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Southeast stretch of road a struggle to enter, cross says area resident

During rush hour, Jeff Workman said it feels impossible to get out of his Chapparal crescent in southeast Calgary.

He feels awful that with the volume of traffic sometimes the only way to squeeze onto Chapparal Blvd is when the single rectangular rapid-flashing beacon (RRFB) is deployed by pedestrians.

Workman posted about the road on social media recently after what he said is an all too frequent occurrence on the roughly 1.75 kilometre stretch. There was a collision that he said is often the result of speeders who have to slam on the brakes in heavier traffic.

“If I’m in the backyard, you hear squealing brakes at least once a day, twice a day,” Workman told LiveWire Calgary.

“Then conversely, they often make contact with each other.”

There is a light at the intersection of Chapparal Blvd and Chapparal Drive SE. The lone traffic control is the RRFB on the north side of the intersection at Chapala Way.  Each east/west entry there has a stop sign – no light.

Further, Workman said with the pathway system connecting to Fish Creek about 400 metres north, most people take their chances crossing there instead of going down to the RRFB or up to the traffic light just to get reconnected.

“They just continuously jaywalk or ride their bike across. And when they ride their bike, and they don’t slow down, obviously it creates a bit of issue,” Workman said.

The 2012 city traffic flow map had volume of 18,000 cars per day north of the Chapparal Drive intersection and 6,000 daily to the south. By 2019, that had jumped to 26,000 and 17,000 cars per day, respectively. The section Workman is concerned about has seen volume nearly triple in seven years.

He said construction traffic has also increased.

Traffic score doesn’t warrant signal: City

According to the city, a traffic count was done in April 2021. At that time, the intersection at Chapparal Blvd and Chapparal Ravine View / Chapala Way SE scored 67. The city said you need a score of 100 for traffic control consideration.

The RRFB was installed in 2016. There’s also a ladder crosswalk on the north side of the intersection.

“These assist pedestrians in crossing Chapparal Boulevard at this location,” an email response from the city read.

Since 2017, there have been 11 reported collisions at this location, according to the city. In the past five years, the city has recorded no pedestrian collisions, and one cyclist collision (July 2021).

According to Walkscore.com, the roadway received a 29 out of 100.

Ward 14 Coun. Peter Demong reiterated that roads has taken a look at it. He said it’s come up in a handful of conversations with area residents, but not to the point where it’s become a “dramatic” concern, he said.

Demong said the majority of the traffic in this area is during rush hour.

“It’s one of those situations where if you’re leaving at exactly rush hour, this is a choke point. Absolutely,” Demong said.

He also acknowledged construction traffic in the area. Walden is still building out, as is Legacy. By map, the quickest way from Stoney Trail to those communities is to go down Chapparal Blvd.

“There is going to be some construction coming through there,” Demong said.

“But that’s part of living in a community where it’s not finished building out.”

Workman just wants to see traffic in the area slowed, and to make it less convenient to cut through the area. He also wants to enter traffic without waiting 15 minutes at a stop sign in the morning.

“Instead of making it easier for traffic to come through, they needed to deter them by putting up traffic devices,” he said.