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Marda Loop Main Streets

33 and 34 Avenues S.W.

Project update – July 2024

Significant work occurring week of July 22

We know you want construction to be completed as quickly as possible. As such, we're accelerating our pace in certain areas. But this means multiple streets and sidewalks will be shut down to progress the work. Parking will be limited. We know this is impacts you. We will work hard to get this done safely and efficiently. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

July 22 - August 10 Detours map

  • 36 Avenue at 18 Street through 19 Street
  • Full road closure
  • No parking in the area

July 22 - August 18 Detours map

  • 33 Avenue at 18 Street through 20 Street
  • This is the first of three phases of work; future phases will be communicated
  • Northside road construction - eastbound traffic maintained but 18 Street will be closed to traffic
  • No parking in the area

July 22 - early September Detours map

  • 33 Avenue at 20 Street through 22 Street
  • South side sidewalk construction work will start in areas where the previous north side work has been completed

June 10 - July 16 Detours map

  • 18 Street between 34 and 36 Avenues – Road closed to vehicle access for porous paver installation

July 19 - Night Market detour – Noon - 11 p.m. Detours map

June 28 - July 19 (phase 2/3) Detours map

  • 33 Avenue/20 Street – From Circle K building face to 32 Avenue will be closed. The center median on 20 Street will have been removed with stage 1 construction, this will allow traffic to get in and out of the Circle K entrance/exit.
  • The back lane driveway will remain open for East/West movement (gravel). 

July 2 – October 1 – Detours map

  • 34 Avenue west of 22 Street – Sidewalk closed connecting 34 Avenue to 33 Avenue next to Crowchild Trail 

July 16 – August 6 – Detours map

  • 36 Avenue/18 – 19 Streets – Road reconstruction

August 6 – October 1 – Detours map

  • 19 Street /34 - 35 Avenues – Road reconstruction 

Ongoing construction

  • 36 Avenue between 18 and 19 Street – (8 weeks) no on-street parking, two-way traffic maintained - sidewalk reconstruction.

Focus on: improving mobility

To help make it a little easier for folks to get around during the busy construction season, we have set up temporary bike and e-scooter parking along 34 Ave. Each site will be stocked with rentals to help folks get around. 

Bike & E-scooter location map
  • Over 190 Businesses open during construction

    The Marda Loop Main Streets project will bring a whole new look to the Marda Loop business district when it is completed in late 2024. Please keep supporting local businesses during the challenges of the construction period – they need you now more than ever

  • We’re piloting something new to support businesses!

    The City has launched a new pilot to test financial support for businesses during planned Main Streets construction. The Main Streets Business Support Grant pilot provides a one-time lump sum payment of $5,000 to eligible businesses affected by planned 2024 City-led construction of Main Streets projects, including Marda Loop.

Community office hours

Have a question or comment? Pop by to connect with a member of the Marda Loop Main Streets team in person.

July 2024

When:
Wednesdays (July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31) from 9 to 11 a.m.

Where:
Phil & Sebastian (2043 33 Ave S.W.)

Contact us

Do you have a specific question about the Marda Loop Main Street Construction project? Send us an email: 
MardaLoopMainStreets@Calgary.ca

Stay connected

Sign up for our email updates to receive ongoing updates about the Marda Loop Main Street construction project.

Project scope

The vision for the Marda Loop Main Streets project is to create well-designed, quality public realm elements and public space that prioritize the pedestrian experience, support ongoing redevelopment and a thriving economic environment. Once complete, it will offer Calgarians improved safety and accessibility, new community gathering spaces, and will embody Marda Loop’s unique character.

The key features of Marda Loop Main Streets are:

  1. Prioritize the pedestrian experience.
  2. Enhance landscaping to support pedestrian comfort.
  3. Develop unique elements that announce Marda Loop as a destination within Calgary.
  4. Provide new opportunities for the community to gather.
  5. Improve mobility options for those walking, cycling, and driving around the community.

Have you seen our Roll Plot? Explore what we’ll be creating over the next few years.

What will 33 and 34 Avenues look like?

The Marda Loop Main Streets project will create safe, thoughtful mobility connections and community spaces through:

  • A balance of transportation options, including a focus on pedestrian and cyclist improvements.
  • A family-friendly, safe street that focuses on the needs of the community.
  • A design that is uniquely “Marda Loop” and reflects its identity.

Rendering of what 33 Avenue may look like

33 Avenue S.W. will be an avenue where pedestrians can support local businesses via safe and accessible walking and wheeling connections, enjoy an enhanced public realm with more spaces to sit and visit, and experience the unique character of the community. It will see new curb extensions to protect pedestrian safety, improved traffic flow and new lights, and pedestrian rest areas where the community can gather. 

Rendering of what 34 Avenue may look like

34 Avenue S.W. will be a sleek travel corridor where people can walk, wheel, and drive safely alongside each other. It will offer connections to neighbouring communities, the City’s Always Available for All Ages and Abilities (5A) Network, and local businesses. Our goal is to make sharing the road a safer and more predictable experience for everyone and encourage Calgarians to visit and spend time in Marda Loop.

Trees & Climate

The project team worked closely with Parks’ Urban Forestry and Conservation team to assess the neighbourhood’s tree canopy. When The City assesses a tree, we review the structure and health of its roots, trunk, branches, and buds. Using a rating scale, the team determines how likely the tree is to survive and removal decisions are made.

As part of this project we inventoried 177 trees. Approximately 99 trees will need to be removed and replaced so we can safely complete this project. We will replant 100+ new trees to compensate for the tree loss and to help restore the canopy. Trees that cannot be repurposed as part of other City of Calgary projects will be recycled.

Extensive work was done during to minimize the number of trees impacted and to adjust the design to save mature trees wherever possible. For example, on 34 Avenue S.W. east of 20 Street there are two mature trees that are being retained. These are Siberian elms, which are very large, healthy, and important to Marda Loop’s tree canopy.

Whenever trees are removed, a community restoration plan is developed to improve the health of the canopy. In Marda Loop, we will be planting 100+ northern blaze white ash, northern acclaim honey locust, and American elms throughout Marda Loop. These types were chosen because they thrive in urban locations, need little maintenance, and have a high, shade-providing canopy. Younger trees will help replenish the older canopy and improve the canopy’s overall health. We will also be adding a variety of plants, shrubs, and grass and better soil infrastructure to support the community’s future tree canopy.

As part of our design concept, we have incorporated features that address climate considerations, including the refreshed urban tree canopy to provide shade, installing public water fountains, and more. These features were identified through a Climate Risk and Resilience Assessment of Marda Loop; the assessment (done by our Climate and Environment team) identified potential risks in a future climate and recommended and prioritized features to mitigate these risks. Marda Loop Main Streets is one of the first projects to incorporate an assessment into the design and construction phases.

Project background

The City has developed a Streetscape Master Plan for Marda Loop based on citizen feedback, technical analysis, and financial considerations.

The concept of a Main Street reflects the integration between public space, business, and people. The plan supports the needs identified by the community and provides a vision that guides the detailed design and construction phases. The vision encompasses numerous considerations, including:

  • design for pedestrian safety
  • enhanced interaction between different mobility modes
  • creation of placemaking opportunities
  • provision of trees and site furnishings for comfort
  • design to support local businesses
  • connection to park spaces and amenities
  • transit and laneway access improvements

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Project information

How will the design impact traffic flow, volume, and congestion?

We will be installing temporary and permanent changes to the vehicle flow in Marda Loop to support safe traffic operations during active construction. During the design process we conducted an engineered traffic assessment of the area as patterns returned to normal post-pandemic. Using this data, we have made the following changes to support the priorities identified by the community. Some of these are contradicting: increasing vehicle capacity, protecting pedestrian safety, introducing new active mode connections. We’ve done our best to balance these priorities, but some decisions naturally require trade-offs. We believe that our team of technical experts has identified changes that, while they may require some adjustment, will ultimately improve the flow to, from, and around Marda Loop.

  • Permanent signal lights will be installed at:
    • 34 Avenue at 20 Street S.W.
    • 34 Avenue at 22 Streets S.W.
  • Temporary signal lights will be installed at 33 Avenue at 21 Street S.W. This temporary signal will help vehicle traffic movements during construction.
    • Once the project is complete, the temporary traffic signal will be removed and an overhead pedestrian flasher will be reinstated, returning the intersection to its current condition.
  • Northbound traffic will be restricted at 33 Avenue north on 22 Street S.W. to the rear lane
    • Two-way traffic was allowed at this intersection in 2021 was a pilot project intended to test its viability.
    • Our data shows that one-way, southbound traffic is safer for pedestrians and more efficient for drivers.
    • We will be preventing vehicles from turning north on 22 Street by extending curbs and installing new signage.
  • Northbound traffic will be permitted at 33 Avenue and 21 Street S.W.
    • Northbound traffic was restricted at this intersection because of the two-way traffic pilot project at 22 Street (mentioned above). The temporary barrier currently in place will be removed to accommodate northbound vehicles on 21 Street, as they will not be able to travel north on 22 Street.
    • This will improve overall vehicle access and circulation through the community.

Why is this project focused on non-vehicle changes when traffic is so congested?

Main Streets projects encourage Calgarians to explore their communities through a variety of safe, accessible walking and wheeling connections. During engagement with the community, we heard and noted a hierarchy of priorities (below).

  • Pedestrians and landscaping
  • Parking
  • Transit and traffic
  • Bicycles
  • Goods movement

These, in combination with our project goals informed our design decisions. Our project team has used engineering expertise along with data to review Marda Loop’s transportation network, including vehicle and active modes movement.

What are the project goals?

  • Prioritize pedestrian experience and safety
  • Enhance landscaping to support pedestrian comfort
  • Develop unique streetscape elements that clearly announce Marda Loop as a destination
  • Provide new opportunities for community gathering
  • Provide safe movement for all modes of travel

How does the project plan address safety?

The community expressed a need to improve connectivity and to make sharing the road a safer and more predictable experience for everyone. We plan to do this by upgrading 11 intersections along 33 and 34 Avenues S.W., installing curb extensions to reduce potential conflicts between people driving, wheeling, and walking. Curb extensions increase visibility for pedestrians waiting to cross and help control vehicle speed in areas.

We know on-street parking is important to the community. We conducted a traffic study in 2022 and reviewed parking data, collision information, 311 feedback and more. To protect pedestrian safety, we need to adjust on-street parking: approximately 72 total on-street spaces will be removed to accommodate the curb extensions that will be installed. Every effort was made to retain on-street parking, which is partly why a MUP was chosen above other cycling infrastructure options, for example.

Given changes in the area traffic flow, will any back lanes or alleys be paved as part of this project?

While paving back lanes and/or alleys is not part of our project scope, homeowners can initiate a self-funded local improvement through a City program: more information can be found here. For any urgent requests, you can also contact 311 for maintenance support.

What does this project mean for further densification in the community?

To reach their full potential, Calgary’s Main Streets need both public and private investment. The Main Streets program is a continuum that goes from changes to land use that will support development opportunities to a streetscape master plan that is designed to support these changes and can be constructed in a coordinated fashion. The increase in development activity will bring more people and new jobs to the community, making the area more attractive to local businesses and residents.

Why are some portions of the community of different land use designation than others? Which are eligible for the Main Streets program?

The west part of the community underwent a land use change in 2019 making it eligible for the Main Streets program. To be eligible, an area’s land use must meet density and diversity criteria. This is because Main Streets are vibrant by design – they allow for both retail and residential use, creating a vibrant, connected community.

While the eastern portion (34 Avenue from 18 to 14 Streets S.W. and 33 Avenue from 19 to 14 Streets S.W.) is not technically eligible for the Main Streets program because of its land use designation, our team has designed one holistic concept for the community to ensure there’s consistent character and quality throughout.

Complete drawings for the east portion of the community will be available for developers who may be interested in Marda Loop, which means they’ll support the program as they build out their projects ensuring the consistent neighbourhood look and feel we envision.

Will the City need to acquire private land for this project?

No, we won’t. Work will take place entirely in the road or utility right-of-way, which may take up space in your yard. We are connecting with those directly affected to discuss property access and what that entails.

All City streets contain what is called a road right-of-way. The road right-of-way is an area that gives The City space to do things like install street light poles and plant trees. This space also gives shallow utilities (like gas, power, and telecommunications companies) a place to build and maintain their critical infrastructure.

Depending on the community you live in, the space the right-of-way takes up in your yard will vary. As a homeowner, you are still responsible for mowing and general maintenance, but it is technically the road right-of-way and is considered public land. This means shallow utilities can request a City permit to access this space.

A utility right-of-way is an easement granted to The City, by a property owner, which gives shallow utilities a place to put their infrastructure – both above and below ground. All properties contain a road right-of-way, but only some properties have a utility right-of-way on them.

In most cases, the utility right-of-way starts at your property line and extends inward, toward your home. The location varies between properties and can also be located along the side of your home or at the back.

For more information or to learn where the right-of-way is located on your property, visit calgary.ca/ROW

Construction information

When will construction start and how long will it take?

We are confirming our construction plans for 2024 and will keep the community updated as we do. Although we do our best to plan accordingly to reduce the impacts on residents, construction in an older community like Marda Loop means that sometimes we run into surprises. Our website will always be kept up-to-date with the most accurate information.  

What is the construction schedule and timing for this project?

Our anticipated construction sequencing can be found under the Project updates section of this web page. 

How will this project support businesses throughout construction?

We understand construction is impactful to a community. Throughout the design and construction planning process, we’ve had area businesses and residents top of mind and have worked to plan construction thoughtfully. Construction has been planned based off feedback from the community, balancing the length required and the amount of disruption as much as possible. We’re applying successes and learnings from other Main Streets projects to better support the community, and our team will be available to connect with directly impacted residents and businesses. Our project team is working closely with the BIA and area businesses to ensure access is maintained and owners and customers are aware of vehicle and pedestrian detours. 

Will there be road closures and detours during construction?

Yes, there will be closures on some streets and sidewalks. Temporary, localized closures are important as they provide the contractor safe, quick access to complete their work. Details about road closures, detours, and other construction impacts can be found on in the Project updates section of this page.

Why are there times when no crews are actively working within a construction zone?

Construction happens in multiple phases and is often completed by more than one specialized contractor or trade. As with all types of construction, certain work must be completed before other types of work can take place.

While every effort is made to align contractors and maintain work within construction zones, factors such as weather, underground conditions and crew, material or equipment availability can impact workflow and scheduling.

To protect the work area and ensure the safety of pedestrians and drivers, safety barriers and detours may be left in place when crews are not active on site (for instance, outside of work hours or between work phases). Maintaining barriers also helps to expedite construction when crews arrive, by reducing the time required to set up the work zone.

Will I still be able to use Calgary Transit?

Yes, transit service will be maintained throughout construction. We’re working with Calgary Transit to determine if current bus stops will be maintained, or temporary bus stops will be established. Once confirmed, this information will be communicated through the project website (Calgary.ca/MardaLoop) and through Calgary Transit’s website (CalgaryTransit.com).

What can I expect for business access and parking during construction?

Our team is committed to ensuring Calgarians can easily access and support Marda Loop businesses. Driveways and/or temporary, gravel driveways will remain open for deliveries and pick-ups, and pedestrian access will be maintained. On-street parking will be available where space permits during construction. We are working closely with the Marda Loop BIA to ensure Calgary knows Marda Loop is still open to enjoy, including the Marda Gras festival and summer Night Markets.

Character and identity

What makes this design “Marda Loop” and how did the community feedback incorporate into the character aspects?

Working collaboratively with the Marda Loop BIA and Community Association, we’ve been able to incorporate elements of past and present community landmarks into our designs. This includes “lollipop” streetcar signage, refurbished historic sidewalk street name stamps, expansion of a streetlight banner along 33 and 34 Avenues S.W., and more. Throughout the engagement and design process we’ve we’ve focused on highlighting and celebrating the unique history and heritage of the community. 

Trees and climate

What climate-specific impacts did the team consider during the design process?

As part of our design concepts, we have incorporated features that address heat and water retention specifically: an urban tree canopy to provide shade, installing public water fountains, and using permeable pavement to retain ground water and prevent runoff. These features were identified through a Climate Risk and Resilience Assessment of Marda Loop; the assessment (done by our Climate and Environment team) identified potential risks in a future climate and recommended and prioritized measures to mitigate these risks which were incorporated into our designs where appropriate.

Will mature trees in the community be removed as part of this project?

Removing a tree is a last resort; we have adjusted the design specifically to save mature trees wherever possible, however some will need to be removed/replaced to accommodate the reorganized street. We are working to preserve as many trees as possible throughout construction and will be adhering to the tree protection and compensation plans and working closely with Urban Forestry and Conservation.

How many trees are being removed? Where are they at in their life cycles? What is the health status of these trees?

As part of the Marda Loop Main Streets project there were 177 trees inventoried, 99 trees will need to be removed to facilitate construction of the project. A large benefit of this project is that we are reorganizing the streetscape to improve safety and accessibility for those walking and wheeling in the area. This reorganization means that some tree loss is unavoidable, however, we will replace the lost trees and install new infrastructure to support a stronger canopy for the future of the community.

What's being done with the trees (trashed, reused)?

Trees that cannot be repurposed as part of other projects will be mulched for reuse in tree and/or shrub beds. For necessary removals, we will follow the City’s tree compensation plan, where a predetermined amount is paid for every tree removed. Tree compensation is based on the value of the impacted trees, which is determined by considering the health, size, species, and location of the tree. This compensation goes to urban forestry. More information can be found at this web page

How many trees will be planted?

When trees are removed in an area, a restoration plan is developed to restore the ecological health of the community. We will be planting over 106 new trees, as well as a variety of plants, shrubs, and grass.

To compensate for the tree loss, we will be replanting trees in the closest suitable location to help restore the urban canopy. Younger trees help replenish the older tree canopy and improve the health of the overall canopy.  We will use a variety of shrubs and tree species that are native or are better suited to Calgary’s climate. 

In addition, new and improved tree and soil infrastructure will be installed to better support tree growth for the future canopy.

What kind of trees will be planted?

We will be planting northern blaze white ash, northern acclaim honey locust, and American elms throughout the community. These types were chosen because they grow naturally in Calgary are well-suited for urban locations.

Did you try to develop a plan that wouldn’t require trees to be removed?

Extensive work was done during the planning phase to minimize the number of trees impacted. The design team also identified several trees that could remain and have altered plans to accommodate this. For example, on 34 Avenue S.W. east of 20 Street there are two mature trees that are being retained. These two trees are Siberian elms, which are very large and healthy.

How did you decide which trees to remove?

The project team worked closely with Parks’ Urban Forestry and Conservation professionals during the design phase. When Urban Forestry assesses a tree, they review the structure and health of its roots, trunk, branches, and buds. Using a rating scale, the team determines how likely the tree is to survive and removal decisions are made from there.

Are the trees being removed on public or private land?

On public land primarily, however, there are a few instances where a private tree is close to the property line and may need to be removed. In these cases, we’ll connect directly with the homeowner to discuss this prior to proceeding.

When will the tree removals happen?

The tree removal is currently underway. Before we proceeded, our team conducted an environmental sweep to ensure there would be no wildlife impacts.

33 Avenue S.W.

What is the plan for 33 Avenue S.W.?

33 Avenue S.W.  will be an avenue where pedestrians can support local businesses via safe and accessible walking and wheeling connections, enjoy an enhanced public realm with more spaces to sit and visit, and experience the unique character of the community. It will see new curb extensions to protect pedestrian safety, improved traffic flow and new lights, and pedestrian rest areas where the community can gather.

What are the plans for the gateway into the community?

Our design includes a refreshed overhead entrance at 33 Avenue S.W. and Crowchild Trail that reflects the history of the community and its current vibrancy. The project team has created this feature in collaboration with the BIA.

Why is the traffic at 22 Street S.W. returning to one-way southbound only?

The change that was made at that intersection in late 2021 was a pilot project intended to test the viability of two-way traffic on 22 Street once the nearby developments were complete. Our data shows that one-way, southbound traffic is safer for pedestrians and more efficient for drivers. 

What is the current traffic count/street capacity in Marda Loop?

33 Avenue S.W. between Crowchild Trail and 14 Street S.W. is classified as a Neighbourhood Boulevard Street, which has a capacity between 12,500 and 22,500 vehicles per day. When new development applications are received by The City, applicants are required to undertake multi-modal transportation impact analysis (TIA) at a more detailed level which considers how their development may impact the transportation network. A TIA analysis examines the busiest two hours of a roadway and may require the developer to undertake improvements to the transportation network if warranted. You can learn more by viewing the City’s Street Capacity Guidelines.

Why is the traffic calming pilot project at 21 Street S.W. and 33 Avenue being removed?

Northbound traffic was restricted at this intersection in 2020 as a pilot project associated with the two-way configuration on 22 Street S.W. north of 33 Avenue S.W. Our data shows that one-way, southbound traffic on 22 Street offers a safer pedestrian experience and more efficient flow of traffic, so we will be reinstalling one-way southbound traffic there.

Because of this, 21 Street S.W. will be reopened to northbound traffic to provide adequate access and circulation for those driving in the community. This requires the removal of the temporary barriers placed previously as part of the pilot project.

34 Avenue S.W.

What is the plan for 34 Avenue S.W.?

34 Avenue S.W. will be a sleek travel corridor where people can walk, wheel, and drive safely alongside each other. It will offer connections to neighbouring communities, the City’s Always Available for All Ages and Abilities (5A) Network, and local businesses. Our goal is to make sharing the road a safer and more predictable experience for everyone and to34 Ave encourage Calgarians to visit and spend time in Marda Loop.

Why are you looking to install the cycling amenities on 34 Avenue S.W.?

We know that safe, accessible, connected travel options in the area are important to the community. Our goal is to improve active transportation connections to businesses, residences, and existing pathways and bikeways, while balancing the needs of road users. A dedicated wheeling option provides separation between people travelling at different speeds, increases safety, predictability, and comfort, and aligns with The City’s transportation plan and 5A Network.

Why 34 Avenue S.W. and not other avenues?

The City conducted a study and found 34 Avenue S.W. is the best location for cycling infrastructure because it can be easily connected to existing mobility connections across Crowchild Trail, into the Richmond Green area, and to the city’s Always Available for All Ages and Abilities (5A) Network. This means Calgarians who scoot, cycle, or skateboard can effortlessly travel in, around, and out of Marda Loop.

33 Avenue S.W. wouldn’t be a fit for cycling infrastructure without serious disruption to vehicles and pedestrians, and 32 Avenue S.W. doesn’t provide the east to west connectivity needed.

Multi-use paths

Why was a multi-use pathway (MUP) selected instead of other cycling infrastructure options?

We chose a MUP because it delivers increased safety for users and aligns with the feedback we heard from the community during our public engagement sessions. It offers physical separation between people travelling at different speeds and is wider than a one-way cycle track, providing users more room to move safely. We heard from the community that preserving on-street parking is a high priority, and a MUP allows parking to be maintained on both sides of 34 Avenue S.W.

What is a multi-use pathway (MUP)?

A multi-use path is a path that’s shared by those walking and wheeling on one side of the street: in this case, the south side of 34 Avenue S.W. MUP users are physically divided from road users, offering improved safety because each can travel at different speeds.

What is the purpose of installing raised crosswalks on 34 Avenue S.W.?

Raised crosswalks make the multi-use path (MUP) a continuous corridor, which is important for user safety. It also slows vehicles down and supports pedestrian safety through added infrastructure and separation from vehicles.

Will the City be purchasing/using any private property to make this project happen?

While we won’t be acquiring any private property, we will be repurposing the road right-of-way to accommodate the new streetscape. This is necessary to ensure pedestrians, MUP users, and drivers have sufficient safe space to travel.

If so, how will homeowners be compensated?

The City does not compensate homeowners when accessing or repurposing road- or utility-right-of-way as it is publicly owned land. However, in areas where the right-of-way space doesn’t need to be used our team will strive to return the areas where we need to work back to its prior or an equivalent condition.

How will the existing bike lanes integrate with the new cycle amenities along 34 Avenue S.W.?

The community has expressed a need to improve cycling infrastructure to reduce the potential collisions between pedestrian, cyclists, and vehicle traffic. The intent is to extend the existing facilities and create a cohesive corridor that meets the community’s needs. This MUP will connect to the city’s Always Available for All Ages and Abilities (5A) Network and will provide access to the Max Yellow BRT Stations at Crowchild Trail.

Is this project a part of The City’s 5A network?

Yes! The MUP will be an essential part of the network.

How will the cycling infrastructure impact the width of the road?

Based on feedback from the community, our design will maintain two-way traffic along 34 Avenue S.W. and preserve on-street parking on both sides of the street. To do so, the road-right-of-way will need to be accessed to as we reorganize the streetscape to accommodate sidewalks, the MUP, two-way vehicle traffic and parking.

Did the project team consider not implementing cycling infrastructure, given public feedback wasn’t wholly supportive?

When evaluation our options throughout the planning and design process, the project team considers multiple things including public feedback. We also review data and financial implications, relevant policies and programs, and business-wide strategies and objectives. Cycling infrastructure on 34 Avenue S.W. supports both City Council’s Calgary Transportation Plan and the 5A Network. It also supports Main Streets program goals, which place priority on accessible and connected active modes infrastructure. The decision was made to implement the MUP infrastructure in alignment with overall project and program goals.

How will the BRT connection be incorporated?

There will be a multi-use pathway connection from 34 Avenue S.W. north, along the east side of 22 Street S.W. It will transition to the roadway north of 33 Avenue S.W., where wheeling users can continue west to the BRT plaza.

How will snow clearing in the MUP work?

Snow clearing is not a planned part of the ongoing maintenance of the MUP. Residents are required to clear a minimum of 1.5 metres of snow and ice from the pathways in front of their homes. More information can be found at Calgary.ca/Snow

The Loop within the Loop

What is the Loop Within the Loop?

The “Loop Within the Loop” is what we’re calling a square block of programmable public space with enhanced finishes and features so special events in Marda Loop can continue to flourish. This unique space will have new public seating, improved lighting, porous pavers, enhanced landscaping, a public drinking water foundation, food truck outlet infrastructure, and a community kiosk.

What public engagement has happened to date?

Building Calgary's future Main Streets doesn't happen overnight: The City has a comprehensive process from initial idea to outcome. The steps are Strategize, Plan, Design, Build, and Live. More information about each step can be found at Calgary.ca/MainStreets

Public engagement is an important part of the Planning step of a Main Street. During this step, The City reviews land use designations, local area plans, infrastructure capacity assessments, and, ultimately, creates a Streetscape Master Plan. The plans and public engagement which informed the Marda Loop Master Plan can be found at Calgary.ca/MardaLoop

What is a Streetscape Master Plan?

A Main Streets Streetscape Master Plan is a visionary document – it is a compilation of ideas and recommendations to improve the public realm and visitor experience. The plan guides the design process, tying each element back to the goals, objectives and priorities identified by the community. 

Why have elements of the Marda Loop Master Plan changed in this final design?

Specific features proposed in a Master Plan are often refined during the Design phase as our team of technical experts, partners, and consultants identify various site constraints, including utility right-of-way, existing infrastructure, and development plans.  

The Marda Loop Master Plan proposed a “festival street” intended to reflect the character of the community, provide opportunities for programmed events, and create a destination. We believe the “loop within the loop” (language used by the project team to refer the specific area) achieves the same outcomes: to provide a space that can be programmed for BIA/CA events and creates a pedestrian focused environment. 

The evolution happened as we discussed potential programming opportunities with the BIA, such as Marda Loop Night Markets. The team moved away from the original "festival street" concept as it required funding and operational upkeep that was outside of the Main Streets program and not something the BIA or CA could lead at the time. There were also mobility implications associated with the original location. The "loop within the loop" area was identified as a unique space, rich in community character with existing pedestrian activity and established and emerging businesses. This investment will enhance the public realm in the area, so it is welcoming for day-to-day gathering and easily programable for larger-scale special events. The direct connection to the 5A network also provides residents and visitors another way to access businesses in the area. 

Why did the team proceed with a design that includes on-street parking loss?

One theme that we have heard is that parking consolidation presents concerns with area businesses and residents. This is a trade-off we have made in exchange for the benefits being introduced by the project, including the increased pedestrian safety with the introduction of new curb extensions and focus on creating a walkable neighbourhood. Complex and multifaceted projects in central communities like this this often require difficult decisions to achieve the greater benefits and project goals: the project team has endeavoured to balance these objectives in a responsible way. 

What are the actual parking changes we can expect to see in the area?

The actual parking stall change is 15 on-streets stalls and 9 proposed off-street stalls. A major goal of the Marda Loop Main Streets project is to improve the pedestrian experience by building infrastructure to prevent the unsafe conditions for those walking, wheeling, and driving in the community. Curb extensions allow for increased visibility for pedestrians, shorten the crossing distance at intersections, and prevent vehicles from parking in a way that obstructs visibility. 

  • Initially, when we reviewed the area, we accounted for the number of on-street parking stalls that are currently being used by drivers. However, we know that drivers often park too close to intersections, driveways, and access ways creating unsafe environments and poor visibility for both vehicles and pedestrians. In ideal conditions where drivers adhere to parking bylaws and leave the necessary distance required, the actual change is less than we originally communicated. We apologize for the confusion. 

Was a parking study done to support these design decisions?

Before making decisions that impact parking, we look at the relevant data. In 2017, we conducted a parking study along the 33 and 34 Avenues S.W. which informed the Streetscape Master Plan. The study did not identify parking as an issue, however, it recommended that parking be preserved wherever possible, something our team has considered throughout the design process.  

For example, our team evaluated possible wheeling infrastructure options and locations through the lens of use, importance, cost, and impact. One of the advantages of a multi-use path is that it preserves on-street parking on both the north and south sides of 34 Avenue S.W.  

Because the on-street parking losses proposed are a trade-off for the improved pedestrian safety that curb extensions offer, a second parking study was not completed as newer data would not change this fact. Although data relating to traffic and parking usage are certainly key components considered in project prioritization, we also examine available collision, speed and user data, and information submitted to 311, and more. We look for opportunities to create efficiencies (logistics, timing, financial, etc.) by combining with other projects occurring at the same time (as is the case here, with the burial of Enmax’s utility lines along 34 Avenue S.W.) 

Past engagement

Timeline

upcoming-item

Category Icon and Label

Live

2025

Start Date | End Date

Ongoing review, investment and maintenance

current-item

Category Icon and Label

Build

2023-2025

Start Date | End Date

Construction of designs and community transformation

past-item

Category Icon and Label

Design

2018-2022

Start Date | End Date

Master Plan

  • Additional community engagement to refine design concepts
  • Pedestrian safety measures implemented
  • Detailed design work complete
  • Community engagement on Marda Loop Master Plan
  • Marda Loop Streetscape Master Plan completed 

past-item

Category Icon and Label

Plan

2018-2019

Start Date | End Date

Land use redesignation and infrastructure assessment

past-item

Category Icon and Label

Strategize

2014 – 2016

Start Date | End Date

Public engagement and technical analysis

Project documents

Newsletters

Main Streets


The Main Streets Program is one of the ways that the City of Calgary is working to make our city “a great place to make a living, and a great place to make a life.” Our program shares The City’s common purpose of “making life better every day” by implementing a comprehensive process to transform our main streets into places where people want to live, work and play.

To reach their full potential, Calgary’s Main Streets need both public and private investment. The Main Streets program is a continuum that goes from changes to land use that will support development opportunities to a streetscape master plan that is designed to support these changes and can be constructed in a coordinated fashion. The increase in development activity will bring more people and new jobs to the community, making the area more attractive to local businesses and residents.

Core values

Main Streets are resilient, adaptable, and attractive places that support:

  • Character & Identity
    Create a street that establishes a unique sense of place and offers memorable experiences for both residents and visitors. 
  • Social & Healthy lifestyle
    Create a family-friendly and safe street environment that focuses on promoting sense of community. 
  • Mobility & Functionality
    Achieve a balance of multi-modal transportation options with a focus on friendly and inclusive design. 
  • Economic vitality
    Street improvements promote economic vitality by encouraging redevelopment opportunities and promoting investment.

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. ​

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