Recommendations in Deerfoot Trail study include carpool lanes, interchange improvements – Calgary
Findings of a study aimed at improving one of Calgary’s busiest roadways has been released to the public, after an unexpected postponement in the fall.
The Deerfoot Trail Corridor Study was a joint venture between Alberta Transportation and the City of Calgary, with the goal of finding improvements to the highway that could potentially be implemented over the next 30 years.
“I think anybody that drives Deerfoot on a regular basis will agree that it needs improvement,” Transportation Minister Ric McIver said. “The morning and afternoon rush hours are both very unpleasant for people that have to wait a lot longer than they want to to get across town.”
The study began in 2016 and covered the 35 km of roadway between Stoney Trail north and south, which includes 18 interchanges, including a future interchange at 128 Street S.E.
According to the City of Calgary, public engagement revealed challenges with the capacity on Deerfoot Trail, as well as weaving, merging, diverging, intersection operations and safety.
The study includes several recommendations to address capacity concerns, reduce travel time and improve safety on the roadway.
“I think it’s really important for the long term, not just for safety and reliability of the corridor but also the plan seeks to really future proof the corridor,” Ward 6 city councillor and chair of the city’s transportation and transit committee Jeff Davison said.
The report recommends a buffer-separated high occupancy vehicle lane, or carpool lane, in each direction between Barlow and Airport trails.
Other recommendations include improvements to various interchanges on the roadway, with some including multi-use pathway networks.
According to the report, there are six major component projects that will take place in the short, medium and long-term including a widening of the roadway, improvements to the Glenmore Trail Interchange as well as the Anderson Road and Bow Bottom Trail interchange area, improvements to the 16 Avenue N.E. interchange, and other efficiencies for the 50 Avenue S.E. connector and Memorial Drive to 17 Avenue S.E. area.
Although some of the improvements will begin over the next 30 years, some, including carpool lanes and road widening, could take place within the next 10 years.
The provincial government oversees work on Deerfoot Trail, and will begin prioritizing projects identified in the report.
“(We need to) look at what what we need for budget resources, and prioritize that, to try to do the most important things first,” McIver said.
“The ones that will make the biggest difference to the largest number of people, and get as much as we can done within the available resources.”
Alberta Transportation’s 2020 Capital Plan includes $210 million for improvements along the Deerfoot Trail corridor.
According to the city, the average daily traffic ranges from 83,000 vehicles per day at the south end to 170,000 vehicles per day north of Memorial Drive.
Final long-term recommendations for Deerfoot Trail coming Wednesday
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