11 Street SW improvements coming to create safer mobility corridor

Construction will begin in the area come August

Wider curbs, protected wheeling lanes and more trees are all part of the upcoming changes to a section of 11th St SW. ETHAN WARD / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

A stretch of 11 Street SW running through Beltline is going to get some welcome updates beginning in August.

The section of road from 12 Avenue to 17 Avenue SW provides vital connection to homes, parks and businesses. Now, an initiative from the Beltline Community Association and the City will bring a variety of updates to the area.

Peter Oliver, the President of the Beltline Community Association said that a community engagement project was done with the city to get a sense of what community members were looking for. Oliver said many of the issues brought up reflected a desire for more safety in the area.

“Two thirds of residents were looking for ways the city could make the street easier and safer for people walking and wheeling, but also driving,” said Oliver.

As for what these changes will look like, City of Calgary project manager Peter Yee said there’s a variety of things set to come. 

“We’re looking to construct new protected wheeling facilities, separated and protected and uni-directional in both directions on 11th Street, as well as some pedestrian safety improvements, such as curb extensions, wide neck sidewalks and resurfacing the roadway,” said Yee. 

Oliver said that despite the short stretch of street being updated, there will be a huge impact on the community. It connects many of the areas parks, businesses, and other popular destinations. 

This is something Yee has noted as well. He said that many of the changes are meant to slow down traffic.

Similar initiatives are likely to come up throughout the city

Yee said that projects like the one on 11th Street SW are part of an overarching plan from the City to improve the city’s mobility. 

“The improvements that we’re proposing at 11th Street SW aren’t isolated. There’s actually another project along 12th Avenue SW. There’s existing wheeling facilities in that quarter and we’re looking to extend that portion as well,” said Yee. That project ties into the 11th Street work.

Oliver said that he’s seen similar projects in the area that have already proven beneficial for pedestrians and wheelers alike.

The changes to 11th Street aren’t the last that Beltline will see either. 

“There’s a lot to do and it gets frustrating sometimes that we’re not moving fast enough. But, we’re still incrementally improving the road system in the Beltline. It’s in a way that will help support our local businesses,” Oliver said.  

“It will help make the community safer and more livable for residents, especially kids and youth. And it will just improve mobility overall and just make it safer to get around using different options other than a car.”

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