Concerned Calgarians rally against bus rapid transit project

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Concerned Calgarians rally against bus rapid transit project
WATCH ABOVE: Some southwest Calgary residents want some answers about the southwest transit way that include bus only lanes among major roadways. Bindu Suri reports – Jan 21, 2016

CALGARY – A group of Calgarians will come together on Thursday to try to put the brakes on the city’s Southwest Transitway project.

The group, dubbed Ready to Engage, complains little information about the project has been shared with southwest residents.

“Despite repeated requests for a copy of the 2015 Functional Planning Study completed in August 2015 and respective updated capital project budget, Ward 11 Councillor Brian Pincott, Ward 13 Councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart and Project Manager, Howard Kai have not shared important information regarding this project,” said a news release from the organization.

Ready to Engage is pushing for greater transparency and accountability by elected officials, saying although the project is already in the “final detailed design phase” there has been “no meaningful public consultation.”

The Southwest Transitway is a new 22-km bus route that will run from Woodbine to downtown. According to the City of Calgary, the new service will connect communities in the southwest directly to Glenmore Landing, Heritage Park, Rockyview Hospital, Mount Royal University, Lincoln Park, Currie Barracks, Marda Loop and downtown.

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The part of the project that is cause for concern, according to Ready to Engage, is a plan for two new bus-only lanes on 14 Street S.W. between Southland Drive and Glenmore Trail. The group argues that getting the buses to flow faster doesn’t necessarily mean people will start using public transit.

According to the group, the transitway also neglects to factor in what impact the southwest ring road will have on traffic flow in the area.

The budget for the project is $40 million.

An online petition asking for the project to be put on hold has over 770 signatures.

Ready to Engage will attend a public forum held at the Calgary Jewish Community Centre at 7 p.m.

– With files from Stefan Keyes

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