WHAT HAVE WE BEEN UP TO?

In fall of 2020, we conducted a variety of engagement opportunities for Calgarians to help inform functional planning for project areas in segment 2 (16 Avenue North to 4 Street S.E.), including the Streetscape Masterplan for Centre Street North, North Mobility Studies, North Central Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) study and the Bow River bridge. These opportunities included virtual workshops, online engagement and stakeholder meetings between October and December 2020.

  • Workshops: Between October and December 2020, we hosted nine virtual workshops for the public and engaged with 183 participants
  • Online engagement: From November 23 to December 13, 2020, the public was invited to provide feedback through our online engagement portal. We received 352 contributions from 80 contributors. The public provided feedback through mapping, ranking preferences and open-ended questions
  • Stakeholder meetings: In November and December 2020, we met with community association representatives and Centre Street property owners to gather their input

For more detail on our engagement and the top themes that emerged, please refer to a summary of What We Heard. The full What We Heard Report will be posted in the coming weeks.

Procurement Update

After significant engagement with the provincial government following the provincial review of the Green Line LRT project, The City made the decision to pause the segment 1 procurement schedule in December 2020, to provide time to conclude discussions with the province.

This pause does not impact the work that is currently underway, including establishing the Green Line Board, progressing enabling works to make way for construction and functional planning for segment 2 (16 Avenue North to 4 Street S.E.), including the Streetscape Masterplan for Centre Street North, North Mobility Studies, North Central Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) study and the Bow River bridge. The Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) and construction management contracts for segment 2 are also underway

Next Steps

This winter, we’ll continue our conversations on functional planning for segment 2 to get your feedback. This includes the following projects:

  • Design concepts for Bow River and Elbow River LRT bridges
  • Preliminary design for Streetscape Master Plan for Centre Street North
  • North Central Mobility Study & North Central BRT Study for the Centre Street North corridor and communities in north Calgary

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

This winter, we are continuing our conversations related to segment 2 functional planning and the Business Support Program.

Starting on January 28, there will be a number of engagement opportunities as part of the North Central Mobility Study and North Central BRT Study.

  • Online engagement
    • Open from January 28 to February 10. Share your feedback by clicking below.
  • Virtual open houses
    • February 4 from 5 to 8 p.m.
    • February 9 from 12 to 1:15 p.m.
    • Drop-in style event via. Microsoft Teams
    • Register to attend here

Scroll down to learn more about North Central Mobility Study and North Central BRT Study and how you can get involved.

Engagement on our other projects will launch later in February. Sign-up for the Green Line newsletter, check back here or follow us on social media to find out when engagement opens for each project.

NORTH CENTRAL MOBILITY STUDY

We are looking for your feedback on improving the transportation network to support the futre Green Line LRT and BRT services.

NORTH CENTRAL BRT STUDY

We are seeking your feedback as we make plans to bring improved BRT service to north central Calgary.

PLANNING IN CRESCENT HEIGHTS

In this area we are planning a Streetscape Master Plan for Centre Street North and developing the Crescent Heights Mobility Study

We would like your input on draft concepts and to understand how they align with the priorities you have identified as we continue to refine the designs and develop the master plan and explore ideas for the Mobility Study in and around Crescent Heights.

FUNCTIONAL PLANNING PROJECTS

In Segment 2 we are moving through a process called functional planning. This is where we better understand the unique engineering requirements and any specific issues that need to be addressed to develop detailed functional plans for the project. Completing the functional plan for Segment 2 includes examining how the LRT will change travel patterns on Centre Street North and in surrounding communities, as well as what requirements LRT stations will have. It also includes a Streetscape Master Plan for Centre Street North, a BRT Study and planning the form and features of the new Bow River bridge.

The functional plan will be completed by the spring 2021 and will set the stage for procurement in fall 2021. To complete the functional planning for Segment 2, a number of different projects, studies and analysis needs to be completed for areas starting at the Elbow River, through the Beltline and Downtown, through Crescent Heights and north of 16 Avenue N to 160 Avenue N. These include environmental studies, access planning work, station location analysis, investigative drilling, structural design, mobility studies and much more

There are four initiatives that are part of Planning the Green Line. These include:

  • North Central Mobility Study & Crescent Heights Mobility Study
  • North Central Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Study
  • Streetscape Masterplan for Centre Street North
  • Bow River Bridge

To view the map that shows the entire study area for these projects, please click here.

MOBILITY STUDIES

With the addition of the Green Line LRT and North Central BRT, Calgarians are going to move differently throughout Calgary. Mobility studies are being conducted to understand how travel patterns may change as a result of Green Line operations and BRT services on opening day and into the future.

What are Mobility Studies?

Mobility studies reviews the efficiency of the transportation network, including traffic calming and traffic flow, safety, accessibility, parking, connectivity, and more. The information needed for the studies are collected by a variety of ways including public input, technical analysis and forecasting. The results of the studies help identify issues and challenges with the transportation network, and develop measures to enable the network to accommodate the continued growth of Calgary

What we heard and what we did

During the first phase of engagement, the project team heard feedback on how Calgarians in the north central area travel through their neighborhoods, connect to important destinations and on what is currently working within the transportation network. We had conversations about mobility in Crescent Heights within the context of Green Line LRT (Crescent Heights Mobility Study) and we had conversations about the broader network between the Bow River and 160 Avenue NE (North Central Mobility Study).

This study is focused on the following aspects in Crescent Heights, within the Green Line context:

  • Bike connections across Centre Street
  • Traffic calming in Crescent Heights
  • Changes to parking along Centre Street
  • Community and business access

There will be opportunity to provide feedback later in the winter along with the Streetscape Master Plan on Centre Street, focusing on addressing parking opportunities, traffic calming measures and community and business access in the Crescent Heights neighbourhood.

The study area extends from north of the Bow River to 160 Avenue N, east to Deerfoot Trail and west to Crowchild Trail, with a focus on communities bordering the LRT and BRT routes.

This feedback and technical analyses of future traffic projections were used to develop ideas for improving future traffic conditions. During this phase of engagement, we are sharing our findings of how travel patterns may change in the future when the new LRT and BRT services are open, and we would like your feedback on:

  • Where do you think traffic could move more efficiently and safely?
  • What do you think of the ideas presented to improve the corridors?
  • How can the transportation network be improved to support the new Green Line LRT?
  • What should be considered in determining priority for implementation?

We are conducting a mobility study to project how current travel patterns may change as a result of Green Line operations and improved BRT on opening day and into the future. The goal is to understand what changes we need to make to our transportation network to support Green Line LRT and the BRT and to ensure safe and efficient movement for people walking, biking, wheeling, driving or taking transit on opening day and into the future.

With the addition of the new Green Line LRT and improvements to the North Central Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), we know Calgarians are going to move differently throughout Calgary. We anticipate other nearby corridors in the transportation network will be absorbing displaced traffic from Centre Street N. We need to consider how traffic in these nearby corridors could move more efficiently and safely and how the transportation network can be improved to support the new Green Line LRT and BRT.

Following public engagement, both the North Central Mobility Study and North Central BRT Study will report back to Council in spring 2021 with short-, medium- and long-term recommendations.

BRT STUDY

During the first phase of engagement the project team heard feedback about issues and opportunities to improve how BRT stations function in your neighbourhoods and how we can improve the corridor and transit service in general. This feedback was used to develop concepts for improvements to the existing BRT route from downtown to 160 Avenue N. During this phase of engagement, we will be asking for feedback on these concepts and to help prioritize improvements.

The North Central BRT Study will consider improvements from downtown along the existing Centre Street and Harvest Hills Boulevard route to 160th Avenue North Improvements will benefit transit customers by providing a more direct, reliable service and customer experience by upgrading the existing BRT route up Centre Street to a MAX BRT. MAX provides riders with maximum convenience, maximum reliability, maximum comfort, and maximum efficiency to get transit riders where they need to go.

Calgary Transit customers have consistently told us that reliability, safety, value for money/quality and convenience are some of the most important aspects of their transit trip. MAX BRT provides customers with:

  • Convenience – fewer stops, signal priority, queue jumps, dedicated lanes, next bus arrival time displays.
  • Travel time and reliability – use of transit priority infrastructure gets customers to destinations faster and more reliably.
  • Comfort and safety – enhanced lighting, heated shelters, larger platforms.
  • Connections – access to more major destinations, and fewer transfers to get to final destinations.

As Green Line leaves downtown and crosses the Bow River we know that communities to the North must connect to the transit network and that bus service will need to adapt to the new LRT line.

As we plan for a North Central BRT, we will explore issues and opportunities to improve how BRT stations function in your neighborhoods and how we can improve the corridor and transit service in general.

Station Improvements

BRT station amenities are intended to improve the comfort and convenience experienced by customers. The objective of this study for this category will be to understand which MAX Tier of stations will be the best fit at each location, be appropriate for each location.

Corridor Improvements

Corridor improvements have the potential to improve the customer experience in all categories (travel time, reliability, comfort, and convenience). The objective of this scope of work is to optimize the selection of improvements in terms of customer value, cost, safety, operating cost, capital cost and network implications.

At the June 2020 Council meeting the following potential BRT improvements were presented.

  • These improvements are currently under review by the project team.

We are dealing with opportunities and constraints related to the width and alignment of Centre Street North and how people will access and use the improved BRT in the future. We will need to consider how we balance traffic flow and optimize bus operations.

To accommodate the updated North Central BRT Service we have to consider the existing road right of way and how we might fit the improved BRT service. We are currently studying different ways to keep traffic flowing while improving BRT service.

In the North & Central Zones we are looking at:

  • BRT in dedicated lane – 24 hours
  • BRT in dedicated lane – during peak travel times
  • BRT running on the roadway (mixed traffic)
  • BRT running in the centre lane

For the South Zone we are looking at:

  • BRT running with the LRT right-of-way
  • BRT running on the roadway (mixed traffic)

For the Centre City Zone we are looking at:

  • BRT in dedicated lane – 24 hours
  • BRT in dedicated lane – during peak travel times
  • BRT running on the roadway (mixed traffic)



Following public engagement, both the North Central Mobility Study and North Central BRT Study will report back to Council in spring 2021 with short-, medium- and long-term recommendations.

STREETSCAPE MASTER PLAN

In fall 2020, we asked Calgarians how they use Centre Street North and their ideas for the future of the street. We learned that Calgarians are excited about the opportunity for the streetscape and public realm improvements that will come with the Green Line LRT. Priorities were put on elements such as creating a sense of place, ensuring pedestrian accessibility, safety and access to businesses, and having trees and vegetation.

To help guide the redevelopment of Centre Street North, streetscape concept designs will be presented to the public later in February. We will ask for your input on draft concepts and how they align with the priorities you have identified as we continue to refine the designs and develop the Streetscape Master Plan for Centre Street North.

A streetscape master plan is about developing an overall guiding document that will help us determine the vision of how Centre Street North will look and feel in the future. The master plan speaks to elements such as sidewalks, landscaping, lighting, site furniture and other elements you typically find in a street environment. The streetscape master plan will set a vision that takes into consideration mobility, improved accessibility, safety and beautification as well as identifying opportunities to create vibrant places in the community that focus on social connections, local character, pedestrian comfort, and activities. The boundary for the Centre Street North Streetscape Master Plan extends from 18 Avenue N to the north end of the Centre Street Bridge, as shown in the map below.

Once complete, the streetscape master plan will be used to help guide the transformation of Centre Street. Many of the streetscape components will be delivered as part of the Green Line project. For example, components such as:

  • Safe, signalized, well-marked pedestrian crossings at regular and predictable intervals
  • Consistent pavement materials
  • Improved streetscape character
  • Better integration between public sidewalks and private property

will be built as part of the Green Line reconstruction of the street. Other features identified in the streetscape master plan are enabled by Green Line, and will be implemented over time through future redevelopment or by partners. These include items such as:

  • Community gathering spaces and/or patio spaces
  • Uniquely integrated retail spaces along the street
  • Community placemaking through temporary installations, banners, and/or custom furniture

The future Green Line provides opportunities to enhance the streetscape and create public realm improvements that will help this new LRT infrastructure integrate into the area in a way that reflects the neighbourhood's character.

The addition of the Green Line LRT will change not only the look and feel of Centre Street North but also its role and function within the city. Having a surface running train along the corridor is going to impact how Calgarians use this street and ultimately will allow more people to travel through this corridor via the LRT. In the future, we anticipate fewer cars on this street as the travels lanes will be reduced down to one in each direction. Green Line will provide an opportunity to reimagine what Centre Street North can be in the future, prioritizing LRT and pedestrians.

Centre Street N presents us with a constrained environment and through this project we need to understand what Calgarians priorities are for future amenities and streetscape improvements, as we will not be able to fit everything everywhere, so through our engagement we will need to understand preferences and explore the trade-offs and benefits.

We know it is important to maintain community connections, access, and mobility for all modes of transportation as Green Line reshapes North Central Calgary. It will be important to consider the needs and perspectives of the community while these changes are implemented.

Once the public engagement wraps up, recommendations and cost estimates will be presented to Council for approval and then prioritized for funding allocation.

BOW RIVER BRIDGE

Over the past year, we have heard from Calgarians about the importance of good connections at both ends of the bridge, the need to plan for cyclists and pedestrians, and the LRT and the importance of protecting Prince's Island Park and the Eau Claire Promenade. We have also heard that respectful and effective integration into the surrounding communities is essential, such as Chinatown, Eau Claire and Crescent Heights.

We've learned more about how you'll use the bridge and your ideas and inspiration for how it will impact our city's famous skyline. With the information we've gathered, we're working on bridge design concepts that support mobility while respecting the importance of Prince's Island.

At the same time, we're working on designs for the Elbow River bridge to keep communities connected by safeguarding riverside links for people who walk and bike.

This winter, we'll continue our conversation on both LRT bridges to get your feedback. We will bring recent design evolutions to Calgarians for input to further refine our vision for these new bridges.

The new Bow River LRT bridge will change Calgary’s landscape as the bridge crosses the Bow River and Prince’s Island to connect Centre Street N to Eau Claire. It will change how we travel in the City, providing new opportunities for transit, cycling and pedestrians, and connecting people and communities. Through this project we are planning the form and feautres of the new Bow River bridge.

Functional planning for the new Bow River bridge means that we need to:

  • Finalize the horizontal and vertical placement for connecting Centre St. N. and Eau Claire
  • develop the bridge concept, generic form, and features
  • Identify how issues such as environmental impacts, connections, views, noise, etc. should be addressed

Bridges are such important features in the landscape and help make up our identity in the city. It’s incredible when we look around our city and see just how many bridges exists throughout Calgary. This is why its so important for us to understand What Calgarian’s vision and priorities are for this new bridge.

There are variety of bridge forms being explored through the functional planning work which will be assessed and evaluated to narrow down the bridge form to best move forward with. This includes: constant depth viaduct, tied arch and trestle bridges. Selection of the bridge form will be based on technical constraints as well as feedback received from the public.

Trestle Bridge form example

Constant Depth Viaduct form example

Tied Arch Bridge Form example

PAST ENGAGEMENT


From November 23 through December 13, 2020 we were engaging Calgarians and collecting input to inform our functional plans. This phase was about hearing about your ideas and challenges before plans are developed.

For engagement related to the four functional planning projects, in our first phase we took a geographic zone-based approach to help communicate and engage with Calgarians in a way that is relevant and reflective of their communities and considers the ways that the Green Line will impact people who live, work and play in these areas.

While engagement for this phase is now closed, you can click through to the zone pages below to see some of the comments from your neighbours.

ENGAGEMENT ARCHIVE

Over the past few years, we’ve heard from Calgarians about the importance of the Green Line to Calgary and their communities. This has included extensive feedback that will continue to be will be used as we continue planning and finalizing the functional plan.

To learn about past engagement that has informed the Green Line project, please visit the archive.


APPROVED STAGE ONE ALIGNMENT

On Tuesday, June 16, City Council approved Administration’s Green Line recommendation on the updated Stage 1 alignment (from 16 Avenue N. to Shepard) along with changes to construction staging.

“Council’s approval today is a pivotal step in achieving the vision of Green Line promised to Calgarians,” said Michael Thompson, General Manager of Green Line. “The Green Line will improve mobility for all Calgarians connecting communities, employment hubs and key destinations across the city.”

In addition to approving the alignment, Council approved a new construction staging strategy. Administration’s recommendations reflect many thoughtful conversations since the June 1st Green Line Committee meeting with Council and stakeholders and balance the commitment to move forward with Stage 1, with the desire for greater certainty around managing risks.

The updated Stage 1 alignment can be delivered within budget, reduces project risks, and improves customer experience while achieving the project vision.

Green Line Stage 1 will be constructed in three segments:

  • Segment 1 from 126 Avenue S.E. to the Elbow River (includes nine stations)
  • Segment 2 from the Elbow River to 16 Avenue N. (includes six stations and has been divided into 2 smaller segments)
    • Segment 2A: 2 Avenue SW station to Elbow River
    • Segment 2B: 16 Avenue N to north of 2 Avenue SW station

Construction of Stage 1 is a pivotal first step in achieving Green Line’s vision.

The total investment of $4.903 Billion will create an estimated 12,000 direct and 8,000 indirect jobs. This is significant and comes at a critical time when it is important to bolster Calgary’s economy. Green Line will be ready to service the needs of Calgarians when Calgarians are ready for economic recovery.

The Green Line will connect Calgarians to social and cultural destinations, and promote affordable housing and transit oriented development. It will also reduce greenhouse gases by 30,000 tonnes, the equivalent of 6,000 vehicles being taken off the road on opening day.

Flip through the pages below to learn more about Stage 1 of the Green Line LRT. You can view in full screen mode by clicking in the centre of the image. If you prefer to download the file, click here.

ABOUT THE GREEN LINE

The Green Line LRT is the largest infrastructure project in Calgary’s history. With $4.9 billion in unprecedented investments from the Government of Canada, Government of Alberta and City of Calgary, Green Line will play a key role in shaping our city’s future. The Green Line will kick-start our economy with 20,000 jobs. Connect people and places. And reduce congestion on our roads. Green Line will help build the Calgary of tomorrow.

Green Line Vision: A city-shaping transit service that improves mobility in communities in north and southeast Calgary, connecting people and place, and enhancing the quality of life.

Like Calgary’s current LRT lines, the Green Line will be built in stages as funding becomes available.

At a Glance, the Green Line when completed, will:

  • Serve Calgarians in 27+ communities
  • Serve 60,000-65,000 LRT customers daily
  • Support over 220,000 to 240,000 trips per day
  • Consist of 46 km of track
  • Include 28 stations (+1 with new 9 Avenue N station)
  • Provide a future airport connection
  • Support future Transit Oriented Development (TOD) in 10 stations areas

Green Line serves the mobility needs of Calgarians:

Green Line improves mobility choices.

  • Green Line will deliver high-quality transit service to Calgarians in north central and southeast communities.

Green Line connects people and places.

  • Construction of the Green Line is our next step towards completing Calgary’s transit network.

Green Line enhances quality of life.

  • Along with the MAX Bus Rapid Transit lines, Calgarians will have fast, frequent, reliable transit service that connects communities, employment hubs, and key destinations across the city.