The federal government has kicked in $1.3 million to help finish mobility upgrades along a southeast Calgary corridor.
The announcement was made Jan. 12 to little fanfare, but the cash will allow the city to continue work they’ve done along 34 Avenue SE in the community of Dover.
Dover is an East Calgary community between 26 Avenue on the north side, Peigan Trail on the south, 24 Street and Deerfoot Trail on the west side and 36 Street SE on the east.
According to the city, the 34 Avenue SE corridor was built with two lanes in each direction and a capacity to accommodate 30,000 vehicles per day. It currently handles 3,400 per day.
“We have an opportunity to repurpose some of the lanes for other uses since this corridor was built to be too wide for current or future needs,” the city’s engagement report said.
The $1.3 million, delivered by the feds through the Active Transportation Fund, will finish up the repurposing of two northside lanes into a protected two-way bike lane. It will also provide for a change in the roadway layout with interim materials like low-cut curbs. According to the City of Calgary it will also allow for the naturalization of the median and existing new boulevard space.
Construction is expected to conclude this spring or early summer, the city said. The second phase of improvements to 34 Avenue SE is currently unfunded. That would replace interim materials (this phase) will permanent structures.
It’s expected that the funding will also allow for improvements along 36 Street, 28 Street, Dover Ridge Drive / Dovercliffe Way and Gosling Way SE. The city said that concepts for these areas were delivered in 2021 and public engagement done in August / September 2021.
Equity booster for East Calgary: Carra
Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra said this is an important step for equity in the city. The area is one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in Calgary, he said.
Part of the commitment the city has made, he said, is to rebuild many of these communities to level the imbalance of amenities. That hopefully makes it more attractive for people to move back and live in communities where they may have grown up, Carra said.
“We are building that amenity in a neighbourhood that suffers from equity issues.”Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra
“In order to do that – it’s the same thing that we’ve talked about everywhere, all over the city – it’s no density without amenity,” he said.
“We are building that amenity in a neighbourhood that suffers from equity issues.”
Carra said the area along 34 Avenue needed a large right of way because of a high-pressure gas line beneath it. He said it was overbuilt as a massive boulevard that goes from “nowhere to nowhere.”
He said it made sense to make the change to both calm traffic and create a stronger active mobility network in the area.
“You can reduce the couplet to a singlet to accommodate all the volume and that takes all the rest of the space and create a linear park that goes from the heart of the neighbourhood, right to the escarpment and the great trail network of the Bow River Valley,” Carra said.
Calgary Skyview MP George Chahal said their funding is a climate-friendly action that supports healthy lifestyles and vibrant community spaces.
“This funding allows us to continue building inclusive neighbourhood streets, where people of all ages and abilities can travel safely and feel connected to their community,” he said in a prepared release.
“Partnerships like this help us make our communities more resilient. This is especially important in equity-seeking areas in Calgary, like the Dover neighbourhood.”
More information on the Dover Neighbourhood Streets project can be found here.