2 downtown Calgary roads to become one-ways during 17 Avenue revamp

Click to play video: 'Calgary Mayor Nenshi says he was ‘a little surprised’ with 14th and 15th Avenue one-way decision' Calgary Mayor Nenshi says he was ‘a little surprised’ with 14th and 15th Avenue one-way decision
WATCH ABOVE: Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he was a little surprised to hear about a decision to turn 15th Ave. and 14th Ave. into one-way streets during construction on 17th Ave – May 10, 2017

UPDATE: City postpones one-way detours in Calgary’s Beltline community

Two residential roads in the Beltline will be turned into one-way streets later this month to help ease congestion during the reconstruction of 17 Avenue S.W.

Fourteenth Avenue S.W. will be changed to a one-way road heading westbound between Macleod Trail and 14 Street S.W., while 15 Avenue S.W. will accommodate one-way traffic heading eastbound.

Signs in the area indicate the changes will go into effect the week of May 23.

The City of Calgary is changing 14 Avenue and 15 Avenue S.E. into one-way streets. Global News

While speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he has some worries about the changes.

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“I am a little bit concerned if our intent is to turn 14 and 15 avenues, which are among the most densely populated residential streets in the city, into expressways for commuters,” he explained.

“The question that I’ve asked administrations is to help me understand whether they have balanced the needs of the commuters who need to get through the area, with the needs of the people who live in the area, with the needs of the businesses that rely on visitors to the area. I just want to make sure that this is the right decision for all three of those groups.”

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Nenshi also questioned if enough consultation of area residents had been completed.

“There has been extraordinarily deep consultation with the businesses along 17 Avenue. I know that there has been a lot of consultation with the Beltline Neighbourhoods Association… I don’t know how much there has been with the citizens who live on those streets.”

Area Coun. Evan Woolley said the changes weren’t something residents were aware of until recently.

“I think what has caught some people off guard is the quickness with which these one-ways — and moving traffic – is going to be implemented.”

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“What most people have thought of when they think of turning it into one-way [streets] is 11 and 12 avenues, and that’s certainly not what this is going to look like,” Woolley said. “We’re not losing any of the parking in the street. Pedestrians and cyclists and cars will remain fixtures of these residential streets.”

Woolley said the changes will impact bus routes in the area.

“I recognize that this is a challenging project. What we’ll be left with in the end is a much more beautiful street… but there’s growing pains and project pains that have been happening along the way.”

The detour will stay in place for three to four years, depending on when the 17 Avenue reconstruction project is completed.

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