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3 Avenue South Walking and Wheeling Upgrades

Project Update

The City will be maintaining an interim cycle track on 3 Avenue S., between 8 Street SW and 5 Street SW. However, it cannot be kept in place east of 5 Street SW due to utility work occurring throughout the fall.

Having mobility choices – such as cycling is important to Calgarians and their quality of life. Council and City Administration are committed to providing safe and accessible cycling infrastructure to Calgarians grounded in the principles of Calgary’s 5A network.

Having this interim cycle track will allow cyclists to connect with north-south cycling facilities and move through the downtown core. It will also allow us to pilot and test options based on lessons learned from the 3 Avenue temporary detour being in place over the past few years and the results of our ongoing survey on lessons learned from the detour. Design for a permanent east-west cycling connection will commence in 2024. 

About the project

We know that sections of the Bow River Pathway will be closed to pathway users throughout construction.  To support Calgarians in navigating the area, the 3 Avenue Walking and Wheeling detour have been created to serve the community as a long-term wheeling detour and enhance the pedestrian environment.

While each detour route will support all travel modes, it is important that we work to diffuse the volumes of pathway users. Localized detours will support people walking, while the consistent detour along 3 Avenue South is primarily intended for people wheeling.  A dedicated option for people wheeling provides separation between people travelling at different speeds, which helps maintain safety, comfort, access and predictability.

The project will improve active transportation connections to businesses, residences, transit, and existing pathways and bikeway while the Bow River pathway is closed. During the closure, there will be an increased demand for sidewalk space along 3 Avenue 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 sidewalks into accessible pathways and bikeways enables people of all abilities to travel in the area comfortably.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will the 3 Ave detour be removed?

The detour is not being removed. We will maintain an interim cycle track on 3 Avenue S., between 8 Street SW and 5 Street SW. The cycle track cannot be kept in place east of 5 Street SW due to utility work occurring throughout the fall.

What is a detour?

A temporary safe and efficient alternative route for use by people travelling when the usual route is temporarily closed.

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.).

Are the improvements to 3 Avenue permanent?

  • Pedestrian enhancements such as ramps and sidewalk improvements, in addition to traffic signals will be permanent. 
  • The cycle track will remain in place between 8 Street SW and 5 Street SW on an interim basis, until a permanent east-west connection can be designed and constructed.

When will the upgrades start, and when will they be finished?

  • Construction of the 3 Avenue detour is anticipated to start in this summer, and we anticipate the improvements will be complete before Fall 2021.

What is the impact of parking along 3 Avenue for this project?

  • We know that parking in the area is important for people visiting and travelling to the area. The 3 Avenue detour will result in a loss of parking on 3 Avenue
  • To mitigate these impacts, some stalls will be relocated to 6 Street S.W. In other areas, such as 1 Street S.E., will be also look to enhance the current angle parking to provide additional parking options. 

How will the 3 Avenue Wheeling upgrades integrate with the existing bike lanes and pathways?

  • The designs presented have identified and addressed areas that intersect with the existing bike lanes and pathways to remove any awkward intersections for all users. For example, turn boxes and lane painting help to create predictable movements for people driving and people using the bike lanes.  

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Policies and plans

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

Stay connected

Have questions or concerns about project construction? Please contact 311

This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​