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January 14, 2018 12:30 PM | Anonymous

A couple of years ago the City of Calgary designated 24 of its streets as “Main Streets” and is looking to upgrade those streets into vibrant, pedestrian-friendly strips that people will want to visit and spend time at.  RKH is “bookended” by 2 of these Main Streets — 17 Avenue SW, which forms our community’s north boundary, and 33 & 34 Avenues SW (east of Crowchild Trail), which form a portion of our south boundary.

Last year the City’s Main Streets group initiated a rezoning of parcels along the portion of 17 Avenue SW west of Crowchild Trail, to encourage the construction of new commercial and higher-density developments in the area, and to encourage developments along 17th Avenue SW to include shops, cafes and restaurants on their main floors.  Later this year the City will begin the process of creating a Streetscape Master Plan for that portion of 17th Avenue SW, and will be seeking input from the public on what the new streetscape should include and how it should be designed to help make that strip more inviting for people to visit and spend time at.  The portion of 17th Avenue SW east of Crowchild Trail will undergo a similar process at some point in the near future.

33 and 34 Avenues SW, and in particular the portions within the Marda Loop business district, are not merely ripe for redevelopment, they are literally exploding with redevelopment.  Fueled by the recent enactment of the Marda Loop Area Redevelopment Plan (the “MLARP”) and the announcement that South West Bus Rapid Transit (SWBRT) stations will be located at the west end of the business district, 2 mid-rise developments have recently been completed, 3 more are currently under construction, yet another 3 have been approved for development and at least 2 more are currently in the planning approval process.  It is therefore great to see that the City has already begun the process of creating a Streetscape Master Plan for 33 and 34 Avenues SW, to ensure that the public realm surrounding these and future developments achieves the City’s Main Streets vision for retail vitality and pedestrian- and cycle-friendliness.
Section 6.2.1 of the MLARP similarly calls for the City to undertake “a comprehensive streetscape design concept for 33 and 34 Avenues SW and intersecting side streets (18 Street SW, 19 Street SW, 20 Street SW, 21 Street SW and 22 Street SW)”.  Accordingly, creating a Streetscape Master Plan for 33 and 34 Avenues SW will not only help to achieve the City’s Main Streets vision for this area, but will hopefully also fulfill this MLARP public realm requirement – two birds with one stone, so to speak.  In this regard we look forward to the Streetscape Master Plan addressing, among other things, each of the following areas identified in Section 6.2.1 of the MLARP:

  • Thorough review and assessment of the existing condition for the above mentioned avenues and the intersecting streets
  • Transportation analysis of the current condition with regards to pedestrian, vehicular, bicycle and transit movement
  • Public realm concepts in consultation with the community and businesses
  • Street furniture handbook that will define style, design, colour and character of all the elements of the street furniture for example (benches, litter and recycling bins, pedestrian lights, street lights, trees, public art, surface material)
  • Phasing plan to define priority areas for implementation 
The City will be holding an Information Session for the 33 and 34 Avenues SW Streetscape Master Plan on Monday, February 26 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Marda Loop Community Hall (3130 16 Street SW).  Please take the time to attend the Information Session to find out more and to provide your input on what you would like to see included in the 33 and 34 Avenue SW Streetscape Master Plan.

33 and 34 Avenues SW have huge potential to become a vibrant urban village that will help the surrounding communities of Richmond/Knob Hill, South Calgary, Altadore and Garrison Woods to become complete, highly walkable inner-city communities.  To get it right, we need your input.

Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you there!

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