Southwest Transitway Project

Palliser Bayview Pumphill Community Association Meeting
October 10, 2015, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
PMP Community Meeting Room, 2323 Palliser Dr. SW
Draft meeting notes


1. Introductions and Agenda

Participants introduced themselves and their role on the project and in the community. The objectives of the meeting were reviewed, which included:

  • Re-introducing the SW Transitway (SWT) project to the community including plans for upcoming engagement events
  • Obtaining CA input on potential issues and ideas to consider as the project moves into more detailed design.
  • Identifying opportunities for ongoing engagement.

2. SW Transitway Project Background

Howard Kai briefly reviewed the background for the SWT project, and outlined the following points:

  • The project objective is to improve bus service, reliability and accessibility in SW Calgary.
  • The project will meet the high demand for transit as evidenced in the LRT ridership and the volume of transit riders accessing destinations such as Mount Royal University.
  • The project will include dedicated bus lanes, improved station facilities and faster transit for customers.
  • The project was first studied in 2010/11, including stakeholder consultation.
  • Council approved GreenTRIP funding for the project in 2014, leading to the current detailed planning study, which began in March 2015.
  • Further detailed planning will continue into 2016, with construction proposed to start in the fall of 2016 and lasting into the fall for 2018.
  • This is the first CA meeting, with additional meetings to follow on October 14 and 15, and a Transportation Fair scheduled for October 27 at Southland Leisure Centre (5-8 pm) and at Bethany Chapel on October 29 from 5 -8 pm.
  • The project team will keep the community informed as the project moves forward.

2.1 Glenmore Landing Council Notice of Motion

Fazeel Elahi provided an update on Council’s Notice of Motion regarding the City working with the Glenmore Landing developers on their redevelopment proposal. The City has setup a project team to work with the developer on planning for the site, including the integration of transportation services. The intent is to create a comprehensive plan for redevelopment in consultation with the community. Fazeel noted that the EXPLORE engagement process may be used whereby the City, developer and the community come together to explore the desired outcomes from potential development. The EXPLORE process identifies shared priorities and goals, which form the basis for planning on the site.

Fazeel noted that redevelopment can take a long time – over a number of years and even decades – and there are currently no plans or applications proposed for the site. Fazeel stated that he will be the point of contact regarding the Glenmore Landing Notice of Motion, and he provided his contact information to the Community Association President.

Tracee Collins noted that the Glenmore Landing developer has never approached the community and questioned when they would contact the CA. Fazeel noted that if the property development impacts the community, the developer is required to consult the community. In this case, in the absence of an application, the City can only encourage the use of the EXPLORE process that would bring the three parties together to explore preferred outcomes for the site.

3. Calgary Transit Service Plan and Rapid Transit Vision

Stephen James, Calgary Transit, provided an overview of the transitway concept and the BRT service. He noted that the transitway and BRT is designed to connect people to key destinations, and to address the increasing demand for transit as evidenced in the LRT ridership, and as forecast based on future growth along the corridor. He noted that BRT will be competitive with LRT.

Key considerations raised by CA members included:

  • Parking – people accessing the BRT service will drive to the stations and park their car either in existing lots (e.g., Glenmore Landing) or in the community. Addressing parking impacts needs to be considered.
  • Access to the bus stops from within the community needs to be clearly delineated.
  • Impact of route changes that affect schools and local service need to be understood.
  • Additional information on safety and crime prevention at stations was requested. It was noted however that crime prevention and safety are key considerations in the design of the stations.
  • More information on ridership, demand and the rationale of going south down 14th was suggested. A couple of CA members agreed that demand would be high north of Glenmore, but questioned demand south of Glenmore.

Stephen noted that the issue of parking is currently being reviewed, as is the bus service on local routes. Calgary Transit will be consulting the community on how they are using the local routes and what changes may be appropriate to compliment rapid transit service.

Stephen then provided a description of the stations noting that they will be more like LRT stations and not bus stops. Features such as overhead canopies, lighting, heated waiting areas, and future provisions for CCTV, video and real time arrival information are key components of the stations.

4. SW Transitway Project Description

Dave Thatcher, Stantec, walked the group through a description of each segment of the transitway beginning with the downtown loop and moving south down Crowchild Trail, Glenmore Trail to 14th Street and south to Southland Drive and Woodbine. Dave noted the proposed station locations downtown, at 17th Ave., 33rd, Mount Royal, 50th Ave. Glenmore Landing, the Southland Leisure Centre, 24th Street and the terminal station in Woodbine.

 

Question: Will buses be equipped to take bikes?
Response: Existing buses are being retrofitted to accommodate bicycles and all new buses can take bikes.

Question: What will be the time savings compared to LRT or regular bus service?
Response: Time savings vary depending on where you get on the bus. The time from Woodbine to downtown will be about 55 minutes compared to 48 minutes by LRT. However, time savings increases significantly if you get on the BRT further north or if you are accessing destinations such as Mount Royal University which will be more direct by BRT service.

Comment: 14th carries about 90,000 vpd and there are few people on buses. This comment focused on the justification for BRT south of Glenmore.
Response: Calgary Transit representatives noted that intent is to build a radial system with people moving efficiently both north-south and east-west. The project is intended to take pressure off the crowded LRT, and to meet the growing demand from southwest Calgary. This demand is expected to increase with new destinations and development. It was also noted that the City is focused on alternative transportation modes to the car with priorities for transit, pedestrians and cycling.

Question: Will the bike lane/route on Glenmore Trail be lost?
Response: The response was that the bike lane will not be affected.

Question: What does mixed use mean for Glenmore Landing?
Response: The redevelopment concept is yet to be determined but would generally mean a combination of retail, commercial, office/business and residential.

Comment: The crossing of 90th Ave. at grade will impact the traffic trying to get through this busy intersection.
Response: Dave Thatcher noted that this area is still under design review and the crossing may be elevated. It was also noted that transitway buses would cross every 10 minutes or so and would likely have minimal impact on traffic turning onto 14th Street.

Question: Will the transitway service increase noise on the adjacent communities?
Response: The City will be doing noise studies to determine if there is any additional noise impact. If the noise exceeds a particular threshold, additional noise mitigation measures will be provided.

Question: Will the project result in a reduction in the number of cars?
Response: There will be changes to travel patterns with the completion of the Ring Road, as well as with the transitway. A reduction in the number of cars may occur as more people use transit, but any decrease will likely be offset with future growth in the southwest.

5. Community Engagement

Jen Blezard provided an overview of the engagement program, noting that meetings have taken place with a number of the institutions (e.g., Mount Royal University, Rockyview Hospital, Heritage Park) to address the interface of the transitway with their property.

Project information was also provided at the Haysboro AGM Community Open House on June 11, 2015. Two more community association group meetings are planned for October 14 and 15, and a Transportation Fair will be held on October 27 and 29 to present information on a number of transportation projects in the southwest.

The Transportation Fair will include information on the Southwest Transitway project, Ring Road, Ring Road Connections, and related utility projects. The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Southland Leisure Centre on October 27 and Bethany Chapel on October 29.

 

Question: How do you determine which community associations to meet with?
Response: We look at all community associations in and bordering the project area and contact them to see if they want to meet.

Question: How will the Transportation Fair be marketed?
Response: The City will be advertising using bold signs, street signage, the City’s website and community outreach.

Comment: The Community Association recommended using Great News to promote events. Great News publishes information for many of the community newsletters, but requires the information in the first week of the month prior to distribution.

6. Next Steps

Howard Kai reviews the next steps in the work program that includes the first public engagement and continued detailed design into 2016. Once additional information is available, the project team will come back to the community to obtain their input.

It was noted that Jen Blezard will be the key project contact for the community, and project information is available on the project website at Southwest Transitway

Howard and the project team thanked the community members for their participation, and committed to follow-up with notes of the meeting, and with placing the presentation on the project website.

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