Bike Calgary's picture

Bridge Closure - Crowchild Trail Pathway Bow River Crossing

Please be advised, beginning November 6th and extending until Spring, 2018, the City will be closing the pathway bridge beneath Crowchild Trail to accommodate work on Crowchild Trail as part of the short-term Crowchild Trail Corridor upgrades (http://www.calgary.ca/crowchild).


Above: www.calgary.ca/CSPS/Parks/Documents/Pathways/Closures/crowchild-underpass.pdf


Due to the limited number of crossings, the closure will have significant impact on north-south bicycle travel. If you use this crossing, please consider alternate route options well in advance to access the remaining open crossings at Edworthy Park and at 14th Street W.


Above: Bicycle routes per Google maps.


The closure will not restrict east-west travel along the Bow River Pathway on either bank of the Bow River, though there may be some travel delays or minor detours to allow for equipment movement or due to active work areas.


To plan your alternative routes, particularly if snow clearing is a concern, you can check out the online Pathway and Bikeway map at https://maps.calgary.ca/pathwaysandBikeways/.


To help Bike Calgary work to resolve closure-related issues with the City, please feel free to add your comments here or contact us directly via connect@bikecalgary.org.


We encourage our members to contact the City via 3-1-1 with any issues related to this closure.


Upcoming: Crowchild Trail Upgrades Project Information Session
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association, South Social Hall
1320 - 5th Avenue N.W.

Note: If attending, there are bicycle lanes along 5th Avenue providing an east-west connection between 10th Street and 19th Street NW, passing by the Community Association, which is near the intersection of 14th Street NW. Google Streetview shows an “old-school” bicycle rack just on the CA grounds near 5th Avenue.


Additional resources:


Bike Calgary clarified the City’s Snow and Ice Control Policy as it relates to on-street bicycle routes. Details can be found at http://www.bikecalgary.org/node/4450 and a City-provided graphic at http://www.bikecalgary.org/files/7%20Day%20bike%20lane%20plan.pdf.


Pathways are cleared by Parks. Details on pathway snow and ice control can be found at http://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/Parks/Pages/Pathways/Snow-clearing.aspx.


Details on the Crowchild Trail Corridor upgrades can be found at http://www.calgary.ca/crowchild, http://engage.calgary.ca/crowchild and http://www.bikecalgary.org/crowchild-trail-corridor-phase-5-recommendations-feedback-opportunity.

 

Forums: 

uphill-both-ways's picture

not quite yet ....

the bridge and the pathway on the s river bank are still open this morning.  Construction fencing looks like it is ready to be put in place

 

Pathway cleared of snow along route from downtown to top of paved path that was reconstructed over the summer (steep hill) on east side of Shag golf course at 24 ST SW. 

uphill-both-ways's picture

Bridge closed

Fence preventing bridge access was in place this evening on the s side. Asphalt pathway on the s side is still open...

bike is best's picture

Crowchild Pedestrian bridge closure

The Crowchild pedestrian bridge is closed to pedestrians and cyclists until the end of winter, so that the City can complete maintenance that primarily benefits cars. Yet, cars are minimally inconvenienced while pedestrians and cyclists are forced to travel several km's to alternative routes to cross the river. Does this make any sense?

pbarclay's picture

Is now the time for Critical

Is now the time for Critical Mass style rides? Between this and 14th St SW being a terrible alternate option?

winterrider's picture

I'd say no

We're slowly but surely getting some great cycling infrastructure put in, so I don't see how antagonizing everyone is a good idea.

As to the bridge, I imagine that there are physical safety concerns related to keeping that bridge open as the work on the deck above.

Is it possible to keep it open? Maybe.

Can I imagine that the cost might be high to do so? Sure.

Why not go to the City and ask why it's not being kept open, what the cost to do so would be, and whether that cost is justified for the somewhat limited use that bridge receives in the winter before suggesting paralyzing City streets by clogging them with bicycles.

I can guarantee you that many more people use the upper deck than the lower, so I don't think it's necessarily fair to say that if cars are accomodated bikes must also be. It's a cost vs benefit analysis.

All that said, I appreciated this will be a hardship for some, though I doubt that it will be many over the winter months. The traffic on that path is low in the winter, and most of that is going in/out of downtown from the west which can be accomplished by other bridges with no added miles.

I also see a lot of joggers using this as their turn around point, so now they'll have to run back on the same side of the river. Not exactly a hardship.

How many cycle commute from the Spruce Cliff Area to Parkdale/Univ/Foothills, I'm sure there are some and they're the ones affected. But if the cost is prohibitive then as a tax payer I don't know if I disagree with closing the bridge while they do this work.

 

gyrospanner's picture

Numbers of affected people?

I'm guessing here, but I think that there may not be that many people that are materially affected by this closure.  But I would like to know if I'm wrong, so please reply if you are.

If you have to travel north or south over the river and that was your most in-line place to cross the river, you now have a choice to use either the Harry Boothman bridge in Edworthy Park or the 14th Street bridge.  Your maximum inconvenience would be an additional 3 km if you looped over to the 14th Street bridge.  However, you would obviously use the route that angles off to your final destination.  As an example, I measured the riding distance between Westbrook Mall and the Hospital (via H. Boothman) and they are 5 km either way, therefore no inconvenience (unless you hate that big hill in Edworthy).  I also did Marda Loop to the Hospital (via 14th St) and it only added 1.5 km. 

That additional 1.5 km is about the same amount of extra riding that I have had to do over the last few years every time they close Bowmont Park for months at a time, and I barely noticed it.  Not to mention that it is good to change up your route sometimes.....

 

Any other thoughts?

 

pbarclay's picture

I'm riding close to the

I'm riding close to the maximum extra 3km unless I do my own mini-critical mass and ride 14th street (which I did last night but don't feel comfortable doing when I am riding with my child). Since my commute is normally 8km, this is a substantial increase.

I wouldn't mind so much if there was a bike friendly route from the pathway @ 14th to SW areas like Sunalta/Bankview/Marda Loop, but as it stands you need to negotiate narrow sidewalks along 14th under the tracks (the terminus of which are currently blocked by detour signs related to road construction), and deal with pretty poor options (particularly at rush hour) to cross 10th, 11th, 12th Aves, before finally crossing 17th Ave at the intersection of death across from Bike Bike. 

With the bridge open, it is possible to cut through Scarboro at 19th Street SW with only one sketchy bike-car interface @ 10th Ave. This can still be accomplished with the bridge closed, but only if you suck up the maximum 3km distance penalty. To the city's credit, their traffic calming at 12th Ave @ 19th Street SW has been a substantial improvement to this area and I am sad that I can no longer benefit from it without a 3km detour.

In summary: accessing the Bow River @ 14th Street for SW residents west of 14th Street is unnecessarily difficult / not conducive to non-confident cyclists, and the now reduced lack of connectivity to the NW is a further annoyance. This is reflected on e.g. Strava heat maps which indicate that there are no favourite bike routes between the Bow River @ 14th and many SW core neigbourhoods that don't involve either the maximum detour or riding directly on 14th.

Re. the lack of cyclists: if this is true, it may be due in part to the issues described above. There are several large employers in the NW, notably UofC and the hospital, and SW-to-NW traffic along Crowchild suggests that many people make this commute.

bike-run's picture

affected

I live in W. Hillhurst and the bridge closure affects me. Almost every (recreational not commuting) time I run or bike on the pathway I've been using that bridge, and when running the time to detour is more significant, so I have to deal with less options, but I do still have pathway access to the east or west, and I don't need to cross over that bridge to commute downtown.

 

CPat's picture

14 St SW

I use the Crowchild Bridge from the NW to access the SW outside of downtown/Beltline pretty much exclusively. It's pretty much eliminated the Shaganappi Park Ped Bridge route southwards.  Edworthy could be an option, but I'm very rarely as far west as Sarcee (car dealership pickup/drop off excepted a couple times per year).  Remember the ice flows will close the Bow River MUP on the south bank as always in winter.

Looping over to 14 St SW (staying on the west sidewalk under the CPR, etc), then using 10 Ave or 11 Ave to the 15 St SW bike route and filtering over to 20 St SW via 23Ave or 26 Ave (towards Richmond Rd or MRU).  Northbound I'll stay on 20 St, take 20 Ave to 17a St, then ride the sidewalk on 17A ve to 15 St SW.  I'm usually in a hurry and haven't dialed in that area around the park, or I'd probably go north and south this way.

15 St SW does some whoop de do up/downs that are annoying further south and dead-ends at a park, so if headed towards the Glenmore Resevoir I'll filter over the opposite way to 14 St and take a lane once up the hill.  Northbound I'll just stay on 14 St since the hill's fine on the way down.  15 St SW doesn't really feel less steep than 14 St and is way icier, but has much less traffic, so there's a conditions trade-off and a time of day/has-some-jerk-scared-me trade-off.

Crivak's picture

Been using the peace bridge

Been using the peace bridge or the underpass beneath the c-train bridge. They work well and the latter isn't too far away from 14th.

pbarclay's picture

Who should I contact in the

Who should I contact in the city regarding this? Will my councillor be able to provide that information? Do you have a contact with roads?

winterrider's picture

Don't know

I'd start with 311, and maybe directly contact Councillors Woolley and Farrell as I think their wards are on either side of the bridge (I'm just guessing, I've not looked at a ward map).

You could also try getting some reporters interested. Maybe Tom Babin would be interested in this as a story.

pbarclay's picture

I've tried both of those

I've tried both of those official avenues in the past to no effect, but will try again. Have you ever had success in them responding to budget / cost analysis / usage issues?

winterrider's picture

Never tried

I assume it's almost impossible to get. The best information I've ever received has been in person at open houses, but I think at this point that ship has sailed.

My guess is you'd have the most luck if a reported was doing the questioning, so see if you can get Tom Babin interested (he's the only cycling reporter I know of).

uphill-both-ways's picture

also

radio personality David Gray(CBC) is also a year round cycle commuter as is Paul Karchuk(CBC outdoors guy).

RichieRich's picture

Crowchild MUP closure - options?

Realistically what are the options available for keeping the ped bridge option??

1 - Ice bridge?

2 - temp bridge?

3 - incredible scaffolding and protective structure over/around existing bridge?

4 - zip line?

5 - special guest Charon and his pet Cerberus rowing us across from the dark side back to the light of the great white north?

6 - ?? other suggestions??

Realistically that's all that's available... and much as it pains me to admit this, none are really feasible. 

pbarclay's picture

I suggest it be handled the

I suggest it be handled the same way that road closures are: closed as necessary. I haven't seen anyone working on it during my commutes this week, and it appears passable.

Second, the alternative route, 14th Street, is in need of some serious love. The entire road was repaved last year without addressing any of its cycling related deficiencies.

Third, as suprisingly impossible as this might be for a city so proud of its engineers, incorporating some type of cycling infrastructure on the upper level of Crowchild itself during this overhaul would revolutionize connectivity between the SW and NW.

xcrider's picture

14th Works

14th works for me as the path through to Edworthy isn't cleaned for the rest of winter. I think Carmageddon will be coming to Crowchild as this project is large and just beginning. Detours are a fact of construction and at least with a total closure you always know the status of it, rather than riding there only to find out it is closed

CPat's picture

It would be great if the city

It would be great if the city funded sidewalk widening/improvements under the CPR on 14 St.  I find 10 Ave (minus the westbound? closure last week) pretty good once south of the CPR to filter east or west.  11 St SW where there are bike lanes is too far east, and always takes longer (LRT, CPR trains, 5 extra stop lights).

pbarclay's picture

Farrell's advisor (Ward 7)

Farrell's advisor (Ward 7) responded to my query regarding just this and indicated that while Farrell and her team are aware of this issue, there are currently no plans to improve 14th.

Woolley (Ward 8) has been unresponsive to date. 

pbarclay's picture

When heading to the NW, are

When heading to the NW, are you accessing 14th from the west, east or south?

(Edit: meant to reply to the poster above)

xcrider's picture

Just Crossing

I never ride 14th St, I am just using the it to cross the river. I prefer bike routes and MUP's and would ride extra to be on them. Where are you coming and going to?

 

pbarclay's picture

My issue with 14th is getting

My issue with 14th is getting onto the bridge from Sunalta. Specifically, getting from 15th Street SW and 10th Ave onto the bridge without breaking the law and/or potentialy annoying some pedestrians is impossible. More generally, the roads leading to them are busy and not bike friendly during peak commuting hours. Once on the sidewalks along 14th, they are really narrow and not cleared of snow until you reach the sections maintained by Parks, e.g. the sections under the train tracks are really bad but the sections over the river are nice. Similar issues exist on the Kensington side north of the pathway.

In contrast, getting from Sunalta to the Crowchild bridge is much smoother (less ped/car conflict), though still imperfect.

Bike Calgary's picture

Crowchild Trail Pathway Update

Bike Calgary spoke to City staff involved in this project to get an update on the progression of work relative to the apparent limited activity on the crossing. It sounds like the contractor has been doing some site prep, but that work will be ramping up shortly with significant material being placed on the bridge deck precluding public passage.

We also discussed concerns with the distance to the detour and its impact on people travelling across the river, particularly from the south in and around Sunalta, so hopefully the City can address some of these, particularly along 14th Street SW with a suggestion they focus on signage and maintenance improvements (snow clearing), as well as ensuring bicycling permissible through this area. Hopefully they can address this.

There will be some signage changes to make it clearer to the public what is closed and what the alternative are, though signage changes are unlikely to be overly relevant to those using this forum and aware of the closure.

Please continue to add your comments if anything changes.

pbarclay's picture

Thank you! I think a core

Thank you! I think a core issue that could be readily addressed is connectivity/integration to 14th from both the S (where there is nothing) and N (some existing, but e.g. getting from 14th into the Kensington BRZ requires a combination of riding on sidewalks, curb hopping, riding against traffic or in an alleyway).

FYI - an assistant from Woolley's office emailed me to say they are aware of these issues. 

Bike Calgary's picture

Update - Crowchild Trail Bridge Crossing Closure

Please be advised that Bike Calgary has been informed by City staff that the cycling/pedestrian crossing beneath Crowchild Trail, originally anticipated to re-open in May, will remain closed into mid- to late-June, possibly early July, to accommodate continued work on the overhead roadway crossing. Weather conditions were identified as the main reason for the delay to the work. In the interim, we are told the City is investigating the feasibility of accelerating the opening of the pathway along the south side of the Bow River, between Crowchild Trail and Edworthy Park.

Bike Calgary realizes that this will continue to cause difficulties for Calgarians relying on this bridge as a cycling and walking connection. While we don't anticipate the City being able to do anything to address this in the near-term, we do encourage our members to share their concerns with us and, more importantly, direct complaints to 3-1-1.

You can also express your views on the impact of this closure and the importance of maintaining safe, comfortable and efficient active modes connections in this area to your own Councillor and the Councillor's who's wards encompass the project. For note, the north side of the project falls within Ward 7, which is Druh Farrell's ward (ward07@calgary.ca) and the south side in Ward 8, which is Evan Woolley (ward08@calgary.ca).

gregglatz's picture

Well ... it WAS a long winter.

Will be nice to get the Crowchild Trail Bridge back soon. Maybe we should start a bike ferry service in the interim? :-)

Newzones's picture

Nice Week

It was a great week for riding, even surprised to see some streets already swept and clear. That Crowchild bridge is a killer, I'm missing my BRP ride from Edworthy because I can't bare that 14th St. crossing situation. Hopefully they will do something to help get the south side opened up - I've sent a note to my councillor as suggested.

uphill-both-ways's picture

South side detour imminent

Looks like the construction crew is about to pave a short detour at the south end of the Crowchild ped bridge to enable work on the next Crowchild Trail pillar structure.  It's gonna be a while yet until the ped bridge is open.

uphill-both-ways's picture

Detour in effect

Detour pathway is narrow and lined with Jersey barriers and construction fencing. Not a good place to be zipping along or trying to pass others.

tbbruck's picture

I really miss that bridge

Too bad about the delay, although I wasn't really expecting them to re-open on time (this is city construction, after all). I really hate having to go to 14th street!!

I've sent an email to Evan Woolley - we'll see what happens I guess. The next best thing would be for them to open the south side path as quickly as possible so we can cross at Edworthy. Has anybody checked out the conditions?

Chealion's picture

I checked it on Monday and

I checked it on Monday and once you cross the tracks about half way, it was officially closed and the snow was deep and rutted. Has anyone taken a look since then? Definitely make mention that it should be cleared earlier.

Coming from Sunalta given that one option was unpassable (south side) and the other option (14th St underpass) is a complete gongshow with poor snow and ice control it's sucked.

Crivak's picture

State of Edworthy

Went through Edworthy Thursday afternoon to see how the conditions were.  Results... Probably not yet. Had a, uh.. A nice "ride" through it. [read: walked]
Had the camera running. Can see it yourselves. Took from the train crossing to the other side of the crowfoot bridge.

https://youtu.be/eY-ZKyYPXmU

 

bclark's picture

Thanks for the update

I'm looking the lack of snow clearing from Bike Calgary's end. Hopefully I'll have some intel early next week.

Brent - Infrastructure TF

Chealion's picture

Yeesh

Thanks a ton for the footage - helps a lot.

bclark's picture

Edworthy

I spoke to my City contact and they are working on getting the area cleared. Though I haven't been over there, it sounds like a substantial amount of ice had accumulated. 

I did see a bobcat doing some work along the ice flow this afternoon, though I was on the north side of the river.

Brent - Infrastructure TF

Crivak's picture

Edworthy bobcat

Was on the north side of the river today around 5pm when I saw a city bobcat crunching away at the large pile of ice and mud on the south side. Looks like they're giving it a go to clear that end. Shame it wasn't on time for bike to work day, but I imagine that big pile of ice mud is giving them trouble even now. 

tbbruck's picture

Ice bank

I rode the south path between Edworthy and Crowchild in the afternoon on Friday. They were almost finished chipping away the giant ice bank across the path. I stopped and talked with them for a bit - apparently they had been at it all day and it was a challenge. It looked to be about 2-3 feet high in places and pure ice/snowpack. 
I think if we can give a kudos to the city for doing this they'll be more inclined to keep up this pathway in the future!

 

Newzones's picture

So it should be open?

This is great news, I'll be happy to skip the Bow Trail piggyback route. Safe to assume it should be opened up now? I'll definitely drop in some kudos over 311 if they've managed to open it up - no small task!

tbbruck's picture

Assumed open

I assume it's open. When I passed by they still had 5-6 feet left to clear but I assumed they were going to finish it. If not, it's an easy trek over by dismounting and pushing your bike. 

uphill-both-ways's picture

OnLine Temperature?

I find the airport reading too remote to be accurate for the CBD district.  Does anyone know of an online thermometer for the temp in Downtown Calgary???

 

 

uphill-both-ways's picture

Thx

Just the thing i was looking for!

Bike Calgary's picture

Crowchild to Edworthy - Pathway Opened (South Side)

Hi all, I know the chatter has been going on about the City working on clearing the ice from the pathway connection between Crowchild Trail and Edworthy, specifically from the CPR crossing west beneath the Douglas Fir escarpment on the south side.

Word from the City is that it is now officially open. If you encounter any ongoing challenges, please report via 3-1-1 and feel free to comment here so that we are aware.

Brent - Infrastructure TF

gyrospanner's picture

I rode in from the west through there yesterday

It is in good shape.  I always laugh when I see how much ice is there!

 

The only PITA part about it is the detour on the ever-expanding west Eau Claire improvement project ....

Siiiigggh (first world problems!) but it will all be done soon, hopefully by next winter, which will be here when?

Crivak's picture

Wait, what hills? Is there a

Wait, what hills? Is there a route I'm not thinking of that this bridge prevents a hill climb but the others don't?

"It just makes it easier because then you don't have to bike up a couple of hills,"

winterrider's picture

14th St Bridge

My guess is the reference is to the short but steep hills you have to climb to access the 14th Street Bridge.

Newzones's picture

History repeating

I wonder when the city will be able to get real with their estimates - the same happened last year on Quarry trail's closure - originally May re-opening, turned into September. I think the south pathway closure is actually more of a short detour, unless I mis-read the maps a few weeks back? (Please tell me I didn't :(  )

Crivak's picture

Thanks for reposting the map.

Thanks for reposting the map.

I'm interested in how the North detour is going to go, and how well marked it will be, but I think a lot of traffic is going to divert to be on the South side over at Edworthy/Peace instead. 

winterrider's picture

Watch the blind spots

I wonder how busy that south side path will get, with all it's sharp cornes with poor visibility. Stay alert for people passing on blind corners (and don't do that yourself)!

Dionysis's picture

and the north side detour is now in effect

I think I jinxed things this morning because I sent an email to 311 asking when the detour was going to start.  Riding home tonight and found the path is now blocked off by fences and large concrete blocks between 29th and the pedestrian bridge just east of Crowchild.

So the fun begins...

Update: I understand from a coworker that city workers were out Tuesday morning putting up barriers for the portion of the path from the pedestrian overpass to 14th St.  Looks like the full detour is now in effect.

tlyyc's picture

Closure map

I see the map in the article, but am unable to read some details.  Anyone find it in higher res on the City's site?

Ski-Bike's picture

Alternate

Thanks for sharing the alternate detour, its nice and quiet at 6am into downtown.  Haven't tried it on the home comute yet as I expect vehicle traffic will be heavy

RichieRich's picture

Hillhurst

Also wanted to say thanks for the route suggestion.  I road home pretty much that way... only part I didn't like that much was from a couple blocks east of Crowchild.  From there onwards I enjoyed the new neighborhood views and nice homes/gardens.  I ended up zig zagging kinda north'ish and near Shaganappi took the climb up to Foothills hospital, then the "newer" overpass across 16th towards the Childrens.  TONS of bugs slapping against my face and helmet and into the glasses.  yuck.  but nice ride anyways.  Sometimes we do the same rides over and over so once in a while it's refreshing to do something different.  So much so that today I rode up Nose creek then explored through Beddington and Hidden Valley then took some roads through Edgemont that I haven't ridden in nearly 10 years.  Proved to myself (again) that it's quite possible to have decent riding within the city with long stretches of quiet road where you can hammer or enjoy.  Key is to find those no/low-conflict areas.

jondub's picture

Thanks

I went that way last night and it worked well. I'm not sure why they didn't use that as the official detour as it is signed and has bike lanes most of the way. 

uphill-both-ways's picture

Barricades are up

Detour in effect. No duration posted on pathway signage.

Does that mean it will never end??

winterrider's picture

They just don't get it

Read this article today on the Cities response to the detour complaints:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-cycle-pathway-pedestrian-d...

Basically, the response is that they have to do the work and they have to do it now, so sorry.

That completely misses the point. I think we all understand that the work needs to be done, but the City is obviously deaf to the complaints about the quality of the detour in place.

DarrenB's picture

Strawman argument?

I guess if you make the argument about whether or not a detour is a legitimate need for the city, you can avoid having to discuss the quality of the detour. I have noticed that Parks seems to be really good at this strawman approach.

If everyone put in 311 complaints about the quality or duration of a detour, not whether the detour should be there, it might help. But people tend to complain about having to use a detour, which can easily be dismissed by the city, especially when it comes to pedestrians or cyclists.

bclark's picture

Detour Comments

While the CBC article includes comments from Parks, it's important for Calgarians to be aware that there are multiple City departments playing a role in the detour(s) for the Crowchild Trail project and the more recent stormwater outflow work, including Parks, Transportation and Water Resources. As such, Darren makes a very good point that "...if everyone put in 311 complaints about the quality or duration of a detour, not whether the detour should be there, it might help", as my impression is that this would give more lattitude to consider the detour from a broader perspective.

As much of the current detour is on-street and thus under Transportation's umbrella and, as the short new pathway section along Memorial Drive, Crowchild Trail and Kensington Road was built in conjunction with the Crowchild Trail project and also still under Transportation's umbrella, Bike Calgary recently submitted a letter to the General Manager of Transportation, (1) asking Transportation to consider placement and type of signage (for this detour and future detours), (2) asking for a full evaluation of the detour from an all ages and abilities perspective and for corrective actions to ensure it provides a similar level of comfort and safety as the pathway it is filling in for and (3) specifically looking at how to accommodate necessary bicycle movements at intersections in a way that provides equity and operational clarity for all travel modes.

Bike Calgary is trying to achieve a better situation for all Calgarians who rely on the pathway for travel, recreation, etc., but it's ultimately up to the City to take the necessary actions. As such, continued input (again, along the lines of what Darren suggested), via 3-1-1 and to the area Councillor, by Calgarians affected is critical. 

Brent -as Infrastructure Lead (Bike Calgary)