Thursday, April 28, 2016

City Construction Crews Celebrate Earth Day

City staff participated in Earth Day activities last week, organized by the general contractor at two major transportation infrastructure projects, Graham Infrastructure.

Cleaning up at the Glenmore Trail / Ogden Road project site
The collective green team spirit was shared across staff that participated from Graham, The City, major subcontractors (Wilco, Standard General, KLS, Lafarge, Harris Steel), project suppliers (Davidson Enman, United Rentals), and consultants (ISL, Stantec, CH2M).

Together, the team scoured both construction areas during the morning, picking up garbage and debris while learning about environmental safety and protection.

Clean-up at the Macleod Trail / 162 Avenue construction location
“This was a great opportunity for The City and Graham Infrastructure to partner in an environmental emphasis and help clean up the construction sites”, said Sig Undheim, Project Manager for The City at the Glenmore Trail / Ogden Road interchange project. “Construction crews manage garbage and debris on a regular basis, but the Earth Day clean-up was a specific dedicated team focus on the project sites and surrounding area.”

“We were very excited about being asked by Graham to take part in this Earth Day initiative,” added Kara Wolfe, City Project Manager for the Macleod Trail / 162 Avenue Interchange. “The environmental walk-about also gave us a chance to ensure that the construction sites and surrounding areas are as clean and safe as possible.”

“This is an initiative that Graham Infrastructure has taken to reflect the company’s focus on environmental protection,” said Bryce McKay of Graham Infrastructure. “We’re glad we had the chance to partner with City of Calgary staff to help clean up these active construction sites.”

Almost 100 employees from Graham, The City, project subcontractors and consultant groups participated in this special Earth Day focus.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A record 116 Community Cleanups begin this weekend, run throughout summer

Each year, from April to September, we team up with local community association volunteers to help you dispose of unwanted household items and property waste that may not fit in your black, green or blue carts -- FREE of charge.

A record 116 Community Cleanups are scheduled this year, so grab some gloves and elbow grease and get ready to help beautify your home, yard, and neighbourhood.

One million kg of waste collected 

Last year, 112 Community Cleanups were held across the city.  You cleaned up 1.3 million kilograms (101 million kg in garbage and 222,000 kg in organics) of waste, saving many trips to the landfill.

Each community association books and manages additional disposal and recycling services for electronics, metals, bicycles, car seats, tires, and paint. Check with your community association for details.

Take part in your Community Cleanup

This weekend, there will be events in Palliser, Edgemont, Forest Lawn and Millrise on Saturday, April 23, and in Abbeydale, Auburn Bay, Glendale and Triwood on Sunday, April 24.

If you’re able to help out with a cleanup or if you would like to find out more details about your local event, please contact your community association.

For more information on Community Cleanups, please visit

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Lighter, brighter downtown underpass takes shape

Walking through the 8 Street SW underpass is going to be cleaner, safer and more visually stimulating starting this May.

Crews installing paving stones on east side walkway
Pedestrian traffic is currently being directed to the west side of the 8 Street SW underpass while improvements to the east side walkway take place. But in a few short weeks, Calgarians will be treated to a whole new underpass experience as the east side opens up.

The east side underpass enhancements include construction of new sidewalks, concrete surface repairs, LED lighting, public art, and repairs and maintenance of upper and lower retaining walls.

“Safety and cleanliness are the most important elements in the use of places that people use, including downtown underpasses”, said Ben Barrington, Program Manager, Implementation Urban Strategy. “What’s happening on the 8 Street underpass addresses these concerns by not only doing necessary maintenance but adding an exciting visual experience from the new design and upcoming public art. It’s all about connecting people and places.”

Construction on east side walkway nears completion
Crews will repaint the bridges to make the area brighter, and will construct a public art installation between the two bridges. The bridges themselves will be cleaned, repainted and lit with new LED lighting.

When the enhancements on the east side are completed in May and it is opened to the public, the pedestrian walkway on the west side will be closed until the improvements are finished. As well, one lane of southbound vehicle traffic will be closed for the work to proceed.

All underpass improvements in this area are anticipated to be completed by early this fall.

The 8 Street SW Underpass Enhancement project is part of a broader corridor improvement program being undertaken by The City, to improve the pedestrian environment and connections between the Beltline and downtown communities.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Green Line's South Hill station explained by Lead Planner, Breanne Harder

I’ve worked for The City for just under four years, primarily within Planning & Development and Transportation Planning. Working on the South Hill Station Area Plan has allowed me to bring together my interests and education in transportation and the built environment, while providing a great opportunity to redevelop a large area within established Calgary; normally, this scale of redevelopment is reserved for suburban areas.

About South Hill
South Hill is located south of Glenmore Trail at Shepard Road SE. Today, the area is predominately undeveloped with two mobile home parks and some industrial buildings, however, a Green Line LRT station and a major transit hub are planned for the area. These significant changes have led to the development of the South Hill Station Area Plan, which will guide development in South Hill.

The policy plan will put the tools in place to transform South Hill to an urban village with opportunities to live, work, and play in the area. Services and amenities will be located along a pedestrian-oriented high street that will include an urban plaza and park space.
The urban plaza and park space will be flexible throughout the seasons.

As part of the development of this policy, I recently invited stakeholders and landowners to a drawing and dialogue workshop where we discussed ideas for South Hill while illustrators developed images and diagrams based on conversations surrounding typologies in South Hill. The illustrations that resulted from our discussions are now being used to inform the land use and vision for the area.

Larger retail stores can be located on the second level,
allowing for smaller units that provide more interest at street level.
What are typologies? Typologies are commonly found forms in cities. Examples of typologies include residential, commercial, industrial and office. While cities throughout the world have these typologies, the specific elements of each typology vary widely based on context.

Including a session focused on typologies during the policy development process allowed us to work with the public and focus on the best possible outcomes for South Hill, given its context.

 Lead Planner of the
South Hill Area Station Plan,
Breanne Harder
As a planner, it provides me with an added link between the vision and developing policies that will help achieve that vision. Stakeholders invited to the session bring their expertise and landowners in the area provide additional community knowledge. Together, the concepts developed will be used to produce a relevant policy plan that provides support for decision-making throughout the planning and development process.

What am I most excited to see once this project is complete? One day, taking the CTrain to South Hill station and spending time on the high street, seeing how the policies I developed shaped the area into an urban village in south Calgary.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Help make Spring Clean-Up a sweeping success

The City’s annual Spring Clean-up program kicked off on April 3, with some big changes to the program this year.

Until June 1, crews will be out sweeping up dirt and debris leftover from winter on over 15,000 lane kilometres of road across Calgary. When crews sweep up gravel and debris, it keeps it out of the air and our storm drain systems. Clean streets are also safer for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

During pre-sweeping in March, crews were able to complete a significant amount of sweeping due to warm and dry weather conditions. Sweeping has continued successfully throughout April as well.

Residents looking for more information about the program can visit to read the answers to some frequently asked questions. Here are a few we’ve heard so far:

How can I find out when crews will be sweeping my street?

This year, crews are sweeping 7 days/week, an increase from the previous schedule of 4 days/week. To find out when sweepers will be on your street, watch for the large green community sweeping signs posted in your area and look up your address at

What are the new parking restrictions in place this year?

All communities are now under parking restrictions when streets are being swept. When the large green community signs (pictured) are placed around your community, a parking ban is in effect for the entire community. Any vehicles left on the road at this time are at risk of receiving a ticket, but will not be towed. For this reason, crews will have to sweep around these vehicles, reducing the effectiveness of the sweeping program.

Why didn’t the vehicles left on my street receive a ticket or tow?

If the small “No Parking” signs are placed every few metres along your street, vehicles will be ticketed and towed. In areas where the green community signs are placed, but the small “No Parking’ signs are not, towing will not occur.

Although the Calgary Parking Authority is enforcing tickets when community signs are out, not every neighbourhood can be attended to. Crews typically sweep in five different areas of Calgary every day for two months, so not every vehicle can be ticketed and/or towed over this period of time.

What do I do if street cleaning falls on garbage collection day?

If you have front street collection, place your blue and black carts on the sidewalk or grass boulevard next to the curb. Once street cleaning is complete, you can put your carts out as normal on collection day.

For more Spring Clean-up news and updates, follow @yyctransport on Twitter.