Transportation networks along 14 and 15 Avenue S will get a cash infusion from both the feds and the city to improve mobility in the area.
The federal government was in town Friday to announce $4.9 million in joint funding for four kilometres of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure upgrades. The feds kicked in $2.9 million in funding.
The work will create a separated bike lane along 15 Avenue where there are painted lanes today. The work will happen between 12 Street SW and 1 Street SE, the city said. There will also be mobility upgrades – widened sidewalks, curb extensions, marked crossings and lighting on both 14 and 15 Avenues. The cash was made available through the federal government’s Active Transportation Fund.
This is the second Calgary project to be funded. Recently, the community of Dover received funding to further active transportation in their area.
“Whether it’s a commute to the office, whether it’s going to Galaxy Diner or a nice stroll, or whether it’s getting to the Stampede grounds through the active transportation networks that we’re creating, it’s good for Calgarians and it’s good for Canada,” said MP Randy Boissonault Minister of Tourism and MP for Edmonton Centre.
Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra, who was representing the city as the deputy mayor, said that there are a number of active transportation projects where the city is looking for added funds.
“Something you maybe don’t know about Calgary, but at the macro scale and at the micro scale, east-west travel’s hard,” said Carra.
“The Beltline is a big wide space and so 14th and 15th Avenues provides a really critical connection point through the heart of our most populous neighborhoods serving everybody is the right thing to do for the climate. It’s the right thing to do for equity.”
Permanent infrastructure to be built
Right now, both 14 and 15 Avenues are served by painted bike lanes. There will be permanent infrastructure installed to upgrade the 15 Avenue bike lane so it’s separated from vehicle traffic.
Blanka Bracic, manager of public spaces project development with the city, said they’ll be finalizing detailed designs this year and construction should begin in 2024.
“This is one continuous stretch, so it’s just over two kilometers long,” said Bracic.
“The design concept design we have come up with through our community conversations involves permanent infrastructure.”
Bracic said protected bike lanes help people feel safer and it also keeps them safer.
The city said the east-west route will connect with other north-south cycle tracks to ensure appropriate connections.
Calgary Skyview MP and former Calgary city councillor George Chahal said today’s announcement will help Calgarians get around the city – without a car.
“Today’s announcement will enhance transit connectivity, while also encouraging people to use greener and more active means of transportation,” he said.
“This is great news for Calgarians.”
The city has other applications in for the Active Transportation Fund. No word yet on further funding for those projects.