GREEN LINE UPDATED STAGE ONE ALIGNMENT

On February 21, 2020, the project team presented our quarterly report and readiness plan to the Green Line committee of Council. Both reports provided updates on the project’s status. The readiness plan outline goals for 2020.

The Technical & Risk Committee (TRC) conducted a deliverability review as one of a number of actions the Green Line team undertook to ensure due diligence on the Stage 1 project which helped to identify and prioritize items needs for project success. Ultimately this readiness plan will put The City on a successful path to plan, procure and deliver the Green Line project.

There was also discussion around project timelines. Previously the Green Line team was meant to report back Committee on March 31. To allow for additional engagement, Committee directed Administration to report back on April 23, 2020, with a recommendation for the updated Stage 1 route. This meeting will include an opportunity for the public to speak.

Upcoming events

Following Alberta Health Services (AHS) direction on public gatherings and preventative measures for COVID-19, we’ve cancelled our upcoming in-person events. All Green Line in-person events are cancelled until further notice in accordance with AHS direction.

We want to assure you that while in-person events are cancelled, we are still collecting public feedback on the updated Stage 1 alignment. We want to ensure the project team and Council understand public sentiment regarding our proposed changes to Stage 1.

Updated open house boards

Have questions now?

Send an email to greenline@calgary.ca or call 311.

AN UPDATED STAGE ONE ALIGNMENT

In summer 2019, the Green Line project team advised Council about the need to review Stage 1 for the following reasons:

  • Customer Experience: The 8 storey deep tunnel and stations would impact the user experience and the Green Line vision of a light transit system that is accessible, potentially impacting projected ridership numbers.
  • Project Budget: Cost estimates were exceeding Green Line's funding of $4.9 billion by approximately 10%.
  • Construction Risks: As designs on the tunnel under the Bow River progressed and to avoid obstacles underground downtown, the tunnel and stations were becoming very deep by approximately eight storeys, further adding to construction and project risks.

We understand that any Green Line alignment will be experienced differently depending on a person’s unique community, business, property, or transit-user experience. We have worked to understand stakeholder interests and have considered those interests as part of our analysis.

OPTIONS EVALUATED

As part of the re-evaluation, the team has reviewed the entire Council-approved Stage 1 alignment from 16 Avenue N to Shepard. During this review, the team focused on improving customer experience, reducing risk, and controlling cost while respecting the communities the project is moving through.

Options evaluated for Stage 1 include the following:

  • Updated alignment (16 Ave N. to Shepard)
  • Options that look to connect into Red & Blue Lines using existing City Hall tunnel
  • Options for separate north and southeast LRT lines
  • Options for shortened line that stops in the Beltline or downtown (does not cross river)
  • Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) options

GREEN LINE BACKGROUND

Why Stage 1: 16 Avenue N to Shepard

An approved first stage of Green Line construction from 16 Avenue N to Shepard builds the core of the project while preparing for the future. Stage 1 will be the longest and most complex LRT line ever built in Calgary, at a single time.

This original Stage 1 alignment was selected after considering several different staging options. This process is outlined in the images below.

About the Green Line

The Green Line is Calgary’s next light rail transit (LRT) line, and the largest infrastructure investment to date. The Green Line is designed to be both a transit system and a platform for development and City Shaping; it will provide efficient service and connections to destinations throughout the city, and areas where people can live affordably with access to amenities, services and sustainable mobility options.

The Green Line will be an important piece of Calgary's transit network, adding 46 kilometres of track to the existing 59 kilometre LRT system.

End-to-end, it will connect communities between Keystone and Seton to downtown and various other destinations along the way. Once the full alignment is built, the line will carry an estimated 240,000 trips per day.

The Green Line will provide direct connection to economic hubs including the downtown core and Quarry Park, cultural centres like the Stampede Grounds, new Events Centre, National Music Centre and the Central Library. Stage 1 of the construction is expected to add 20,000 jobs in Calgary.


PROVIDE YOUR INPUT

We are collecting public feedback on the updated alignment to ensure the project team and Council understand public sentiment regarding this recommendation. The intent of collecting input is not to influence the alignment ahead of Council's decision; rather, input received will be summarized and shared with Council for consideration during their decision making in April 2020.

Feedback is being collected at a listen and learn level. This means we are committed to listen to stakeholders and learn about their plans, views, issues, concerns and expectations and ideas.

We are looking for feedback on the updated Stage 1 alignment within the following focus areas:

  • Centre Street N;
  • Bow River crossing;
  • Downtown;
  • Beltline; and
  • North Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) enhancements.

Click through the tabs below for more information on changes to each of these key focus areas, and to provide your feedback regarding what you see as opportunities and challenges with the updated Stage 1 alignment. Your feedback will be provided to Council for their consideration in further decision making related to Green Line. Please note that map lines are approximate and have sometimes been offset in order to show the differences between two alignments.

A note regarding moderation

We have heard concerns from some participants that negative comments are being removed. We want to be clear that comments are never moderated for sentiment; your opinion on the project is valid, and your right to share it is both important and valued by us. This is evident in the many "negative" and "positive" comments visible on this page. Our engagement platform includes a moderation policy and automated third-party moderation system. This is to create a productive and safe environment where people can engage with the project or each other without feeling intimidated. When comments are moderated by the third party, they go into an approval queue where they are then approved or rejected by a staff member. This can sometimes take a few days which is likely the cause of some people's concerns. We thank you for bringing this to our attention and hope this helps to clarify that comments are moderated only to ensure they comply with the moderation policy and never for sentiment. We will do our best to improve the speed of moderation moving forward.

CENTRE STREET N

The key change for Centre Street N include a surface alignment up the middle of Centre Street with a surface station south of 16 Avenue N.

Benefits and opportunities

Affordability and Risk: Eliminating the tunnel on Centre Street N reduces the total project costs

Ridership: Connecting to 16 Avenue results in 11,000 trips on opening day and provides critical connection to east/west routes like MAX Orange.

Expandability: Completing the Bow River Crossing now enables future expansions of Green Line North at lower incremental costs

Stakeholder interests we've heard

  • Improve public realm and streetscape
  • Reduce vehicular traffic along Centre Street N.
  • Minimize vehicular impact through community
  • Reconsider adding 9 Avenue N. Station
  • Minimize impacts to existing businesses: access, parking, property values
  • Minimize construction impacts to businesses
  • Support Centre Street N. redevelopment opportunities

Planning and design objectives

Planning & design objectives will be applied to respond to stakeholders concerns and advance the planning & design of the alignment.

  • Public realm that prioritizes pedestrian experience
  • Manage vehicle access for residents and businesses
  • Pedestrian connectivity
  • Minimize impacts to existing properities
  • Safe, efficient, reliable LRT, BRT and local bus operations
  • Maximize future development opportunities, prioritizing TOD

What we're still exploring

We are exploring three different alternatives for Centre Street N. We will be evaluating these alternatives in order to develop a final recommendation for Centre Street N.

  • Side-running LRT:
    • What: We are reviewing the placement of LRT along the curb side lanes of the roadway.
    • Why: This configuration provides for different benefits and tradeoffs between modes of transportation and property requirements.
  • Turn movements:
    • What: We are reviewing different options to accommodate left and right turn movements onto and off of Centre Street for people who drive.
    • Why: There are a number of different options for accommodating turn movements that have different tradeoffs and requirements.
  • 9 Avenue N. Station:
    • What: We are reviewing if a 9 Avenue N. Station could be included as part of the Green Line project.
    • Why: We have heard stakeholder feedback that is both supportive of and opposed to a 9 Avenue N. Station. There are benefits and tradeoffs to this decision

Reference images

Click on each of the images below to better understand the Centre Street N. area of the updated Green Line alignment.

Click here for a detailed overview of existing issues along Centre Street N.

Click here for an overview of the alignment and opportunities along Centre Street N.

What do you see as the opportunities and challenges with the updated alignment along Centre Street North?

Moderation Policy
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3 April, 2020

Nate says:

“I’m a little worried about the transition off Center St. onto the bridge crossing the bow. Put a short tunnel there to ensure driver safety.”

3 April, 2020

Nate says:

“Instead of running the Green Line along Center St. after crossing the Bow, have it run along Memorial and meet up with the Blue line.”

3 April, 2020

Tommy says:

“Grade level trains will result more accidents & deaths. Underground only. No to train through Park either. Why destroy it?”

2 April, 2020

City bias says:

“Costs: worse traffic on centre; worse traffic downtown; damage to park; damage to Riverwalk; etc. Why does the City not identify costs? Bias”

1 April, 2020

Karen says:

“How about we keep 4 lanes and do not build the LRT elevated, but running flush with the road this way people can still drive turn right/left”

1 April, 2020

Robert says:

“Run line centre street underground using cut and cover to build maintain 4 lane traffic. ”

1 April, 2020

Tony says:

“Only 1 lane for each direction in Centre Stree N will create traffic jam, frustrated driver, more accidents & deaths. Make it 1 way, 2 lanes”

1 April, 2020

Tony says:

“Make the bridge double deck, one layer for CTrain, one layer for one way traffic from download up to north 4th Street N.”

1 April, 2020

Tony says:

“Change centre street N to ONE way only towards downtown with CTrain runs on the surface. Change 4 street N to ONE way only towards North.”

31 March, 2020

Underground says:

“Do not run an elevated platform on Centre street. Toronto at grade better than Waterloo style. ”

31 March, 2020

Emma says:

“Pls do not destroy tranquility of park with a train. Underground only.Wait until there is enough funding.”

30 March, 2020

Tammy says:

“Cut and cover is not that much more expensive since you will be digging up utilities anyway. ”

BOW RIVER CROSSING

The key change for the Bow River Crossing is crossing via a bridge rather than tunneling under the river.

Benefits and opportunities

Affordability: Reduces project costs and risks by minimizing tunnel length and depth

Connectivity: Improves transit connectivity between north and south communities and employment centres.

Expandability: Completing the Bow River crossing now enables future expansions north at a lower incremental cost.

Ridership: Connecting to 16 Avenue Station results in an additional 11,000 trips on opening day.

Stakeholder interests we've heard

  • Preserve river pathway connectivity and enjoyment
  • Minimize impacts to views
  • Minimize impacts to adjacent residents
  • Minimize environmental impacts
  • Explore opportunity for multi-use pathway on bridge
  • Minimize disruption to Prince's Island Park (events, festivals, and community gatherings)

Planning and design objectives

Planning & design objectives will be applied to respond to stakeholders concerns and advance the planning & design of the alignment.

  • Maintain river pathway experience
  • Minimize environmental impacts
  • Minimize impacts to views
  • Mitigate construction impacts on uses of Prince’s Island Park
  • Thoughtful bridge architecture options

Potential bridge types

There are different bridge types that can be considered for the crossing of the Bow River. Some bridge types would have more prominent architectural features and other types would have simpler structure to blend in.

Possible bridge types under consideration include:

  • Constant depth viaduct
  • Trestle structure viaduct
  • Cable stayed main span bridge
  • Arched truss bridge

Example images of these bridge types can be found in the image gallery below. These are only examples of bridge types for discussion purposes. No formal bridge design has been completed.

How might the bridge land?

How the bridge lands on both the north and south side of the crossing will be crucial for the successful integration with the surrounding parks, pathways, homes and natural areas. Images of preliminary ideas for the bridge landings on the South side (Eau Claire Promenade) and North side (McHugh Bluff) can be found in the image gallery below.

Environmental considerations

Initial environmental reviews have been completed for the proposed bridge crossing to identify potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures. As part of the design process, detailed environmental assessment will be undertaken to inform the bridge design and construction methodology, as well as to support completion of required regulatory approvals.

Key considerations include:

  • Wildlife and wildlife habitat: Bridge design will consider how wildlife may move over, under and along the bridge.
  • Fish and fish habitat: How fish and fish habitat may be impacted will depend on the bridge design, and specifically the pier locations.
  • Prince's Island Park natural areas and park spaces: How Prince's Island Park may be impacted will vary depending on the bridge design. Impacted natural areas and park spaces would be restored to blend with surroundings.
  • Bow River users: There are requirements to provide safe detours for river users during construction and the bridge design will carefully consider potential impacts on navigation of the river.

Reference images

Click on each of the images below to better understand the Bow River Crossing area of the updated Green Line alignment.

Click here for an overview of a possible bridge alignment and example images.

What do you see as opportunities and challenges with the updated alignment over the Bow River?

Moderation Policy
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2 April, 2020

Jenny says:

“Pls do not put more grade level trains. Do not destroy Park or ruin the lives of residents living on 2nd St. Underground.”

2 April, 2020

Charlie says:

“The City makes no effort to fairly disclose the damage that the unreasonably expensive north alignment will cause. Negligent. Unethical.”

31 March, 2020

stop North segment says:

“big safety issue and traffic jam when people get in and out of the busy several hundreds cars parkade near Eau Claire; ”

31 March, 2020

Underground only says:

“Do it right otherwise don't do it. Forget the short North segment, nightmare to people live on 2nd St. ( train so close to residence) ”

30 March, 2020

Taylor says:

“Trestle bridge is the perfect choice of the ones shown. Does not impede views of downtown from the bluffs. ”

30 March, 2020

Concerned person says:

“It's ridiculous to think that this route could be a desirable "feature" in park. It will be a hideous intrusion. Move to east side of Centre”

28 March, 2020

Emily says:

“Don’t ruin PIP for an expensive bridge to nowhere. We can’t afford this disaster. Literally. ”

28 March, 2020

Rik says:

“1. Must include a multi-use pathway along bridge. Better gradient for cyclists 2. Choose bridge design that unobstructs view from McHugh”

25 March, 2020

Cady says:

“Don’t cross river and destroy park. Move alignment to east side of C St. Even better, BRT for north leg and river crossing on existing C St”

17 March, 2020

Pause downtown says:

“The cost to go from 2nd ave to south of 16th is not worth it. Pause at 2nd ave underground.”

15 March, 2020

Janice says:

“I didn't move to 2nd St to have a train in my front entrance. No to more grade level trains. Underground only.”

15 March, 2020

Jeff says:

“To all the haters, think of the benefit of not having 90 diesel busses/hr on Centre Street would be too. ”

DOWNTOWN

The key changes for the Downtown include a shallower tunnel under 2 Street S.W., a surface station at Eau Claire and a portal (tunnel entrance) north of 3 Avenue S.W. The station at 7 Avenue S.W. remains an underground station.

Benefits and opportunities

Affordability and Risk: Reduces depth of 7 Avenue S.W. underground station and puts 2 Avenue S.W. station at surface.

User Experience: Improved user experience providing more convenience, comfort and ease of navigation.

Connecting People and Places: Connection to key attractions, events, jobs, residential populations and Red and Blue Lines.

Development Integration: Supporting existing and future development opportunities with station integration.

Stakeholder interests we've heard

  • Provide great public realm
  • Preserve river pathway connectivity
  • Do not impact connectivity of east-west avenues and overall mobility network
  • Preserve redevelopment opportunities
  • Minimize impacts to existing developments
  • Do not negatively impact property values and leasing appeal

Planning & design objectives

Planning & design objectives will be applied to respond to stakeholders concerns and advance the planning & design of the alignment.

  • Integrate LRT infrastructure with adjacent development and public realm
  • Minimize impacts to existing properties
  • Maintain river pathway experience
  • Enable future development potential
  • Support continued vibracy of cultural, social and community activities in the area
  • Minimize impacts to mobility network

Downtown portal - what might it look like?

The downtown portal provides an opportunity to redifine how we think about infrastructure in our city. It has the potential to contribute to our public space in meaningful ways as well as support surrounding businesses by being engaging and accessible.

Images of an initial concept for the portal can be found below. In its simplest form, the portal could create a new public gathering space at 3 Avenue S.W. Use of different materials, textures or lighting could be integrated into the portal structure to make it visually interesting.

Reference images

Click on each of the images below to better understand the Downtown area of the updated Green Line alignment.

Click here for an overview of existing issues along the 2 Street S.W.

Click here for an overview of the alignment and opportunities along 2 Street S.W.

What do you see as opportunities and challenges with the updated alignment in the Downtown?

Moderation Policy
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25 March, 2020

Cady says:

“Unbelievable that the map shows line going right thru Eau claire townhouses. 2 St station unnecessary. Dont destroy island and eau claire.”

25 March, 2020

Future proof says:

“What happens when the train is eventually expanded to 4 cars? There will be little room to expand in the future. ”

18 March, 2020

City is too biased says:

“City materials discuss the best way to build the train but don't discuss whether building the train will help or harm more citizens. Biased.”

17 March, 2020

South only says:

“With the global recession coming, this project is far too expensive. Just build south for now.”

16 March, 2020

Greenlie says:

“Pictures of completed train in the summer with everyone happy. Pictures of current roads taken in winter with few people. City bias is awful”

15 March, 2020

Jeff says:

“Who on earth thinks Eau Claire is a "premium market" anymore. It's a dead mall. Ripe for redevelopment and LRT at the door will help”

15 March, 2020

Jeff says:

“I like it. Well integrated to the landscape and 2 ST is a with little traffic and interest anyways, aside from some crummy parking lots. ”

14 March, 2020

City bias is bad says:

“The City propaganda in support of the train is vile. Please present information fairly - benefits and harm. The train north is harmful.”

10 March, 2020

no stn on 2ave sw says:

“no above ground stn on 2ave sw, destroy property value, unreasonable noise, increase traffic. move the stn East on 1 ave SE ”

10 March, 2020

no 2ave sw stn says:

“no above ground station on 2ave sw, drastically reduce the property values and hence, decrease the City 's tax revenue. especially now.”

9 March, 2020

Mike says:

“How can a station be that close to the Waterfront apartments without violating noise bylaws? Residents have the right not to be disturbed.”

9 March, 2020

Lower Property Value says:

“2st surface station will lower property values and destroy the "premium" Eau Claire land value by increasing traffic and noise in the area.”

BELTLINE

Key changes in the Beltline include moving the alignment to 11 Avenue S. (previously on 12 and 10 Avenues), an underground station at 4 Street S.E., and a portal (station entrance) at the Victoria Park Transit Centre. There is still an underground station located at Centre Street and a bridge over the Elbow River.

Benefits and opportunities

Affordability and Risk: Reduces land acquisitions and depth of underground stations.

Mobility: Maintains key vehicular routes.

Connecting People and Places: Connects to Victoria Park Event Centre, Rivers District, Beltline and East Village.

Urban Development: Unlocks development potential in Rivers District and supports the Community Revitalization Levy.

Station Integration: Supports existing and future development opportunities with station integration.

Stakeholder interests we've heard

  • Minimize impact to mobility network
  • Minimize impacts to future development densities
  • Avoid impacts to existing developments: access, egress, servicing
  • Support Rivers District and Stampede Masterplans and Events Centre planning
  • Locate transit infrastructure to service existing Beltline communities
  • Integrate station entrances with development

Planning and design objectives

Planning & design objectives will be applied to respond to stakeholders concerns and advance the planning & design of the alignment.

  • Minimize impacts to the mobility network
  • Minimize impacts to Stampede Park and existing residential & commercial properties
  • Locate station to support the vision for the Rivers District Master Plan
  • Explore opportunities to integrate station entrances into developments
  • Minimize disruption to Victoria Park Transit Centre

Reference images

Click here for a potential configuration of the updated Stage 1 alignment in the Beltline.

What do you see as opportunities and challenges with the updated alignment in the Beltline?

Moderation Policy
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8 March, 2020

Stations says:

“Centre Street Station should be moved to between 1 St SE and MacLeod. Both are major transit corridors and makes transfers easier. ”

8 March, 2020

Portal says:

“Doesn't having a portal right next to the Elbow create an issue during flood events? Portal should be pushed to just east of 5 Street.”

5 March, 2020

Yoda says:

“Run this underground along 8th ave till 10th street so all of downtown gets serviced and then use 10th st as there is little traffic there”

5 March, 2020

Joseph says:

“Have a integration with the Event Centre so visitors can have direct access to the building, and be protected from the elements.”

5 March, 2020

This is better says:

“This is a positive change as it serves the event centre and is not at grade”

4 March, 2020

Craig says:

“I like it. 12 Ave did not make sense in the original plan; it was extra distance for no reason”

2 March, 2020

JM says:

“Put it at grade parallel to CPR tracks to save money. Use the savings to tunnel the existing 7 Ave LRT. ”

2 March, 2020

Jim says:

“I would prefer 12 ave, to be closer to more people then cross to 11th underground, not 10th. Better to have the station west of Centre St.”

29 February, 2020

Mich says:

“Beltine alignment works well as an exit from downtown and a portal to the south. It may change if the downtown portion doesn’t work well.”

28 February, 2020

Needs Improvement says:

“Good idea to keep it fully underground, why not keep it underground and come up on the other side of elbow? Why the jaunt north?”

28 February, 2020

Beltliner says:

“Why is the 4 st station now underground? Isn't it cheaper to bring it to surface? It would still have the same function (events centre hub)”

28 February, 2020

John says:

“Should be building the sections that have alignment already figured out NOW. Funding for this project came from the Harper govt 5 YEARS AGO.”

NORTH BRT

As part of the updates to Stage 1, Administration will be recommending improvements to the BRT service along the Centre Street North.

Understanding that 15 to 30% of Calgarians living in the north central take transit to work, we will be implementing customer service improvements and transit priority measures to provide a higher quality BRT transit service in Norther Central Calgary.

BRT improvements being considered on Centre Street N are:

Customer service

  • Shelters and temperature controls
  • Lighting
  • Wayfinding and real time travel information

Transit priority

  • Street design
  • Traffic regulations and signals

What do you see as opportunities and challenges with the North BRT improvements being considered?

Moderation Policy
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15 March, 2020

jeff says:

“A temporary plan only. The real benefit comes when the green line is extended north. At least they're thinking about north BRT. ”

10 March, 2020

M Tam says:

“GreenLine planned route should include access to airport!! An opportunity to reduce travel time and carbon footprint. Replace BRT300!”

8 March, 2020

Shawn says:

“This plan gives the North better rapid transit while waiting on funding for the Green Line. Not ideal, but helpful.”

8 March, 2020

Shawn says:

“This will move us toward rapid bus lines = MAX (instead of the split btwn routes 300/301/302 being half-BRT and MAX routes being actual BRT)”

8 March, 2020

Diane says:

“North BRT allows for faster transit access to downtown from northern communities and potentially fewer vehicles on Centre Street”

8 March, 2020

Airport link needed says:

“Looks great, please get this to the airport”

7 March, 2020

J says:

“Take lanes away from traffic at all times of day, and in both directions to accomodate a faster and more reliable BRT service. ”

7 March, 2020

Justin says:

“17th Ave SE was built for less than $100 million and includes about 5km of separated lanes. This should be the Centre St design standard.”

6 March, 2020

Linda says:

“Make an easy interconnect (tunnels?) at Center and 16th to make it easy to transfer to 16th Ave BRT from the Green Line.”

5 March, 2020

Joseph says:

“Ideally Green Line should be starting from north. Instead of BRT improvements, use funds to buy property for right-of-way for the line.”

5 March, 2020

JonCalon says:

“How about having a dedicated transit lane (or 2) on the south side of 5th Avenue and a bus-only turn signal at Centre Street?”

4 March, 2020

Rolando says:

“The project is too much delay, unlike other project only 2 years completed. I think we have to get some one else to make this happen.”

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