Monday, April 24, 2017

Community Cleanups: save yourself a trip to the landfill

As you begin your annual cleaning, look for a Community Cleanup event near you at www.calgary.ca/cleanup.

Each year from April to September, The City partners with local community associations and their volunteers to help you dispose of unwanted household items and property waste that may not fit in your black or blue carts. Community cleanups are open to all Calgarians, regardless of residence, community or event date. If you miss the event closest to you, don’t be discouraged, as you are welcome to all others.

To avoid the inconvenience of bringing an item that is not allowed at the Community Cleanup drop-off event, please refer to the list of accepted and restricted items.

Accepted Items

Accepted items include (but are not limited to) furniture (desks, chairs, sofas, old mattresses, etc.), toilets, and recalled or broken recreational products. Yard waste is also welcome at the organic truck, including: leaves, untreated wood, and tree branches preferably in a paper bag (excluding sod), but do watch out for more information on the launch of the Green Cart program rolling out this spring.

Restricted Items 

​Garbage trucks will not accept the following items:
Some cleanups may accept additional items for recycling. Check your community association website for details. These include:
​No car batteries
​Baby car seats
​No glass (e.g. window panes, glass table top etc.)
​Cell phone and cell phone batteries
​No household appliances with freon
(e.g. refrigerator, freezer) and no microwaves
​ Paper shredding
​No liquids (e.g. cooking oil)
Home appliances (free store item)
​No large metal items (e.g. lawnmower, barbecue, etc.)
​Home electronics
​No household hazardous waste including:
  • Propane tanks
  • Paint
  •  Automobile, cleaning, healthcare and gardening chemicals.
These materials can be brought directly to a household hazardous waste drop-off location.
​Large pieces of furniture
No railway ties
​Scrap metal (such as BBQs, lawnmowers, filing cabinets, etc.)
​ No sod or dirt

Please note that garbage trucks at the events will NOT accept the following restricted items: metal, home electronics, home appliances, tires, bicycles, car batteries, gas, liquids, metals, propane tanks or paint. However, some community associations do arrange for special services to dispose of these prohibited items. Please check with your community association for additional disposal opportunities and recycling services for items such as electronics, metals, bicycles, baby car seats and tires, as many offer these services at the scheduled events for a small fee.

Unsure of what materials you can recycle? Utilize the comprehensive tool, What Goes Where? for facts on recycling specific items.
 
Take part in your neighbourhood’s Community Cleanup
If you’re able to help out with a cleanup or if you would like to find out more about your local event, please contact your community association.

For more information on the Community Cleanup program and the 2017 schedule, please visit calgary.ca/cleanup.

Last year, 109 Community Cleanups were held across the city with 1.44 million kilograms of waste collected (1.19 million kg in garbage and 248,000 kg in organics). A record 116 Community Cleanups are scheduled this year, so grab some waste bags and get ready to help declutter your home, garage, yard and neighbourhood.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Green Line LRT evaluates two additional alignment options for Beltline segment

Evaluation of the Beltline alignment options for the future Green Line LRT is underway, and Administration is now considering two additional alignment options to connect the Beltline and Victoria Park to the future Inglewood/Ramsay station.

We’ve included some quick facts about this update below, but you can find more information about each of the options in our Green Line LRT: Beltline Segment Update.

Quick Facts
  • On April 11, 2017, City Council approved Administration’s recommendation for the Green Line to be underground in the Beltline from 2 Street S.W. to MacLeod Trail S.E. 
  • Administration has not yet determined how the Green Line will connect from MacLeod Trail S.E. to the Inglewood/Ramsay station
  • Administration is still exploring the MacDonald Avenue S.E. option (MacDonald Ave option) as well as the option that skirts to the north of the Victoria Park Transit Centre (also known as the bus barns or VPTC)
  • Administration is now also exploring two additional alignment options: 
    • Transition to 10 Avenue S Option: this would see the line jog north from the Centre Street station on 12 Avenue S to 10 Avenue S, where it would run parallel to the south side of the CP tracks until it reaches the Inglewood/Ramsay station
    Transition to 10 Avenue S Option
    • Staged Option: this would allow the Green Line to skirt the Transit Centre until the Centre is re-located, at which time the Green Line tracks would be re-aligned and a station would be built on the former Transit Centre lands
Staged Option
  • Cost estimates, including potential land/property costs, for all four options need to be fully understood before Administration can make a recommendation. A targeted cost range for the Beltline to Inglewood/Ramsay segment has been established, and Administration needs to further quantify the capital costs and value to Calgarians of each option. 
  • Administration will continue to explore these four options, which will include technical analysis and conversations with stakeholders and the communities
  • Administration intends to take an official recommendation to City Council in June 2017. If further analysis is required for these options, recommendation timelines for this portion of the Green Line alignment can be modified
  • City Council is ultimately responsible for approving the alignment 

What Happens Now?

Property owners who may be impacted by either of the new options will receive a letter from The City shortly.

Join us at one of two public drop-in sessions to learn more about the options and to discuss the opportunities and impacts of each:
Thursday, May 4 between 4:00 to 8:00 pm
Alexandra Dancehall – 922 9 Ave SE 
Saturday, May 6 between 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
The Commons - 1206 20 Ave SE
Learn more about each of the options and how Administration will make a recommendation.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Paving the way for a better 17 Avenue S

The City of Calgary is investing in 17 Avenue S. by upgrading utilities, the roadway and the public realm including sidewalks, street lights and more. Construction on 17 Avenue is set to begin the week of April 17 (weather dependent).

“You know 17th Ave as one of Calgary’s most popular destinations,” project manager, Logan Tolsma said. “And we want to keep it that way by giving the avenue some much needed upgrades.”

Work on the avenue is expected to last three to four years. In 2017, construction will begin at Macleod Trail and move west to 5 Street S.W.


What to expect

We’ll be upgrading water and sanitary lines that are nearly 100 years old and rebuilding the road, which is at the end of its lifecycle. All this work takes time and coordination. Full road closures on each block is necessary, while road and utility work is happening. The street will begin to reopen to traffic during sidewalk work.



Businesses on 17th Ave will remain open and accessible throughout construction. Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times so Calgarians can still get to their favourite destinations.

“All this work is necessary so 17 Avenue S. can continue serving Calgary and businesses for decades to come, but the work still needs to happen,” Logan explains. “It’s not ideal, but we’ll continue to work with businesses and communities in the area, to ensure they supported throughout construction.”

People driving downtown can use an interactive map online that will show them where to find parking and how to navigate the work zone.

What about the playoffs?

The City has been working closely with the Calgary Police Service to determine how to safely maintain access to 17 Avenue S., or the Red Mile, during the playoffs.

Pedestrian access throughout construction is a priority, so The City will ensure sidewalks are free and clear for people walking on 17 Avenue S. and to and from the Saddledome..

People driving in the area will have to watch for detour signs or can plan ahead using the interactive online map.

For more information on the project vision and schedule visit Calgary.ca/17Avenue

Proposed changes on the use of temporary roadside signs going to Council


Updating the list of banned roads, eliminating temporary signs in playground zones and establishing a maximum height for roadside signs are among the recommendations The City will present to Council in the coming weeks.

The Temporary Signs on Highways Bylaw revisions are based on stakeholder engagement, and feedback received from citizens through the Temporary Signs Review Survey. Online and in-person feedback was collected throughout October 2016 of how Calgarians view temporary signs near our roadways, how these signs influence their actions and how they impact Calgary’s streetscape.

The survey results centered on three key themes for improvement:
  • Safety
  • Standards/best practices
  • Customer service
Based on these themes, a number of bylaw revisions are now being recommended including:
  • Establishing maximum sign heights above the ground 
  • Prohibiting signs in playground zones
  • Requiring minimum distances between signs by same owner/business/election candidate
The City will also look to update the list of prohibited roads, and create a map for easy reference. Prohibited roads may include all roads with a speed limit over 60 km/h, lower speed limit roads with high vehicle volumes, and roads where there is no safe vehicle “pull-off” places for those placing the signs.

Andrew Bissett, Leader of Strategic Planning at Roads, said most of the current rules around placement will be maintained, and will continue to support the responsible use of temporary signs. However, there are sections of the bylaw that need to be updated to better reflect the growth of the city and the increased focus on the public and pedestrian realms.

The City gets on average over 4,000 311 Service Requests a year about temporary signs. “Citizens care about these signs, and The City wanted to ensure the bylaw balances the desire to promote community programs or advertise business on public property, with the concerns of the wider community which include safety, mobility, and sign proliferation,” says Bissett.

Bissett said while a number of survey respondents asked for an all-out ban on temporary signs on Calgary streets, The City is prohibited by law from doing that. “The bylaw must align with court decisions that the placing of temporary signs on municipal property may be regulated and controlled but not totally prohibited.”

Next Steps:

On April 19, the recommended changes to the Temporary Signs on Highways Bylaw will go to the Standing Policy Committee (SPC) on Transportation and Transit. Members of the public will have the opportunity to weigh-in on these proposed changes at Committee.

If accepted by the Committee, The City will present the bylaw changes to Council for approval on May 8.

For more information about this bylaw and how you can get involved or participate in Committee meeting, visit Calgary.ca.

UPDATE: April 19, 2017 - This item has been tabled and moved to the Standing Policy Committee (SPC) on Transportation and Transit on May 17.

Friday, April 7, 2017

"Complete Streets" improvements coming to Northmount Drive, Bowness Road and East Central this summer

Since 2015, The City has been working with communities to develop complete street improvement plans for several roads, including Northmount Drive N.W. and Bowness Road N.W. As part of a regular maintenance program, both roads are slated for repaving so The City used the opportunity to work with citizens and reconfigure the road space.

The City is also implementing a complete street project in the East Central area of the city, which include both pedestrian and bicycle enhancements.

Complete Streets is an approach to street design that strives to accommodate all modes of transportation including walking, cycling, transit and driving. 

Northmount Drive N.W.

Through engagement with the community and stakeholders The City updated the design to better reflect the concerns that were heard about the corridor. With increased scope and costs for the updated design, The City will phase construction on Northmount Drive N.W., starting this year with Phase 1 at the 14 Street N.W. intersection.

Phase 1, from Cambrian Drive N.W. to Carol Drive N.W., will consist of safety and operational improvements at the intersection. This will include adding a transit queue jump, a lengthened left-turn lane from westbound Northmount Drive N.W. to southbound 14 Street N.W. and a bicycle connection through the busy intersection. The intersection will also be re-paved to improve the surface quality of the roadway.

Construction is being coordinated with other City departments (Calgary Transit and Roads) to save costs and minimize impact to the community. The remainder of the corridor will be constructed as funding becomes available. Final plans and construction information will be posted on the project webpage this summer.

Bowness Road N.W.

Construction on the Bowness Road N.W. Phase 2 Complete Street project is an extension of the first phase of the Bowness Road Complete Street upgrade (from 70 Street to 48 Avenue N.W.) This work is being done so people walking, cycling, taking transit and driving are able to safely and conveniently travel through the community.

The project includes curb extensions, pedestrian crossing islands, painted crosswalks and rectangular rapid flashing beacons along Bowness Road. Traffic calming improvements are also included on Bowwood Drive at 64 Street N.W. and 33 Avenue N.W.

The City will also be installing dedicated bike lanes from 69 Street N.W. to the Shouldice/John Hextall Bridges and making pathway improvements at the CP Rail underpass. The road will be re-paved and transit stop locations are also being upgraded to handle articulated buses.
Final plans and construction information will be posted on the project webpage this summer.

East Central Calgary

The City is also planning a bikeway network in East Central Calgary. Throughout the engagement process, the public helped The City identify where walking, cycling and traffic improvements could be made in the area. The resulting network includes two east-west routes and one north-south route, with safety improvements for people walking and cycling. The first phase of construction will begin this summer.

Phase 1 includes improvements for people cycling and walking on Marlborough Way N.E. / 40 Street S.E. (north-south route) and on 8 Avenue S.E. / 10 Avenue S.E. (east-west route). Final plans and construction information will be posted on the project webpage this summer.

Phase 2 will be constructed when funding becomes available, and will extend this network to several other roads in the area. This will include a second east-west connection from Barlow Trail N.E. to Madigan Drive N.E. as well as other improvements in the area.

Engagement

These projects engaged citizens on what the streets could look like, with the understanding that they would safely accommodate all travel modes. 

For Northmount Drive N.W., over 500 people attended the engagement events and over 1,000 in-person and online feedback forms were collected. 

For Bowness Road N.W., the project team worked closely with the Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ), held two stakeholder meetings, a walking tour and two public workshops. In total, 99 people attended engagement events and over 280 feedback forms were submitted. 

For East Central, nearly 60 people attended the engagement events and over 120 in-person and online feedback forms were collected. 

The What We Heard reports and online feedback summaries are available on the Northmount Drive N.W. Improvement ProjectBowness Road N.W. Complete Street Phase 2 and East Central Calgary project web pages. Detailed design is currently being completed for all projects.

Visit calgary.ca for ongoing updates.