One of the most popular neighborhoods in Calgary is currently under construction as the city works to improve its infrastructure.
Marda Loop Main Streets is an infrastructure project that includes changes to the water, stoplight, and road infrastructure in the area.
The main focus of the upgrades will be on 33 and 34 Avenue SW, which the city plans to make into a more accessible and safe community street. The city of Calgary says that 33 Avenue is planned to become an enhanced public realm with more seating options, curb extensions, and improved traffic flow.
34 Avenue will become a travel corridor where people can take all forms of transport safely, and connect to nearby neighborhoods.
Ophelia Liew, a Project Manager with Urban and Community Systems, said that safety and accessibility are their number one focus. Liew said that the work being done is the result of ongoing public engagement in the area.
“From this, we know that the increasing traffic in the area makes people feel unsafe. To combat this, we are changing traffic flow and making the intersections more visible for both sides,” she said.
“We are also extending the curb on some avenues. This makes more space for people who require mobility assistance equipment to move around.”
Community Feedback and Identity
Marda Loop resident Ella Finstad Meakin is glad that the city is addressing these problems. Meakin said that to either walk or drive safely can be a challenge in the area. It’s a long-awaited upgrade, she said.
“We have many things that are within walking distance and it’ll be nice to be able to safely get to the places that we need to get to. Hopefully, there’ll be less traffic and more people being able to walk with the new features,” she said.
“Safety should definitely be a top priority. Shifting towards walkable neighborhoods for both pedestrians and vehicles will be better for the community and allow us to fully enjoy what Marda Loop has to offer.”
The city took continuous feedback from the community and businesses, as they want to design the new areas as “uniquely Marda Loop”.
Meakin believes that the look of the community must reflect its residents and identity.
“Marda Loop is super vibrant and diverse, and we have all sorts of shops that are close by. The neighborhood is designed to bring everyone closer together. That’s what makes a great community,” she said.
“I don’t want to lose that aspect of the neighborhood.”
The construction currently has no set end date and is expected to continue through November. For more information, visit the City of Calgary website.