Monday, June 14, 2010

The new face of 16 Avenue North

After years of consulting, planning and construction, it is time to celebrate the upgraded 16 Avenue North.

The road has been widened from four to six lanes and 11 signalized intersections have been upgraded to smooth the commute for those driving Calgary’s main east-west corridor.

Sidewalks have also been widened, new streetlights installed, and trees and shrubs planted to make this urban portion of the Trans-Canada Highway more pedestrian friendly.

“This is a place integrating land use, urban design and mobility to serve three major roles: build community, provide a people-friendly space and as a route for diverse modes of travel,” says Jennifer de Vries, Communications Strategist with Transportation.

A land use policy was developed to promote increasing population density by supporting community services and local businesses.

Safety and access were developed as part of the areas traffic management plan and urban design guidelines were created for future redevelopment in the area.

“Now that 16 Avenue North is nearing completion, this revitalized 16 Ave creates a vibrant atmosphere for pedestrians and building communities while being an efficient route for many forms of travel,” says Project Manager Kiran Dave.

Sixteenth Avenue North was part of the village of Crescent Heights until annexed by The City of Calgary in the early 1900s. An electric trolley ran down the artery connecting the area with downtown from 1911 to the mid-1900s. The electric trolley was slowly phased out and replaced with buses. In fact, Calgary’s first park and ride was on the Tuxedo bus loop in 1956 and one of three trial express buses started on October 21, 1957 – the Yellow Pennant Express from Capitol Hill.

This Saturday the public are being invited to Connect 16, a celebration of the new 16 Avenue North.

This event will delve into the rich history and explore the vibrant businesses and thriving communities along the route.

Date: June 19, 2010
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Balmoral School Grounds, 220 16 Ave N.W.

Free pancakes are being served between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., speeches by attending dignitaries will commence at 11 a.m. and there will be entertainment for the whole family throughout the event.

***Aerial shot taken July, 2008, looking east down 16 Avenue North from 14 st. N.W.
***The black and white photo is courtesy of the Glenbow Archives NA-5600-7643.

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