Highland Park Recognizes Desperate Need for Improved Transit Infrastructure

Traditionally, the Green Line LRT has been viewed as two separate projects. The first was the South East LRT and the second was the North Central LRT. While the basic alignment of the South East LRT has been set for years, the alignment for the North Central LRT is in the midst of undergoing a drastic shift. The historical alignment for the NC LRT had the train running up the Nose Creek Valley (just to the west of Deerfoot Trail) in order to primarily serve the new communities north of Beddington Trail. A few years ago, an alignment study was launched to evaluate whether or not the Nose Creek Valley still made the most sense for the North Central LRT. The initial report narrowed the choices down to Centre Street or Edmonton Trail and in the fall of 2014 the final recommendation of Centre Street was announced.

The re-alignment of the north central portion of the Green Line will bring LRT service to the doorstep of several communities that not only were not designed with LRT in mind but also had not even contemplated the possibility up until recently. This will bring some interesting challenges to these communities however it is not unique to the north central portion of the Green Line. A review of our post from the Millican Ogden Community Association demonstrates how communities along the south east Green Line corridor share similar challenges. This helps to reinforce the importance of Foundation’s goal to unify communities along the Green Line not only for advocacy but to also help them to work towards solving common challenges the LRT may bring.

One of the main challenges facing the communities along the Centre Street alignment is that Centre Street and Edmonton Trail have been designated as urban corridors in the city’s future growth plans. The result will be the recreation of what has been happening in other inner city neighbourhoods, where single family homes make way for higher density mixed use buildings. In order for Calgary to adequately cope with the next 1,000,000 residents who arrive in our city, the success of establishing these urban corridors will be critical. Although not directly linked to the urban corridor plans, the Green Line LRT has the ability to help structure this change while limiting the community impact additional residents may have.

Highland Park CAIn today’s post we will hear from the Highland Park Community Association. As mentioned, the Centre Street alignment has brought a new reality to several of Calgary’s northern communities. It is our hope that as the alignment study for the north central portion of the Green Line LRT enters its detailed design phase over the next few years the opportunity will exist to begin planning the growth along the Centre Street corridor to happen in conjunction with the LRT. Rapid transit has demonstrated the power to bring positive transformational change to many cities and it is our hope that proactive collaboration between the City and the residents of these communities marks the beginning of that change here in Calgary.

In the past we have covered the stories of Northern Hills, Riverbend , Douglasdale/Quarry Park and Mahogany. While our blog continues to tell the story of the Green Line from the perspective of Community Associations and other large stakeholders, we would encourage individuals to share their stories with us as well. Please use the comment form on our ‘Your Say’ page or tweet using #LRTOTG. You can also help us get the word out by donating to the Foundation using the Paypal link at the top of this page. Check back often as we continue to tell the story of the need for the Green Line and do our best to ensure that construction begins now and not decades from now.

 

LRT on the Green Foundation

Letter of Support

Thank you very much for taking the time to sit down with me recently and discuss your perspectives in regards to the GreenLine LRT. Highland Park straddles Centre Street, we are a community that represents a diverse demographic and we are in transition. At the highest levels Highland Park Community Association is in support of the GreenLine, with the caveat that implementation of such a transit corridor must be well designed and thought out.

Highland Park recognizes the desperate need of our city to improve transit infrastructure.  The 301 services nearly 30,000 riders per day, we have increased parking in our neighbourhood as a result of commuters who chose to park and ride. The 301 runs through a school ground zone, Centre Street has lane reversals throughout the day and in addition on-street parking; this heavily used corridor continues to pose a challenge for communities along Centre Street. We also recognize that our corridor is not alone in desperate need for redesign and restoration. As such, Highland Park is supportive of the LRT Greenline, and the efforts of LRT on the Green in so much as we wish to have a transit line that enhances the connectivity between our people and places and initiates a review of the Centre Street corridor. The Greenline must contribute positively to our community redevelopment and revitalization.

While we support the hard work that LRT on the Green is doing to unite stakeholders and raise awareness about the Greenline we caution speedy implementation over well-developed implementation. Highland Park Community Association will continue to advocate for the need of transit oriented development, and the review and redevelopment of the Centre Street corridor. If the needs of the community can be balanced with the expedited need for the Green Line LRT we will be in alignment. I look forward to further collaboration and discussion on this issue.

Kind Regards,

Elise Bieche
President

Highland Park Community Association

 

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