Friday, January 23, 2015

1 Street S.W. underpass enhancements begin

Artist’s rendering of design of new look walkway
 January 26 will see the start of construction on enhancements to the 1 Street S.W. underpass to provide greater safety and comfort for users of the underpass pedestrian walkways.

A number of safety and comfort issues were identified at the underpass including poor lighting, water drainage problems, uneven sidewalks and general deterioration of the underpass structure. Through a collaborative design process, enhancements were developed for both the underpass structure and the pedestrian environment extending from 9 to 10 Avenue S.W., including improved lighting, new sidewalks and guardrails, integrated art and wayfinding elements, water mitigation and painting of retaining walls and structure beams.

“The 1 Street S.W. underpass enhancement project is part of a broader underpass improvement program being implemented by The City to improve the pedestrian environment and underpass connections between the Beltline and downtown communities,” said Graham Gerylo, Centre City Implementation Project Manager. “The 1 Street S.W. underpass was prioritized for enhancement because it has the highest pedestrian use of all Centre City underpasses (9,500 pedestrians per day), was identified by community stakeholders as an important gateway connection, and in recognition of its significance as a heritage structure.”

The budget for this project is $3.8 million and it’s anticipated that the enhancements will be completed by the summer of 2015.

“Calgary Downtown Association is very excited about seeing improvements to the various underpasses in the centre city, starting with 1 Street,” said Maggie Schofield, Executive Director of Calgary Downtown Association. “Underpass improvements are extremely worthwhile investments toward a safer, more inviting space that we are pleased to support, both as a stakeholder, and financially.”

1 Street SW underpass from 9 Avenue
“This has been a great collaborative effort involving many groups and organizations in working towards the enhancement of a very well-used pedestrian corridor and important connector to downtown.”

This project will result in some underpass pedestrian and road restrictions and closures. Starting Sunday, January 25, the west side pedestrian walkway of the 1 Street S.W. underpass will be closed between 9 Avenue and 10 Avenue until the enhancements on the west side are completed. During this time, pedestrians will need to use the east side pedestrian walkway. One lane of southbound vehicle traffic will also be closed during construction on the west side.

When the enhancements on the west side are completed and it is opened to the public, the east side pedestrian walkway (as well as one lane of southbound vehicle traffic) will be closed until those enhancements are finished.

For more details about the project, go to calgary.ca/1stunderpass.

What to do about those windrows

What is a windrow?

Fortunately, this winter Calgary hasn’t seen too many snowfalls. However, we have been hearing some concerns about the snow that is there and want to address them.

According to The City’s Snow and Ice Control Policy, crews are mandated to maintain the driving lane on residential streets to a safe, reasonable winter driving condition. Crews do this by “flat-blading,” turning the blade under a sander downward to flatten the snow to a hard pack so it is easier to drive on.

While this is good for motorists, the snow left over after crews have flat-bladed, can create some extra work for property owners. The reason is because flat-blading causes a continuous a build up of snow along the side of a roadway, also known a  windrow that can be difficult to remove, especially if left too long.

There is a windrow in front of my driveway, who’s clearing it?

The clearing of windrows in front of driveways left by snow plowing equipment is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner, much like sidewalk shovelling. Plow operators make every attempt to keep driveways clear or keep windrows as small as possible, but any spillage that does occur is the responsibility of the property owner.

What does The City do about windrows?

City forces do their best to keep windrows small by evenly distributing the snow on either side of the road, however, after heavy snowfalls windrows can build up. If a windrow is taller than 30 centimetres and impeding a resident’s ability to enter their driveway a crew can come by and assess the windrow and remove if required.

Citizens should contact 311 if they have concerns about a windrow.

Visit calgary.ca/snow for more information on how The City clears snow.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Southeast Transitway on track for 2017 – get involved!

26 kilometres. 15 stations. Development opportunities. Your new transit route.

The Green Line will be an important piece of Calgary’s transit network, connecting southeast and north-central Calgary with high quality transit service.

The Green Line will be made up of two legs: the North-Central leg will run from North Pointe to downtown, and will connect with the Southeast leg, which will extend to the community of Seton.

Plans for the Southeast Transitway are moving along quickly. The new route will run for 26 kilometres, from the community of Seton to downtown, and will include 15 new transit stations. The line will initially carry only buses, but will be designed so it can be converted to LRT in the future, as funding and land becomes available.

So when can we expect to see this new line? The first stage of construction will involve building a Transitway (aka a roadway that is used exclusively for transit) between 4 Street S.E. and Douglas Glen. Construction will begin in 2017, and is expected to be complete in 2021.

Get involved in the future of public transit in southeast Calgary!

We need your input on route refinement, station design, and transit oriented development.

Join us at three upcoming information sessions to learn more about the project and the many opportunities to provide input.

Join us to learn more about the project and the many ways to provide input:

  • January 20, 2015: Fort Calgary - 750 - 9 Avenue S.E.
  • January 21, 2015: Cranston Community Centre - 11 Cranarch Road S.E.
  • January 22, 2015: Glenmore Inn - 2720 Glenmore Trail S.E.

Drop in between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. All sessions are open to the public.

Find more information about the Green Line Southeast Transitway page online.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Interested in doing a job that counts? The City is recruiting annual Civic Census takers

Census taker recruitment is now underway with The City’s annual Civic Census beginning in April. We're looking for nearly 1,000 flexible workers to help with door-to-door census data collection and recording.


"Census workers are essential to the collection process," says Leader of Election and Census, Paul Denys. "We need people interested and available for flexible short-term work beginning in May."

Being able to walk in seasonable weather conditions and to easily operate a tablet computer are considered assets to become a census taker. Work schedules are set by each individual, but some work may be required during evenings and weekend when most people are at home.

Census takers will be assigned an area to collect census information, generally between 400 to 600 dwellings, and should take no longer than three weeks to complete.

If you're interested in becoming a census taker, download an application online today. Applications are accepted in-person at The City of Calgary Election and Information Services’ office at 1103 55 Ave NE, between 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. Applicants will also be required to complete a written skills assessment test (approx. 30 minutes to complete).

Find more information about the Civic Census and how to become a census taker at Calgary.ca/census

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Nominate a deserving individual, organization or business for a Calgary Award

Calgarians have until Friday, Feb 27, to recognize fellow citizens for their contributions in making Calgary a dynamic, progressive and compassionate city.
Calgary Award

Calgary Awards is a City of Calgary initiative that has been recognizing exceptional citizens since 1994.

 “Calgary’s greatness is due, in large part, to the commitment of citizens to build the better community they want,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Our city is filled with tireless, dedicated, and brilliant citizens. Please take a moment to recognize an amazing person, or group of people, that you know is making Calgary even greater.”

With 17 awards in five major categories, The City proudly celebrates the difference Calgarians make.

Nominating an individual, corporation, community group, school or an organization is easy. Follow these steps:

  • Step 1 – Review the award categories and determine which category is most appropriate for the person, organization or group you wish to nominate.
  • Step 2 – Submit a letter of nomination, two to five pages in length, describing in detail why the nominee deserves the award. You may also submit supporting materials.
  • Step 3 – Complete the nomination form.
  • Step 4 – Mail, fax, email or hand-deliver your nomination package by Friday, Feb 27, 2015.

Additional information, award categories and nomination criteria can be found at calgary.ca/calgaryawards, by phoning 403-268-8881, or e-mailing calgaryawards@calgary.ca