The East Central Neighbourhood Streets Project has worked on developing 19 Avenue SE and 28 Street SE to be friendly for people to walk, wheel and drive. Safety measures include adding traffic calming measures such as curb extensions, sidewalks and wheeling facilities and improving crossings and traffic controls.
“Specifically, we are on this Neighbour Day event, celebrating the beginning of a dense network of pathways and walkways and spaces for people to ride their bikes and wheel and walk safely,” said Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra.
Neighbour Day was founded to celebrate the sense of community that brought Calgarians together in order to overcome the disasters of the 2013 flood, said Carra. He thought it was important to launch the opening of that pathway on Neighbour Day.
“To actually take a physical piece of connection and to celebrate the diversity of these neighbourhoods on Neighbour Day, I think is a very beautiful thing,” said Carra.
The overarching hope of the East Central Neighbourhood Streets Project is to increase accessibility to people of all ages and abilities, whether they walk or wheel.
Carra recalled that when he was a child in Calgary, he left home after breakfast and didn’t come home for dinner until it was dark. He hopes to build a city where his children feel the same sense of security and safety.
“We needed to invest with connectivity and recreation and park space … and we needed to create safe opportunities for people to get around,” said Carra.
19th Avenue SE was one of the widest streets in the city, said Carra. In part, with the East Central Neighbourhood Streets Project, 19th Avenue SE has been narrowed to allow for the building of a pathway that connects to 52 Avenue said Carra.
The north side of the corridor of 34 Avenue SE has been repurposed for a two-way wheeling lane, enhanced median and boulevard spaces. Vehicle traffic will now be on the south side of the corridor into one lane of traffic in each direction,
At the intersection of 36 Street SE, the wide roadway has been narrowed from two lanes of traffic to one lane of traffic. The excess space is being used for a multi-use pathway that connects Dovercliffe Way and Dover Meadow Close SE.
Carra said that in time, this multi-use pathway will be converted to basketball and pickleball courts and a playground.
Carra is focused on improving existing neighbourhoods within the city, specifically Ward 9.
He said that he remembers how hard Ward 9 was hit during the floods and the dread people felt as the water rose.
For this reason, he said he’s grateful for the opportunity to help make existing neighbourhoods “better places to live, more equitable places to get around” and to celebrate the diversity within each neighbourhood.