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Thread: Pedestrian Streets

  1. #1
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    Default Pedestrian Streets

    Was in Calgary for the battle of Alberta this weekend and experienced Stephen Avenue for the first time. Stephen Avenue as I understand it only allows vehicle access from 6am to 6pm and the rest of the time it is pedestrian only. I hate to admit it but it was actually a pretty cool stretch.

    It got me thinking about whether we could do something similar in our downtown. I know they plan to do this on a very small scale in Ice District 103 street between 103 and 104 avenue but i was wondering if this might work on 102 avenue for example to go along with the lrt running through there? You would just use the avenue and allow traffic to remain on the North/South streets where applicable. With 102 being closed right now maybe someone who drives the area more often can tell me how much it has hindered commutes and the downtown driving experience?

    I certainly don't ever think we need to copy everything other cities do, and Stephen Avenue is very unique, but whenever i go somewhere i do take note of things I enjoy and like to imagine what implementing them back home would look like.

    Just a thought but as a visitor to the city i was quite impressed (reluctantly), and from what i gathered locals quite enjoy having the area as it is as well.

    Curious on others thoughts and apologies if i have started a new thread and it belongs elsewhere.

  2. #2
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    This thread is probably as good as any.

    Yep, Cowtown has decorated its mall quite nicely.

    The difference with 102 Ave here though is that unlike 8th Ave SW, 102 Ave has tons of residential, most with parkade access via alleys. Closing it would create huge problems.

    8th Ave SW in YYC, OTOH, is almost strictly commercial and offices.

    You'd have to figure out access to the City Centre Mall parkade, but closing 103 Street is a viable consideration.
    ... gobsmacked

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    Rice Howard Way would be a slam-dunk if not for the parkade entry/exit.
    4th St Promenade is OK for a pedestrian-only street. Not sure what is preventing this from happening.
    99 St between Jasper and 103 Ave - ditto.
    83 Ave between Gateway Blvd and Calgary Tr - ditto again.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    I'd love to see that parkade replaced by something, almost anything. Maybe a tower with no parking provided for people who either want to use transit, Uber, taxis, their feet. Then turn RHW into a full on pedestrian mall.

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    I like the idea of 103 street as a nice conduit from Jasper avenue towards the Ice District. Perhaps it could infuse a bit of life into the quieter stretch towards Jasper.

    Rice Howard would be a great candidate but for the parkade as noted.

    104 street i worry might just have too much residential to make it work (truly not sure what the support would be like from all the condo folks).

    I still kind of like the area on 102 Avenue because of the retail aspect with the mall but every area would have it's challenges and I guess the question becomes is it worth it. As a city we have shown support for all manners of transportation (bike, transit, vehicles, etc...) we have sidewalks of course but this would just allow for an enhanced version of that.

    I certainly think among the many other ideas we explore in this city it is something worth exploring at the very least.

  6. #6

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    The problem with the retail aspect of 102 ave is that it's mostly inward facing. Jasper would be a better pedestrian street if it wasn't a main thoroughfare and so wide. You want people going from store to store on the sidewalks.

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    103st would be nice, especially with a bunch of retail lining the street already, then feeding right into the Ice district would be great.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

  8. #8

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    I'm not sure feeding people into a privately owned enclave is the best way to promote lively streets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    The problem with the retail aspect of 102 ave is that it's mostly inward facing. Jasper would be a better pedestrian street if it wasn't a main thoroughfare and so wide. You want people going from store to store on the sidewalks.
    I suppose in saying this i was hopeful there would be a bit of an outward facing re-imagination of the mall that would be spurred on because of it. Maybe that is wishful thinking.

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    104 street doesn't make much sense to me, if only because it is literally a single block or maybe block and a half that is active. The Foxes filling in will help, but still, past Japanese Village there is nothing open past 6pm until you get to the Mercer building. I think the status quo is working fairly well, with fairly frequent temporary closures for events and the farmer's market. Maybe if the surface lot North of the parkade gets developed, when Wexford's tower is complete in 5 years, plus hopefully the storage building being redeveloped as well, it will be more contiguous and make sense to close 3 the three blocks North of Jasper Avenue. Same goes with the Falcons south of Jasper.

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    No thanks. Temporary closures absolutely, ie. Nuit Blanche, Al Fresco etc., but pedestrian only streets rarely work unless you have absolutely massive density, excellent urban design and amazing transit.
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  12. #12

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    Gotcha, NIMBY

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