50 Avenue S.W. Corridor Study
Project update - February 2017
We are now in Phase 4: Present Final Recommended Plan. View the final recommended plan and short-term recommendations below.
The City of Calgary recently conducted a transportation corridor study of 50 Avenue S.W., between Crowchild Trail and 14A Street S.W. In 2009 it was reclassified as a Parkway under the Calgary Transportation Plan. The objectives of this study were to identify current issues and concerns with 50 Avenue S.W. and provide short-term and long-term recommendations for future improvements to retrofit the corridor to Parkway standards.
50 Avenue S.W. provides access to the residential communities of Altadore, Garrison Woods and North Glenmore Park. It also connects people to schools and destinations such as the Glenmore Athletic Park, River Park and Sandy Beach. As a result, it is well-used by people who walk, bike, take transit and drive.
At this time no funding is available for the construction of the final design. Low-cost changes that can be made with little or no construction may be funded through existing City programs.
The study area includes 50 Avenue S.W., between Crowchild Trail and 14A Street S.W. as shown in the map below.
(Click for larger image)
History of 50 Avenue S.W.
From the mid-1960s to the early 1990s, 50 Avenue S.W. was designated as an Expressway. It was meant to provide a connection over the Elbow River to communities to the east. As part of the 1995 GoPlan, the expressway plan was revised as future river crossings were longer permitted. At that time, 50 Avenue S.W. was reclassified as a Collector road. When the Calgary Transportation Plan was approved in 2009, 50 Avenue S.W. was reclassified again; this time as a Parkway.
50 Avenue S.W. currently does not meet Parkway standards. According to the Complete Streets Guide, a Parkway focuses on blending in with natural areas. In addition, walking and cycling are given the highest priority. Upgrading 50 Avenue S.W. to Parkway standards means it will be easier to get around the neighbourhood by walking, biking, taking transit or driving. A current example of a Parkway is Elbow Drive S.W. near Stanley Park.
Final Recommended Plans
The final recommended plan for 50 Avenue S.W. includes a multi-use pathway on the south side of 50 Avenue S.W., a wider sidewalk along the north side of the corridor, and a number of intersection and pedestrian improvements. This plan incorporates public feedback such as maintaining parallel parking between 15 Street S.W. and 17 Street S.W., and multi-use crossings ("elephant’s feet" pavement markings) at intersections to allow cyclists to cross the street without dismounting.
(Click for larger image)
Short-term recommendations were also identified in this study, including improvements west of 22 Street S.W. to improve traffic flow onto Crowchild Trail, and pedestrian improvements such as marked crosswalks and pedestrian crosswalk signs.
(Click for larger image)
To view engagement summaries from Phases 1, 2, and 3, please visit the project engagement page.
Frequently asked questions
A multi-use pathway was chosen as the preferred option over bike lanes because it better achieves Parkway characteristics, such as a wider green boulevard.
Also, a multi-use pathway:
- connects to other pathways in the area;
- accommodates more types of cyclists, such as young or novice riders; and
- is a lower cost option than bike lanes.
Based on traffic modeling of the corridor, the roundabout provided the most benefits in terms of overall traffic operations and maintaining traffic flow.
We also heard from the public that roundabouts were the preferred intersection treatment to provide traffic calming in the area by reducing speeds while maintaining traffic flow. To view engagement summaries from Phases 1, 2, and 3, please visit the project engagement page.
A traffic signal was chosen as the future intersection treatment in order to accommodate increased traffic volumes in the future. A signalized intersection can be constructed without impacts to private property. This made it the preferred treatment over a roundabout, which would impact adjacent properties.
This change in access was approved by City Council as part of the redevelopment plan for the athletic park. Access to the athletic park will need to be moved to accommodate new soccer fields along 50 Avenue S.W. For more information on the Glenmore Athletic Park redevelopment project please visit the project webpage.
A dedicated right-turn lane will be provided west of 22 Street S.W. This will allow westbound 50 Avenue S.W. traffic, turning northbound onto Crowchild Trail, to bypass cars that are queued at the lights at the intersection of 50 Avenue S.W. and Crowchild Trail.
The final recommended plan is a long-term vision for the corridor and will be implemented as funding becomes available. Currently there is no funding for the 50 Avenue S.W. recommendations. The purpose of identifying improvements now is to allow for planning and prioritization of the project and to have a plan in place to secure funding.
The short-term recommendations could be implemented over the next couple of years as funding becomes available.
The City of Calgary appreciates the communities' participation throughout this project and would like to thank everyone who provided input and feedback.