Chealion's picture

Bow River Pathway Closures In and Around Crowchild Trail

I was pleased to notice that the updated boards from the May 9th open house have been posted to the Crowchild project page. I don't envy the job of the folks who had to find a way to detour the north pathway during it's busiest months. From the posted boards it's not clear what mitigations they have been able to work in to help out with crossing Crowchild Trail at rush hour and how small the islands will be and if it will be a proper multi-use crossing instead of a crosswalk.

It's not going to be a fun detour but the goal as I was told at the open house is to get the Crowchild bridge open again before these closures for flood mitigation and stormwater outflow lifecycling go into place.

Hopefully to help clarify the map from what I got from the open house:

The south section is a continuation of last year's work where they took out the concrete structure. They'll be putting in the wood lattice work like seen further up river.

The west section is in broken up into two pieces (purple and red) - the goal being to finish the purple section first to allow everyone to get to the new signalized 25th St crossing for the rest of the construction period.

The east section across from the old CBC building will result in a new pathway once the stormwater outflow work is done.

Please feel free to correct anything I may have got wrong :-)

Links:

https://calgary.ca/crowchild

http://www.calgary.ca/Transportation/TI/Documents/Crowchild%20Upgrades/I... (Page 3)

Forums: 

Dionysis's picture

similar to 5 years ago

The detours look similar to those set up after the 2013 flood except that west of Crowchild will now be blocked off.  I have a feeling that the path on the south side of the river is going to be pretty busy starting in July!

Thanks for posting this info Chealion - I'd hate to be riding in early one morning only to find the path closed off!

winterrider's picture

Can you clarify?

You said they're redoing the path by the old CBC building, that's great news!

Why is the purple section west of Crowchild being closed? Storm/flood water work? Are they going to repave that section of path? I hope so as it's pretty bad these days.

The south side closure, are they going to do any path upgrades there to improve sightlines through the woods, or improve the path by the pumphouse?

Chealion's picture

All of the closures are to

All of the closures are to allow stormwater outflow replacements and other river bank improvement projects. (eg. South side is part 2 of the work that led to the same closure last year). As far as I know they won't be touching the pathways except for near the old CBC building - just that for construction access the pathway will end up being closed.

winterrider's picture

Thanks

Much appreciated, too bad they're not planning on more improvements while those pathways were closed. Missed opportunity IMO.

Dionysis's picture

100% agree

The north path between 29th and Crowchild is brutal on a road bike with no shocks!

I heard on the news recently that a lot of the trees in Calgary are reaching the end of their typical lifespan so I wonder about all those big trees along Parkdale and Memorial. I would hate to see them go but would not mis their roots!

bclark's picture

Bow River Pathway Closures - Comments

The following are the comments (verbatim) I made in an email to City staff on behalf of Bike Calgary (30-May-2018. I have not heard a reply as of yet, but I would be curious to know if these resonate with Bike Calgary members.

"I took a quick look at the detour map. A couple quick comments.

1. I'm assuming there's no easy win to do some curb work to allow cyclists to just jump right onto 1st Avenue (diagonal) from 4th Avenue and vis-a-vis?

2. There is currently no bicycle specific signalization or guidance that I am aware of for northbound cyclists to leave the pathway and cross Parkdale Boulevard (it's really just a crosswalk) to access northbound 29th Street. Along those lines, the pathway merges into a narrow sidewalk, also used by pedestrians accessing the pathway and bus stop. My suggestion for you to consider is to realign the pathway connector so as to allow cyclists to travel properly through the intersection, perhaps even with some bike-specific signalization.

3. I'd personally probably just come back to Kensington Road via 25th Street, and cross there, instead of using what appears to be a questionably direct pathway link to then cross a slip lane plus the main intersection at Crowchild. I think you may find a lot of cyclists do this, so you may want to consider how to make that crossing easier and safer (note that cyclists cannot use the flashing crossing unless they cross as pedestrians).

The only other thing is my point about the crossing of Crowchild Trail having to be equitable in terms of phasing for people using the detour. I would hope that is still part of the conversation as well as some ways to create safer space by reducing speeds on the slip lanes crossed by the pathways and sidewalks."

bclark's picture

Closure Dates Unchanged

Here is the latest map (LINK). Not really any change from previous that I can see.



It looks like the timing is still mid-July to mid-October with and additional mid-August to mid-October closure and detour on the south side. I would say expect this to all start happening soon, which also means I’d assume the detour along the north side is ready.


We made a few suggestions through Bike Calgary, including intersection improvements at 29th Street and the Bow River Pathway intersection to ensure it’s clear how cyclists are supposed to move through the area, though I don’t see any indication of such on the map.


I’ve followed up with City staff on why certain dead-end portions of the pathway are indicated as detours. Perhaps this is to retain some river bank and green space access for Calgarians? I’ll update once I’ve heard.


More info is at http://www.calgary.ca/UEP/Water/Pages/construction-projects/Storm-Drainage-System-Recovery.aspx.

 

bclark's picture

Closures Next Week

Sounds like closures will take effect sometime next week. Exact date depends on contractor timing.

 

Dionysis's picture

thanks for keeping us up-to-date

I tried out the north side detour route on my way home last Friday.  Adds 5-10 minutes of travel time and the biggest bottlenecks I could see are at the Crowchild-Kensington Road and 29th Street intersections.  But it looks like the new path from the SE corner of Crowchild-Kensington to Broadview Road is complete.

Still not sure about the crossing displayed on the map around where the east-bound bus turning lane is, however.

But thanks again for keeping us informed!

Update: just noticed the City's Crowchild construction web site (http://www.calgary.ca/Transportation/TI/Pages/Road-projects/crowchild-tr...) was updated today but there is nothing about the pathway closures.

bclark's picture

Detour Quality

I'm also, through my role with Bike Calgary, continuing to promote suggestions to improve the intersection at 29th Street and Memorial Drive (Bow River Pathway) for cyclists travelling east and now having to turn north onto 29th Street in the absence of any formal infrastructure or crossing guidance, so that it's clear to all travel modes how people should interact. I'm also pursuing the fact that westbound cyclists, on the 4th Avenue detour, will need to be able to safely and comfortably turn left onto 29th Street to head back south to the pathway. 

On the east end, I've been trying to carry on the discussion that there may be significant demand for north-south travel along 25th Street, between 1st Avenue and the pathway on the south side of Kensington Road, as opposed to people using the winding pathway along Crowchild and having to cross two sides of that busy intersection (i.e. measures need to be considered to make sure the 25th Street/Kensington Road intersection is safe and comfortable).

Overall, I've also been very clear that the Bow River pathway is an essential active travel and recreation corridor for Calgarians of all ages and abilities and that alternatives must be equitable. At this point, I'm not sure that cycling in mixed traffic on the detour up 29th Street counts, but there's no other bikeway alternative in current conditions.

Unfortunately I can't make any promises, only reasoned arguements to the people with decision-making power.

I think Bike Calgary would certainly appreciate hearing from our members about the impact of the closure and quality of the detour though.