Those who wheel, walk and take transit on Kensington Road can expect to see slower, safer traffic starting this month.
The City of Calgary announced plans to install traffic calming measures along Kensington Road, starting tentatively in the third week of August.
Surendra Mishra, Traffic Safety Engineer for the City of Calgary said that these changes are not a result of a particular incident, but they are a result of citizen complaints and nearly 70 collisions that resulted in injuring pedestrians, cyclists and the vulnerable.
“We did a safety and operational analysis of Kensington Road corridor between Crowchild Trail and 14th Street and based on their personal safety analysis, we thought we could do something in the short term by using these temporary materials so that we can improve safety along the corridor.”
According to City of Calgary open data, there have been 37 recorded traffic incidents on Kensington Road NE between Crowchild Trail and 14 Street NW, since 2018.
Traffic calming measures are expected to include temporary extended curb installations, single-lane traffic in each direction, enforcement of a 40 km/h speed limit, flashing beacon lights at crosswalks and added parking between 18 Street N.W. and 19 Street N.W.
These changes will be made along Kensington Road from 14 Street NW to Crowchild Trail.
Possible changes coming to traffic patterns as a result of measures
The reduction of lanes could possibly result in a slight change in traffic patterns along some of the road junctions that have heavier traffic., said Mishra.
However, he said, that an operational analysis has been carried out and it is believed that with the current level of traffic there should be no major disturbances.
The changes are expected to reduce incidents and near misses involving people who walk, wheel, drive, and take transit.
“There will be no impact to the transit. Having said that, there is no additional separate cycling facility made as part of this one because we are using temporary materials and we just want to simplify things to start with,” said Mishra.
Traffic flow would be monitored, and adjustments will be made where necessary to decrease major traffic disturbances, said the City of Calgary.
Calming measures get community approval
The City of Calgary worked on the project in conjunction with the West Hillhurst Community Association.
Janice Paskey, transportation and mobility chair for the West Hillhurst Community Association, said that these measures will make the street safer and more welcoming for all children, families and seniors.
“The West Hillhurst Community Association welcomes the safety improvements on Kensington Road, a key neighbourhood street that passes schools, parks and businesses,” said Paskey.
The temporary installations have no set timeframe, however, Mishra said that the City is aiming to monitor the changes for at least a year.
The City said they welcome citizens, businesses and residents to share their thoughts about the project.
Permanent infrastructure may become a possibility based on responses to the project through the website or calls to 311, said the City.