Sunday, November 25, 2012

Calgary traffic woes

One of the biggest traffic bottlenecks in Calgary's road network is the Bow River section of Crowchild Trail. In the space of 1500 metres, the freeway goes from a 6 lane thoroughfare down to a 4 lane boulevard, with 4 sets of traffic lights and interfaces with no less than 10 different roads. The road designed to handle 70,000 cars per day is now up to 100,000. Now the City is planning to increase the road's capacity, remove traffic lights and build new bridges across the Bow River. The problem is that it will cost well over a billion dollars and won't even start for 10 years, with completion being perhaps 30 years down the road.

I know this is not what some people want to hear, but Crowchild wouldn't need to handle more than 100,000 cars per day if Calgary had an efficient, capable transit system. The majority of the users of this road are headed downtown and the cheapest solution is to offer them an alternative to driving that is practical. Maybe we should consider allowing people to park outside of downtown and create more mass transit options for the last mile into the core. Just thinking out loud, but this constant desire to spend billions to serve cars is getting us nowhere.

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