Painted pedestrian crossings at several Inglewood intersections will be installed to combat growing traffic concerns in the southeast Calgary neighbourhood.
The Inglewood Community Association (ICA) said traffic in the area has increased by 33 per cent since 2015. With that, concerns from those in the community have grown.
“We’ve had many, many reports of side mirrors being taken out by vehicles that are driving 50 km/h – which is the speed limit. But the road doesn’t suit that kind of speed limit,” said Naomi Withers of the ICA.
“There’s concerns about when your cat runs out of the house and it’s hit by a car because there’s just such a volume of traffic. The road noise is crazy from the amount of traffic that goes down there. It’s no longer a quiet residential street. It feels like you’re taking your life in your own hands when you’re crossing the street because there aren’t even pedestrian crosswalk markings.”
Over the summer, Ward 9 Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra, along with members of the ICA and City of Calgary, took a Pedal Pub down 8 Avenue SE. During that ride the group stopped at each intersection to get a firsthand look at some of the issues.
The ICA says the City took information gathered from that ride to find proposed solutions to calm traffic
Earlier this week, the ICA held a community meeting with its board and community members to discuss the proposed ideas.
Short and long term changes for Inglewood traffic calming
In a monthly newsletter, ICA president Phil Levson detailed some of the potential changes to the neighbourhood.
“The City has completed a car count and responded with a list of precise actions to address the concern of 8 Avenue from 15 Street to 8 Street,” Levson wrote.
“It has taken eight years to finally see a commitment but we are happy to see that concrete steps are to begin very soon. Most importantly they will have painted pedestrian crossings as several intersections before winter sets in.”
LiveWire Calgary reached out to the City of Calgary manager responsible for traffic calming measures in Inglewood. We were told he would not be available for an interview until next week.
Withers said overall she’s pleased with the traffic calming ideas from the City’s Transportation team.
“We were presented with some short term and long term options. So painting the crosswalks was something that the city committed to doing this year,” Withers said.
Withers said larger projects, including the roadway narrowing and traffic circle on 8 Avenue and 13 Street wouldn’t happen until next year.
Various plans in various stages for Inglewood: Carra
Councillor Carra says traffic calming is one of the objectives in Inglewood. Improving the main street on 9 Avenue SE is another. He agrees there’s more traffic coming through Inglewood due to the 12 Street SE corridor.
Westbound Memorial Drive is connected to the Calgary Zoo Bridge and to 12 Street SE in Inglewood. Carra said though it’s improved connectivity, it’s increased traffic, which has always been significant in the neighbourhood.
He added a multitude of plans for improving Inglewood are in various stages.
“There are tremendously exciting, award-winning plans in place to not control the volume of traffic going through Inglewood, but to control the speed of that traffic,” Carra said.
“And to create opportunities for other user groups, pedestrians, visitors and cyclists to move through and access a community in an unprecedented way,” Carra said.
As for the ICA, they hope the City continues to engage with the community on traffic issues.
“We don’t think this is a one time review,” Withers said.
“Traffic is constantly shifting. What we see now as a potential solution might not work in a year or two years as the traffic patterns change.”