Frequently Asked Questions

The City continues to not share important information with citizens. For a copy of the Deficiency List of information and source documents requested by ready to engage! from The City, please email info@readytoengage.ca for a copy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ready to engage!?

We are a group of concerned community residents, spanning more than 14 SW Calgary communities, who have come together to voice our concerns regarding the lack of opportunity for meaningful consultation given to us by The City of Calgary regarding the development of the Southwest (SW) Transitway and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.

Our mandate is to give a voice to those who have had none to date.

We are in support of well-planned, efficient and cost effective public transit improvements for all Calgarians.

Our name was derived from The City’s engage! Policy since we have not been adequately engaged as affected residents. The City has not followed its own Calgary City Council approved engage! Policy which is in direct contravention of the Municipal Government Act.

What is the SW Transitway and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)?

The SW Transitway and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a $40 million+ public transit project that was approved by Council in an Omnibus Motion on February 7, 2011 with no debate in Council Chamber and deficient public consultation.

The project is expected to commence as early as May 2016.

The new bus rapid transit service would extend from Woodbine to the downtown core and includes 28 (or more) “Light Rail Transit (LRT)-style” platforms (covered platforms with heat, lighting and electronic announcements) along the route, many of which will be constructed in community parks and green spaces.

According to The City, the SW Transitway will transport 12 million passengers per year on high-capacity (100 passenger) articulated buses. The buses will run along dedicated shoulder lanes or on normal traffic lanes with mixed traffic, except for the segment on 14th Street between Southland Drive and 75th Avenue SW. On this segment, designated as “Bus Rapid Transit” (BRT), there will be 2 dedicated bus lanes right next to each other on the west side of 14th Street divided from traffic by concrete barriers.

The City had originally indicated that there will be “a 2 minute wait time during peak hours” with several bus routes on the SW Transitway & BRT. The City has now revised this time to be “a 10 minute wait time” during peak hours.

The project includes significant changes to existing communities in terms of public transit terminals and bus loops being created within parks or on community streets, changes to 14th Street SW with the removal of the median and the removal of existing green buffers on the east and west sides of 14th Street, the creation of narrower vehicle lanes and an 8-lane expressway at grade level through the heart of several SW communities.

Which communities and stakeholders will be affected by the SW Transitway and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)?

Communities (Ward 11):

  • Bayview
  • Bel-Aire
  • Braeside
  • Cedarbrae
  • Chinook Park
  • Eagle Ridge
  • Haysboro
  • Kelvin Grove
  • Lakeview
  • Mayfair
  • Oakridge
  • Palliser
  • Pumphill

Communities (Ward 13):

  • Canyon Meadows
  • Woodbine/Woodlands

Institutions (Wards 11 & 13):

  • Rockyview Hospital
  • Carewest senior’s facility
  • Heritage Park
  • Glenmore Landing
  • Calgary Jewish Community Centre
  • Other businesses and institutions that are situated along 14th Street SW between Canyon Meadows and Chinook Park

How will Bayview be impacted?

  • Unfunded underpass at 90th Avenue & 14th Street
  • If the underpass is not constructed as the City is considering, an at grade crossing of 90th Avenue will occur creating unprecedented congestion exiting and entering 90th Avenue from 14th Street
  • Increase of traffic through community as transit riders park cars in community to take Bus Rapid Transit into downtown core
  • Increase of noise pollution and air emissions from large articulated buses
  • Difficulty getting into and out of the community
  • Greatly increased travel time along 14th Street for all vehicles (especially during several years of construction)
  • Redevelopment of Glenmore Landing with Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and the construction of high-density residential high-rises on site of the existing centre

How will Bel-Aire be impacted?

  • The widening of the Glenmore causeway further encroaching on the community and green space
  • A further increase in harmful air emissions, noise pollution and vibration impacts
  • More challenges entering and exiting community with increased traffic congestion
  • Safety risks associated with narrowing of lanes and removal of shoulder lanes on Glenmore Trail
  • Greatly increased travel time along Glenmore Trail and 14 Street for all vehicles during and after the several years of construction starting in Spring 2016
  • Project cost in excess of 40 million of our tax dollars before the effects of the SW Ringroad and the four-car Light Rail Transit (LRT) are evaluated

How will Braeside be impacted?

  • Bus inlay/loop located in residential area where large articulated buses will enter community before heading north into the dedicated bus lanes along 14th Street
  • Unfunded underpass at 90th Avenue & 14th Street
  • If the underpass is not constructed as the City is considering, an at grade crossing of 90th Avenue will occur creating unprecedented congestion exiting and entering 90th Avenue from 14th Street
  • Increase of traffic through community as transit riders park cars in community to take Bus Rapid Transit into downtown core
  • Increase of noise pollution and air emissions from large articulated buses
  • Difficulty getting into and out of the community
  • The project will be the catalyst for high density housing development in and around transit hubs
  • Several years of construction congestion
  • Pedestrian safety issues
  • Increase of traffic and parking from outside of community
  • High density Transit Oriented Development (TOD) can be built within 600 meters of transit hub

How will Canyon Meadows be impacted?

  • Greatly increased travel time along 14th Street for all vehicles especially during and after several year construction
  • Increase of traffic from outside of community
  • More difficulty getting into and out of the community
  • Pedestrian safety issues

How will Cedarbrae be impacted?

  • Unfunded underpass at 90th Avenue & 14th Street
  • If the underpass is not constructed as the City is considering, an at grade crossing of 90th Avenue will occur creating unprecedented congestion exiting and entering 90th Avenue from 14th Street
  • Increase of noise pollution and air emissions from large articulated buses
  • Difficulty getting into and out of the community
  • Pedestrian safety issues
  • Increase of traffic through community as transit riders park cars in community to take Bus Rapid Transit into downtown core
  • High density Transit Oriented Development (TOD) can be built within 600 meters of transit hub

How will Chinook Park be impacted?

  • 14th Street will be widened on east side by two lanes (green berm will be eliminated)
  • Increase of traffic through community as transit riders park cars in community to take Bus Rapid Transit into downtown core
  • Increase of noise pollution and air emissions from large articulated buses
  • Vibration impacts
  • Several years of construction
  • Difficulty getting into and out of the community
  • Safety and security issues with respect to the high pressure gas pipeline
  • Pedestrian safety issues

How will Eagle Ridge be impacted?

  • Two dedicated bus lanes to be built on west side of 14th Street against existing sound wall
  • Increase of noise pollution and air emissions from large articulated buses
  • Vibration impacts on residences
  • Several years of construction along 14th Street
  • Difficulty getting into and out of the community due to priority signals for buses
  • Safety and security issues with respect to the high pressure gas pipeline
  • Pedestrian safety issues
  • 120′ LRT-style platform to be built on green space (length of two articulated buses). Covered and lit with automated announcements
  • Loss of trees
  • No solution for Glenmore causeway
  • High density Transit Oriented Development (TOD) can be built within 600 meters of transit hub

How will Haysboro be impacted?

  • Increase of traffic through community as transit riders park cars in community to take Bus Rapid Transit into downtown core
  • Increase of noise pollution and air emissions from large articulated buses
  • Difficulty getting into and out of the community
  • Vibration impacts for residences
  • Pedestrian safety issues heading west across 14th Street (no funding for pedestrian overpass)
  • Unfunded underpass at 90th Avenue & 14th Street
  • If the underpass is not constructed as the City is considering, an at grade crossing of 90th Avenue will occur creating unprecedented congestion exiting and entering 90th Avenue from 14th Street
  • Impact to green space along 14 Street
  • 14th Street entrance into Glenmore Landing will be eliminated

How will Kelvin Grove be impacted?

  • Increase of traffic through community as transit riders park cars in community to take Bus Rapid Transit into downtown core
  • Increase of noise pollution and air emissions from large articulated buses
  • Vibration impacts for residences
  • Several years of construction
  • 14th Street will be widened on east side by two lanes (green berm will be leveled)
  • Difficulty getting into and out of the community
  • Safety and security issues with respect to the high pressure gas pipeline
  • Pedestrian safety issues

How will Lakeview be impacted?

  • Loss of green space and toboggan hill
  • More challenges exiting and entering community with only one point of entry/exit
  • New LRT-style bus platform to be built in community is being considered
  • Large articulated buses travelling through community every few minutes
  • Dangerous three lane crossover on Crowchild Trail, south of 50th Avenue
  • Increased noise, vibration and pollution

How will Mayfair be impacted?

  • The eventual widening of the Glenmore causeway further encroaching on the community
  • A further increase in harmful air emissions, noise pollution and vibration impacts
  • More challenges entering and exiting community with increased traffic congestion
  • Loss of green space
  • Greatly increased travel time along Glenmore Trail and 14th Street for all vehicles during and after the several years of construction
  • Safety and security risks associated with narrowing of lanes and removal of shoulder lanes on Glenmore Trail
  • Project cost in excess of 40 million of our tax dollars before the effects of the SW Ringroad and the four-car Light Rail Transit (LRT) are evaluated

How will North Glenmore Park be impacted?

  • More challenges exiting and entering community
  • Large articulated buses travelling adjacent to community every few minutes
  • Increase of traffic congestion as a result of construction and creation of bus-only shoulder lanes
  • Increased air and noise pollution
  • Major traffic congestion during and after several years of construction

How will Oakridge be impacted?

  • Unfunded underpass at 90th Avenue & 14th Street
  • If the underpass is not constructed as the City is considering, an at grade crossing of 90th Avenue will occur creating unprecedented congestion exiting and entering 90th Avenue from 14th Street
  • Increase of traffic through community as transit riders park cars in community to take Bus Rapid Transit
  • Increase of noise pollution and air emissions from large articulated buses
  • Several years of construction on 14th Street and along 90th Avenue
  • Difficulty getting into and out of the community
  • Redevelopment of Glenmore Landing with Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and the construction of high density non-market residential high-rises on the site

How will Palliser be impacted?

  • Increase of traffic through community as transit riders park cars in community to take Bus Rapid Transit
  • Increase of noise pollution and air emissions from large articulated buses running adjacent to community
  • Unfunded underpass at 90th Avenue & 14th Street
  • If the underpass is not constructed as the City is considering, an at grade crossing of 90th Avenue will occur creating unprecedented congestion exiting and entering 90th Avenue from 14th Street
  • Several years of construction on 14th Street and along Southland Drive
  • Dedicated bus lanes on west side of 14th Street that have priority lights and are divided from cars by concrete barriers
  • Vibration impacts
  • Difficulty getting into and out of the community
  • Narrowing of lanes on 14th Street and Glenmore Trail

How will Pumphill be impacted?

  • Unfunded underpass at 90th Avenue & 14th Street
  • If the underpass is not constructed as the City is considering, an at grade crossing of 90th Avenue will occur creating unprecedented congestion exiting and entering 90th Avenue from 14th Street
  • Increase of traffic through community as transit riders park cars in community to take Bus Rapid Transit
  • Increase of noise pollution and air emissions from large articulated buses running adjacent to community
  • Several years of construction on 14th Street and along Southland Drive
  • Dedicated bus lanes on west side of 14th Street that have priority lights and are divided from cars by concrete barriers
  • Vibration impacts
  • Difficulty getting into and out of the community
  • Narrowing of lanes on 14th Street and Glenmore Trail

How will Woodbine/Woodlands be impacted?

  • Transit terminal station and facilities developed as southern most point of BRT line
  • Loss of green space
  • Increase of traffic through community as transit riders park cars in community to take Bus Rapid Transit
  • Several years of construction congestion along 24th Street & 14 Street
  • Large articulated buses idling adjacent to parks
  • Air and noise pollution

How will Rockyview Hospital be impacted?

  • Priority traffic signals for buses impeding patients from accessing the facility in a timely manner.
  • LRT-style platform at 14th Street making it difficult for seniors, patients and visitors to access hospital easily (especially in the winter months)
  • Pedestrian safety issues
  • Security issues for staff, patients and visitors walking up and down the hill between the transit platform and the hospital.
  • Several years of construction on 14th Street SW

How will Carewest senior's facility be impacted?

  • Priority traffic signals for buses impeding patients from entering facility in a timely manner
  • LRT-style platform at 14th Street making it difficult for seniors, patients and visitors to access Carewest easily (especially in the winter months)
  • Security issues for staff, patients and visitors walking up and down the hill between the transit platform and the facility.
  • Several years of construction on 14th Street SW

How will Heritage Park be impacted?

  • Several years of construction on 14th Street leading to congestion and difficulty accessing and exiting park
  • Bus Rapid Transit users leaving vehicles behind at Heritage Park parking facilities
  • Two dedicated bus lanes to be built on west side of 14th Street across the entrance to Heritage Park
  • Priority traffic signals for buses impeding visitors from accessing and exiting Heritage Park

How will Glenmore Landing be impacted?

  • Unfunded underpass at 90th Avenue & 14th Street
  • If the underpass is not constructed as the City is considering, an at grade crossing of 90th Avenue will occur creating unprecedented congestion exiting and entering 90th Avenue from 14th Street
  • Several years of construction on 14th Street and 90th Avenue
  • Difficulty accessing and exiting centre (elimination of 14 Street entrance to centre)
  • Bus Rapid Transit users leaving vehicles behind at Glenmore Landing in an already heavily used parking lot
  • Loss of green space on site (will be developed into high-density)
  • Transit Oriented Development (TOD) that will see tenants removed and high density, residential developments constructed on site.

How will Calgary Jewish Community Centre be impacted?

  • Unfunded underpass at 90th Avenue & 14th Street
  • If the underpass is not constructed as the City is considering, an at grade crossing of 90th Avenue will occur creating unprecedented congestion exiting and entering 90th Avenue from 14th Street
  • Several years of construction on 14th Street and 90th Avenue leading to increased traffic congestion
  • Difficulty accessing and exiting community centre
  • Increase of traffic through community as transit riders park cars in community to take Bus Rapid Transit into downtown core
  • Impact of high density Transit Oriented Development (TOD) across 90 Avenue on Glenmore Landing site

How will other businesses or institutions that are situated along the 14th Street SW between Canyon Meadows and Chinook Park be impacted?

  • Potential loss of business as residents avoid area due to high traffic volumes
  • Loss of customer parking spaces as transit riders park cars in community to take Bus Rapid Transit into downtown core
  • Increase of noise pollution and air emissions from large articulated buses running adjacent to community
  • Several years of construction on 14th Street, 90th Avenue and Southland Drive
  • Vibration impacts
  • Difficulty getting into and out of communities
  • Safety issues with car lanes travelling over high pressure gas pipeline
  • Narrowing of lanes on 14th Street

Was this project approved and debated by Calgary City Council?

The project was approved by Calgary City Council on February 7, 2011, however, it was never debated in Council Chamber and affected residents were never properly informed or engaged.

The project was passed in a Omnibus (collection of several reports) Motion along with 7 other unrelated reports including, ‘Secondary Suites’ and ‘City Employee Code of Conduct’ reports just to name a few.

The project was approved by a new Mayor and Council who had only been in office for a few months. Several Councillors who are on Council now had never even heard of the project.

Has The City conducted any meaningful public engagement and consultation to date on this project?

The project was approved five years ago and engagement prior to it being passed was deficient. In the five years that it was passed, there was no meaningful public engagement. The City has not been following Calgary City Council’s engage! Policy (Policy Number CS009 – made effective on May 28, 2003).

In 2011, City Council approved the SW Transitway and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project based on a high-level, inconsistent functional planning study completed by a local engineering company, Delcan Corporation (Calgary South West BRT Functional Planning Study) and a flawed Communications and Engagement document created by The City of Calgary.

Councillor Pincott, City representatives and public engagement specialists that The City has flown in from Vancouver for the December 1st, 2015 meeting with ready to engage! have acknowledged that the original concept put forward to Council in 2011 is not the one in front of us today.

The City of Calgary has made no effort to have a purposeful dialogue with residents and stakeholders over the past 5 years. It is clear that they have not been able to use community and stakeholder feedback to inform this project as per the engage! Policy because they have only now begun to receive our input.

  • The project was passed by Council without any Community Association feedback.
  • The City claims that 50,000 brochures/letters were distributed to affected residents however, residents within communities located up 14th Street SW can recall ever receiving it. ready to engage! asked The City for a mailout distribution list but one was never provided.
  • The original Calgary South West BRT Functional Planning Study (prepared by Delcan) approved by Council, refers to a brochure being created however, the section in the report that speaks to the brochure’s distribution is left blank: “The brochure was distributed….” [Delcan Project Summary, Page 1] ready to engage! asked The City for a brochure distribution list and were told that they do not have one.
  • The project was based on 181 feedback forms (such as small number that it is statistically insignificant) that were collected at 4 information sessions held within a time frame of under a day and a half (less than 32 hours). The majority of the comments contained on the feedback forms were not supportive of the project and/or asked for more opportunity for engagement which was not afforded to them.
  • As of January 2016, The City’s public engagement web portal for the SW Transitway and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project still contained no content. Also, communities listed on the engage! portal associated with this project are not the communities affected by the project. Furthermore, no workshops listed and no relevant information listed on the following portal tabs for the SW Transitway: ‘Timeline’, ‘Provide Your Input’ and ‘We’re Listening’. The project does not appear at all under past engagement projects.
  • The City of Calgary hosted two information sessions in late October 2015 and notified residents and stakeholders via signage only 4 days before the first information session took place. The City knew about these sessions for a minimum of five months and failed to adequately notify adjacent landowners and Community Associations. The information sessions on the SW Transitway and BRT were folded into the SW Ringroad information sessions. Councillor Pincott and City admitted this was misleading.
  • The information that The City presented at the October 2015 information sessions is different than what was shared on The City’s project website (contained in the 2011 Calgary South West BRT Functional Planning Study prepared by Delcan) up to and after the information sessions were held. Also, The City did not post the information session boards until weeks after the information sessions had taken place. A “What We Heard” summary resulting from the October 2015 information sessions was never posted to The City’s project website.
  • As of December 8, 2015, The City removed from its project website “Attachment 2”, the Council-approved Southwest Bus Rapid Transit (SWBRT) Functional Planning (prepared by Delcan) StudyExecutive Summary.
  • The City’s project website continues to be modified with the removal and alteration of project information as ready to engage! and other residents/stakeholders become increasingly involved in the project and are taking action by contacting The City and their respective Ward Councillors.

What is ready to engage! asking for?

ready to engage! is asking that:

  1. this project be put on hold;
  2. all project reports and source documents be disclosed to stakeholders;
  3. meaningful public consultation be completed with all stakeholders affected;
  4. a viable and workable proposal is created to address our concerns and benefit SW Calgary as a whole.

What has The City offered to do for affected stakeholders to date?

A meeting between representatives of ready to engage! / CKE Community Association Board with Ward 11 Councillor Brian Pincott, some City representatives and a public engagement specialist that The City flew in from Vancouver took place on December 1st, the initial public engagement on this project has just commenced.

Following a request made by ready to engage! to The City in mid November 2015 for a list of project information, source documents and value engineering documents from The City in advance of the December 1st meeting, 95 per cent of the information was not provided by The City. As a result, a ‘Document Deficiency List’ was submitted to The City by ready to engage!. This document detailed all of the documents and information that The City failed to supply. For several of the questions, including the proposed high-density mixed-use redevelopment at Glenmore Landing that include high-density housing development, The City directed us to FOIP the information rather than providing it directly to us.

How is the project funded and how much will it cost?

The project funding was announced by The Province of Alberta on September 4, 2015 through a $187 million GreenTRIP grant. Of the $187 million, $162 million was granted to The City of Calgary to be spent on LRT electrical upgrades and bus rapid transit and transitway projects in the city’s south and north.

According to the preliminary engineering study, the project will cost a minimum of $40 million with a +/- 40 per cent difference. According to the research and data that ready to engage! has, we expect this number to be significantly higher.

Additionally, there will be a $5.4 million annual operating cost to run the SW Transitway and BRT.

What are the general impacts/concerns of the project?

There are several serious concerns that have been identified with the project with the limited information that The City has released to date.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • The City’s lack of following City Council’s public engagement policy, engage!, resulting in a failure to carry out the purposes of the Municipal Government Act;
  • inadequate notice of project information sessions in October 2015;
  • short and rushed project timeline that allows for no meaningful public consultation;
  • failure to undertake required studies and value engineering;
  • project inconsistent with “Route Ahead” and the “Calgary Transportation Plan”;
  • increased traffic congestion on 14th Street SW, 24 Street, Glenmore Trail, Southland Drive and 90 Avenue;
  • no solution for bottleneck at Glenmore causeway;
  • increased danger to drivers due to narrow lanes on 14th Street and Glenmore Trail.
  • increased danger with dedicated bus lanes separated by other traffic by concrete barriers;
  • engineering plans and defined project scope are nowhere near ready to tender the project. Doing so in a rush as the City intends to do could have significant negative consequences;
  • environmental impacts (emissions, noise, vibration, light pollution)
  • lack of accountability by Councillor Pincott and Councillor Colley-Urquhart to adequately inform constituents
  • significant costs and danger associated with utility relocation as well as extended closure of travel lanes along 14th Street resulting in massive congestion
  • proposed construction of roadway over top of S.W. Calgary water main that is approaching 40 years old and may need replacement in the near future
  • traffic congestion due to several years of construction
  • increased potential for illicit activities in covered transit platforms and in adjacent homes and parking lots
  • failure to provide residents and stakeholders with sufficient project information
  • loss of green space
  • loss of trees
  • poorly planned project
  • 8-lane expressway at grade level through the heart of our SW communities

What are the social impacts of this project?

This project will result in the significant change in the quality of life and fabric of SW communities. Many parks and green spaces are under threat and there are several significant safety issues as well as traffic congestion issues that have not been addressed at all.

Because of the lack of information provided to us by The City to date, it is difficult to fully assess all of the negative impacts that could arise. Those living along 14th Street SW will be living along an 8-lane highway (wider than Deerfoot Trail) at grade level and with no buffers.

What are the environmental impacts of this project?

It is uncertain what the true extent of the environmental impacts will be.

To our knowledge, The City of Calgary has not conducted any air quality, noise, light, vibration or storm sewer run-off studies. Councillor Pincott’s office has indicated that these assessments can be considered after the project has been completed. In a forward-thinking province such as Alberta, and in light of environmental talks in Paris, it is disappointing that environmental assessments are being suggested after project completion.

Transit terminals for buses, bus loops and transit terminals facilities are proposed to be built in green spaces within communities, and trees will likely be cut down to make way for construction.

At Glenmore Landing, a high-density Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is moving forward. This includes the construction of commercial and high-density housing to be constructed on existing green space.

Additionally, The City is making significant investments in high emission buses rather than in more environmentally-friendly Light Rail Transit (LRT) solutions for public transit.

Is 14th Street being widened?

Yes, it is. It is going from a 6-lane roadway to an 8-lane expressway.

While City representatives initially informed us that the construction would be completed “within the existing sounds walls” they have since changed their language to say that construction would be completed “within the existing right of way”.

The City confirmed that the green buffers on the east side of 14 Street SW would be eliminated between Heritage Drive and 75th Avenue.

All of these steps are in breach with The City of Calgary’s Complete Streets Policy.

What is happening with the Glenmore flyover/causeway? Is the City planning on building a new interchange?

No, there is no solution for the Glenmore causeway bottleneck.

The buses, after coming off of the dedicated bus lanes, will be going into mixed traffic and into the two Glenmore flyover lanes causing even more traffic congestion.

Will Transit Oriented Development (TOD) be part of this project?

We have discovered that The City has been in discussions with RioCan, the owner of Glenmore Landing, for several years about the redevelopment of the centre into a high density non-market residential and commercial hub. 5.4 acres of the sites green space will be developed. In addition to rezoning and redevelopment of parts of the existing shopping complex, 5.4 acres of city-owned green space will be sold to RioCan and developed with non-market housing (also known as high-density social or subsidized housing)

The City has mandated that within 600 metres of LRT and BRT transit stops, high density development is encouraged. The City defines a TOD as “(a) form of development (that) utilizes existing infrastructure, optimizes use of the transit network and creates mobility options for transit riders and the local community.”

What is the project timeline?

This keeps changing. In September 2015, a City media release suggested that the project would be completed in 2022. In October 2015, this date changed to 2020 and the City indicated that project construction will begin in 2016 and completed in 2020. The City is now stating that the project will be completed in 2018. An updated project timeline has not been posted.

Has The City commenced project construction yet?

While The City has not officially commenced project construction, a residential property on Bradbury Drive SW adjacent to Pumphill at Southland Drive was recently purchased by a local sound wall construction company, T.A.H.M. Enterprises, in November 2015 for 6 per cent above asking price.

According to The City’s engineering report, this area is slated to be used for ‘bus(es) travel in curb lanes along Southland Drive & enter/exit the bus lanes at Bradbury Drive SW’. [SW BRT Functional Planning Study – Executive Summary, January 2011, Page 17].

How does the public engagement approach for the SW Transitway compare to other similar projects?

Based on our recent conversations with Councillor Pincott, his staff and City representatives, no one has any explanation why this project is being rushed.

A City project of this magnitude builds in years of technical planning and public engagement. This project’s timeline is less than 8 months and nobody can/will tell us why.

How does the public engagement approach for the SW Transitway compare to other similar projects?

Public engagement for this project is virtually non-existent in comparison.

The SE Transitway for example, which is also slated to start construction in 2016, has undergone over 5 years of public consultation and has been afforded extensive public engagement including the formation of a community stakeholder group.

What are the safety concerns with this project?

They are numerous serious safety concerns.

14th Street SW is not only a traffic corridor, it is an important utilities corridor. It has a number of high pressure gas pipelines, abandoned oil pipelines, water lines, storm sewers, water mains and electrical trunk lines. The City commissioned Calgary South West BRT Functional Planning Study (prepared by Delcan) recommended against constructing a roadway over top of these utilities and yet that is precisely what the City intends to do. According to experts, there would be significant danger in constructing and operating a roadway over the ATCO High Pressure Gas Pipeline. The newly released Functional Planning Study Southwest Transitway (prepared by Stantec) also identifies the roadway will need to be constructed over top of the water main serving all of SW Calgary. The City has not included any plan or costs for dealing with these issues.

At the December 1st meeting with Councillor Pincott and The City, when asked if ATCO had given them permission to build a roadway over their pipeline, they responded that “it is not an issue as there are agreements in place with ATCO that would compel ATCO’s support.” The ATCO natural gas pipeline is a large diameter (believed to be 10″ in diameter), high-pressure pipeline that supplies gas to much of S.W. Calgary and is thought to be approximately 40 years old. There is no room to relocate this pipeline, and attempting to lower it would be very difficult and disruptive to traffic.

The proposed 8-lane roadway will require the removal of the median and buffer areas between the sound walls that border the yards of adjoining residences. There are concrete barriers between dedicated bus lanes and traffic and reduced lane width for general traffic. This leads to increased congestion and a reduction of space between vehicles leaving no room for driver error. In the event of an accident, cars could be impacting sound walls at high speeds that could collapse into the roadways or into neighbouring residential yards.

In addition, at each end of dedicated bus lanes, the buses are required to cross back into their intended lane of travel and this is clearly dangerous to pedestrian and regular traffic at those intersections.

Increased air emissions that are a detriment to the health of local residents is a concern as is the close proximity of increased air pollution.

Additionally, the proposed construction of parking lots and LRT-style platforms within communities will likely attract the same illicit activities that occur in other transit parking lots and LRT stations around the city compromising safety and security.

What City policies are being contravened with this project?

There are multiple City Council policies being contravened with this project, they include:

  • engage! Policy (public engagement policy)
  • Complete Streets Policy
  • City Tree Policy
  • Noise Attenuation & Vibration Policy and the
  • Plain Language Policy

These are just some of the policies that we have identified despite the lack of information provided by The City to us so far.

What is The City's engage! Policy meant to do?

While Calgary City Council’s engage! Policy made effective on May 28, 2003 (Policy Number: CS009), includes The City’s following promises, none of these promises have been kept with respect to this project. The City’s broken promises include:

  1. We will endeavour to provide information that is timely, accurate, balanced, objective, easily understood, and highly accessible. We will respond to questions for clarification.”
  2. “We will listen to stakeholders and learn about their plans, views, issues, concerns and expectations.”
  3. “We will consult with stakeholders to obtain feedback and ensure their input is considered and incorporated to the maximum extent possible. We undertake to advise how consultation affected the decisions and outcomes.”
  4. “We will partner with stakeholders in a process that results in joint recommendations. We undertake to advise how collaboration affected decision making.”

The engage! Spectrum includes several steps, however, the overarching step, ‘Inform/Communicate’, was never completed for this project:

Inform/Communicate (overarching in all phases)

  1. Listen & Learn
  2. Consult
  3. Collaborate
  4. Empower

What is transit ridership along this route?

Although ready to engage! has asked for this information, The City has not provided it.

At the December 1st meeting with Councillor Pincott and The City, City representatives admitted that the 12 million transit ridership figure The City used in the information sessions was misleading.

Ridership Shortfall: weekday riders – Even if the buses were to run at 100 per cent capacity, 260 workdays, 15 hours every work day, the maximum number of workday riders would be 4.68 million per year. This leaves a shortfall of 7.32 million riders per year required to ride on weekends.

Ridership Shortfall: peak hours – Assuming 5 peak hours per workday, even at 100 per cent capacity, the maximum number of peak-hour riders would be 1.56 million per year. This leaves a shortfall of 10.44 million riders.

According to an interview conducted by The Reflector with Councillor Pincott in October 2014, Calgary Transit did not see any value in offering this additional transit service along this route. Within this article, Councillor Pincott is quoted as saying,

“‘For years, Calgary Transit had said ‘no [Mount Royal University] is incredibly well served. We have eight routes that go there’.

 So Pincott pushed for the Southwest Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route, which would head from downtown to MRU and then south to Rockyview General Hospital and the community of Woodlands.” [The Reflector, October 6, 2014]

Does this project align with The City of Calgary's Calgary Transportation Plan and Municipal Development Plan?

This project is inconsistent with the Primary Transit Network in the Council-approved Calgary Transportation Plan. The Primary Transit Network is also included in both parts 1 and 2 of the RouteAhead document created by Calgary Transit. At the December 1st, 2015 meeting with Councillor Pincott and The City, The City admitted that the SW Transitway route was not consistent with the Primary Transit Network, and changes had been incorporated into the RouteAhead document that were not reflective of the plan that Council had approved.

Additionally, the SW Bus Rapid Transit Notice of Motion was passed by Council before the Plan It Calgary Implementation or Bus Rapid Transit Network Notice of Motion were ever passed by Council.

It also appears as though The City of Calgary’s Municipal Development Plan/Calgary Transportation Plan (MDP/CTP) Sustainment Committee never reported its activities to a ‘public forum’ as directed by Council (LPT2010-12) on February 22, 2010.

What information did ready to engage! ask for and was not provided by Councillor Pincott and The City?

For a list of documents and information that we have requested and have not been provided, please visit our website or email us at info@readytoengage.ca for a copy.

What can I do to help?

  • Sign the petition and be heard. Please email us at: outreach@readytoengage.ca or visit our website at www.readytoengage.ca
  • Write or phone the Mayor: themayor@calgary.ca

403 268 5622

  • Write or phone your Councillor:

Ward 11 Brian.Pincott@calgary.ca

403 268 2430

  Ward 13 Diane Colley-Urquhart@calgary.ca

403 268 2430

  • Volunteer your time to ready to engage! and assist with a variety tasks. Email: volunteer@readytoengage.ca
  • Be informed and inform your neighbours on the project. Although The City has removed the Council approved Executive Summary of the engineering report from their project website, the report remains on our website. Visit us at www.readytoengage.ca to read it.
  • Donate to the ready to engage! Money will be used for legal counsel, technical studies and printing costs. Any unused dollars will be proportionately refunded. Email us at info@readytoengage.ca
  • Share the information by following us on Twitter and Facebook:

Twitter.com/ready2engageyyc

Facebook.com/ready2engage

  • Stay informed and sign up for email updates. Email us at outreach@readytoengage.ca