A new proposal calls for separate high occupancy vehicle (HOV) and cycling lanes to ease congestion on Shaganappi Trail.
At its busiest, almost 40,000 vehicles use Shaganappi Trail every day, but that pales in comparison to future traffic.
“Our traffic model looks out at future volumes into 2039, and we’re estimating between 55,000 and 60,000 vehicles,” said Cameron Matwie, manager of transportation planning for the city.
“We want to ensure that we’ve got the right infrastructure there to support not only the traffic, but the community that is going to live there.”
From Stoney Trail in the north to Crowchild Trail, the plan is to install HOV lanes in each direction.
From there, it gets more complicated and expensive.
The road will be widened from four to six lanes: the outer lanes for HOVs, but outside of that, one-way cycle tracks in each direction.
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To keep everyone safer, speed limits will also be reduced.
“This plan is not a final end plan, and adjustments can be made of course as time goes on,” said Ward Sutherland, Ward 1 city councillor.
“I’m liking the HOV – it makes sense.”
According to Sutherland, the city did a good job of consulting with communities, but not everyone sees it as a clear winner.
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“I don’t have a problem with HOV, and I don’t have a problem with bike lanes – I just don’t know if they are as useful as the City of Calgary wants them to be,” said Terri Sawchuk who lives in the Varsity community.
In designating Shaganappi Trail as a primary transit and cycling route, the city says both will be needed, especially when another 10,000 people move into the new west campus development near the University of Calgary
Key questions remain, such as how the corridor will link up with 16 Ave. and Memorial Drive in the south, and Crowchild Trail in the north.
Another big question is around money and where it will come from, with the cost estimated at $75 million.