May 31, 2016 8:51 am
Updated: May 31, 2016 7:20 pm

How to improve Deerfoot Trail: City of Calgary launches study

WATCH ABOVE: Calgary officials are launching a new study which they hope will help them make Deerfoot Trail safer and more efficient. Jill Croteau reports.

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City officials are launching a new study which they hope will help them make Deerfoot Trail safer and more efficient.

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The study, a joint venture between the City of Calgary and Alberta Transportation, will look at the 37.5 kilometres of roadway that runs between the Stoney Trail interchange in the city’s north and south.

Officials hope to focus on maximizing the existing infrastructure to identify short- and long-term safety and mobility improvements.

READ MORE: Ivor Strong Bridge rehabilitation set to slow Deerfoot Trail

Most of Deerfoot Trail was built between 1971 and 1982. The city’s population has doubled since 1981 and city officials say the aging infrastructure is no longer meeting current traffic demand, resulting in traffic congestion, unreliability and safety concerns.

“Deerfoot Trail is Calgary’s only road that connects continuously from north to south, making it a critical route for goods movement and for many Calgarians,” the City of Calgary said in a news release. “In the busiest section, Deerfoot Trail carries an average of 170,000 vehicles a day.”

READ MORE: Viral video shows dramatic high-speed crash on Deerfoot Trail

The firm hired to carry out the study told Global News that no possibility is off the table, including a potential toll.

“One of the ideas that gained popularity in the U.S. is high-occupancy tolls,” Stephen Power, a project manager with Parsons, said.

The consulting firm has been hired to run the study.

“You have lanes that would be considered express lanes and you pay for the privilege prices, and … prices go up based on congestion,” Power said.

As part of the study, city officials will be looking to Calgarians for feedback on what changes they’d like to see to the busy thoroughfare.

A series of public engagement sessions will be held at six different locations throughout the city beginning in mid June.

Deerfoot Trail public engagement sessions:

Councillors and MLAs are hosting a separate town hall on June 23, 2016 at First Alliance Church (12345 40 St. S.E.) from 7 – 9 pm to discuss Deerfoot Trail from Glenmore south.

Short-term study recommendations are expected in early 2017 and long-term recommendations are expected in 2018.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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