sidewalk space along 3 Avenue and the River Walk pathway, and providing an on-street alternative will help to alleviate the strain on sidewalk capacity in the area. By moving mobility devices such as scooters, in-line skates, and skateboards off of sidewalks into accessible pathways and bikeways enables people of all abilities to travel in the area comfortably.

We are launching this project in coordination with the Eau Claire Area Improvements so that we can find efficiencies and connectivity with other projects in the area while addressing the impact to the community. We know that future development in the Eau Claire Area means there will be a need for alternative routes for walking and wheeling when the existing Bow River Pathway is closed due to construction or in the event of high water levels on the Bow River. Doing the work now supports our intent to create resilience in the area and future-proof our pathway and bikeway network.

Why 3 Avenue South?

  • 3 Avenue South is the only east-west road that connects to the Bow River Pathway Network on the west side in the Eau Claire community (at 8 Street S.W.) and the east side in the Chinatown community (via 1 Street S.E.).
  • 3 Avenue South supports connectivity and accessibility for people walking, wheeling, and taking transit in the centre city.
  • The 3 Avenue South upgrades will support the Eau Claire Area Improvements Project during construction. The upgrades we’re making along 3 Avenue will ensure that Calgarians are provided with an alternate route to the Bow River Pathway Network during construction and will also improve access to businesses and residential areas in the vicinity.
  • 3 Avenue South has a range of businesses which can be supported through increased access for customers and employees travelling by foot, bicycle, and other active modes.
  • Past plans and policies have identified 3 Avenue South as an active transportation corridor and it is an existing on-street bikeway.
  • 3 Avenue South is one of the busiest roads for cycling in Calgary (at the west end) and connects to both 7 Street S.W. and 5 Street S.W. cycle tracks as well as Eau Claire and Sien Lok Park (via 1 Street S.W.).

The Upgrades

The upgrades being made for people who walk and wheel in the area include:

  • Improvements at intersections that enhance safety and make it easier to cross the street
  • The possible installation of signals (where appropriate) to enhance pedestrian safety and accessibility
  • Wheelchair ramp reconstruction and accessibility improvements
  • Traffic calming measures
  • Changes to on-street parking, including curb extensions or concrete islands that will improve the visibility of people at intersections
  • Creating angle parking stalls where appropriate on side streets to increase parking capacity
  • Creating dedicated facilities for cycling and other mobility devices such as scooters, in-line skates, and skateboards

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Timeline

  • Engagement*:
    • August 2020: Initial public touchpoint
    • October 2020: Second public touchpoint
  • Construction:
    • Q2 & Q3 2021

Policies and plans

3 Avenue South was identified as a cycling connection in several plans and policies: