As mentioned in the CBC article https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/city-of-calgary-construction-pathway-walkability-stakeholders-avenue-1.5983559, the City of Calgary has released the plans for the upgrades to 3rd Ave, which incorporates the Chinatown area.
The City notes that the upgrades (being made for people who walk and wheel in the area) include:
- Improvements at intersections that enhance safety and make it easier to cross the street
- The possible installation of signals (where appropriate) to enhance pedestrian safety and accessibility
- Wheelchair ramp reconstruction and accessibility improvements
- Traffic calming measures
- Changes to on-street parking, including curb extensions or concrete islands that will improve the visibility of people at intersections
- Creating angle parking stalls where appropriate on side streets to increase parking capacity
- Creating dedicated facilities for cycling and other mobility devices such as scooters, in-line skates, and skateboards
Why 3 Avenue South? Well according to the City the following rationale was used:
- 3 Avenue South is the only east-west road that connects to the Bow River Pathway Network on the west side in the Eau Claire community (at 8 Street S.W.) and the east side in the Chinatown community (via 1 Street S.E.).
- 3 Avenue South supports connectivity and accessibility for people walking, wheeling, and taking transit in the centre city.
- The 3 Avenue South upgrades will support the Eau Claire Area Improvements Project during construction. The upgrades being made along 3 Avenue will provide an alternate route to the Bow River Pathway Network during construction and will also improve access to businesses and residential areas in the vicinity.
- 3 Avenue South has a range of businesses which can be supported through increased access for customers and employees travelling by foot, bicycle, and other active modes.
- Past plans and policies have identified 3 Avenue South as an active transportation corridor and it is an existing on-street bikeway.
- 3 Avenue South is one of the busiest roads for cycling in Calgary (at the west end) and connects to both the 7 Street S.W. and 5 Street S.W. cycle tracks as well as Eau Claire and Sien Lok Park (via 1 Street S.W.).
A copy of the slides and more information is available through the city website: https://engage.calgary.ca/3Avenue
The construction could start as early as May this year once a contractor has been secured, according to the city’s representative.
In terms of cycling infrastructure, and as stated in the CBC article, Bike Calgary is happy to see separated lanes, but also underlines that this is an historic and culturally significant area, and that the conversation should center around the community first.
More information about Chinatown can be found at here: https://www.visitcalgarychinatown.com/