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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > SSP: Local Calgary > Transportation & Infrastructure

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  #2821  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2012, 4:40 PM
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I searched and saw the ultimate design but no schedule. What I heard/read was a media clip from Trent B talking about the bridge repairs last year and what was in the future...
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  #2822  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2012, 6:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mwalker_mw View Post
Interesting discussion, but I'm still curious about the supporting numbers. I should also add that the interchanges that brought about this question for me are all in the North where there is a consistent 3 lanes + merge lanes and no strange configurations or surprises. It just seems that somehow the merge lanes at 16th, 32nd, Mcknight etc. all seem to ripple across all 3 lanes of traffic resulting in all 3 lanes at 30km/h or less. To me it really stinks of poor driver planning (when exiting) and timidness (when entering) rather than a specific undercapacity of the road.

Now, if the numbers support the general sentiment, my next question would then be: Why has such a critical artery been left to get to this state? Especially in a city that generally is not shy about spending on roads upgrades. It seems this kind of situation generally stirs up quite a bit of public discussion yet, in general, I hear very little about this. I do agree that the complete ring road will likley provide some relief but I just don't see it reducing volume to the point where another entire lane is not needed (or, better yet, 401 style dedicated merge lanes with barrier separations). So why not start building now?
Money seems like the obvious answer to me. The province has been building the ring roads in Calgary and Edmonton for what 10 years now? Once they are complete I'm sure they'll start looking at roads like Deerfoot but I'm sure they're hoping the ring road helps enough that they don't have to touch Deerfoot too much.
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  #2823  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2012, 7:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mwalker_mw View Post
Interesting discussion, but I'm still curious about the supporting numbers. I should also add that the interchanges that brought about this question for me are all in the North where there is a consistent 3 lanes + merge lanes and no strange configurations or surprises. It just seems that somehow the merge lanes at 16th, 32nd, Mcknight etc. all seem to ripple across all 3 lanes of traffic resulting in all 3 lanes at 30km/h or less. To me it really stinks of poor driver planning (when exiting) and timidness (when entering) rather than a specific undercapacity of the road.
I suspect that this contributes to it as well, but it's not something that is unique to Calgary, increased driver testing and education would help this a lot.

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Originally Posted by mwalker_mw View Post
Now, if the numbers support the general sentiment, my next question would then be: Why has such a critical artery been left to get to this state? Especially in a city that generally is not shy about spending on roads upgrades. It seems this kind of situation generally stirs up quite a bit of public discussion yet, in general, I hear very little about this. I do agree that the complete ring road will likley provide some relief but I just don't see it reducing volume to the point where another entire lane is not needed (or, better yet, 401 style dedicated merge lanes with barrier separations). So why not start building now?
Provincial road means that they set the priorities and as eggbert mentioned, their priority has been ring roads and transit.

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Money seems like the obvious answer to me. The province has been building the ring roads in Calgary and Edmonton for what 10 years now? Once they are complete I'm sure they'll start looking at roads like Deerfoot but I'm sure they're hoping the ring road helps enough that they don't have to touch Deerfoot too much.
This is probably true, and I suspect while it might have an effect it's not going to be as significant as they hope, much of the traffic on Deerfoot is either traveling within the city or into/out of the city, the thru traffic is a fairly small percentage of the overal traffic load. I suspect the LRT will have a much larger impact than the ring road will (purely speculation on my part, I have no numbers to back this up with).
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  #2824  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2012, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mwalker_mw View Post
Interesting discussion, but I'm still curious about the supporting numbers. I should also add that the interchanges that brought about this question for me are all in the North where there is a consistent 3 lanes + merge lanes and no strange configurations or surprises. It just seems that somehow the merge lanes at 16th, 32nd, Mcknight etc. all seem to ripple across all 3 lanes of traffic resulting in all 3 lanes at 30km/h or less. To me it really stinks of poor driver planning (when exiting) and timidness (when entering) rather than a specific undercapacity of the road.
While I won't try to dissuade you from your pursuit of numbers (they're always useful and interesting), your very observations support the road being at overcapacity. The situation you describe only happens during rush hour. Because there are too many cars on the road up there (especially between McKnight and Beddington).

And it happens in every city. Trust me. Calgarians may be *slightly* less used to freeways and merge lanes, so some people struggle, but a standing wave is a standing wave. It happens everywhere when roads are overcapacity and it has little to do with driver skill or planning. Sometimes one "bad" driver is often all it takes, and there are bad drivers everywhere. Take the freeway between LA and San Diego in the middle of the day sometime - there's a stretch where it's entirely freeflow and 60/65 mph for well over 100 km, with relatively few on/off ramps. And yet, with no accidents or any actual reason, traffic can come to a complete standstill. The behaviours you describe (timidness and general inability to merge) exist everywhere, and it doesn't take more than a tiny fraction of the driving population doing it to completely fuck up traffic on a busy road.

Very few roads are designed to hold their peak usage (the Ring Road currently is an exception, but that will change within 10-20 years tops).
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  #2825  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 3:13 PM
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So, taking this further.... I wonder if it might not be cheaper to fix the drivers rather than the road. Given the usual $1b+ figures for major road construction that works out to over $1000 of driver education for every driver in Calgary.

Could a cultural shift be created towards the 'acceptable' behavior one sees in Germany and similar where faffing about in the left lane is seriously frowned upon (or so I've heard)? Or is our only option to keep building out to accomodate the slowest members of society?

This is why I'm wondering about numbers. Is it theoretically possible with idealized drivers to fit current peak volumes at full speed on that road? The next thought being, what if this whole driverless car thing takes off? Within 20 to 30 years we may have that idealized driver at the wheel of every vehicle. Should we be designing capacities to that target instead?
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  #2826  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 6:47 PM
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The problem with Deerfoot is the volume exceeds the capacity of the road by a significant margin, not to mention it was originally designed as a 80km/h road but has only had minor fixes done to accommodate the new 100km/h speed limit.
Trust me, there is no 80km/h design speed sections on Deerfoot Trail, period. The thought that they would intentionally increase the speed limit BEYOND the design speed is just asking for lawsuits. What you're seeing is minimum design standards though. It seems extreme compared to the wide open prairie highways, of course.

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Originally Posted by mwalker_mw View Post
Now, if the numbers support the general sentiment, my next question would then be: Why has such a critical artery been left to get to this state? Especially in a city that generally is not shy about spending on roads upgrades.
Two things - First, they're spending so much money on Ring Roads right now in Alberta that other projects have to wait. Second, and this one is opinion only, but I imagine Alberta Transportation would love to dump the maintenance of Deerfoot back on the City of Calgary (which could possibly happen in the next couple years), which means they don't have to spend any extra money on upgrades (or at least less money).

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Originally Posted by mwalker_mw View Post
Could a cultural shift be created towards the 'acceptable' behavior one sees in Germany and similar where faffing about in the left lane is seriously frowned upon (or so I've heard)? Or is our only option to keep building out to accomodate the slowest members of society?

This is why I'm wondering about numbers. Is it theoretically possible with idealized drivers to fit current peak volumes at full speed on that road? The next thought being, what if this whole driverless car thing takes off? Within 20 to 30 years we may have that idealized driver at the wheel of every vehicle. Should we be designing capacities to that target instead?
The acceptable behavior only works when the road isn't badly congested.

Capacities of roads are designed with bad drivers in mind, and will always have to be. You can't design for something you can't even be sure will happen in the lifespan of the road you're building.

Sometimes you have to strike that balance of cost and volume, and so they willingly design chokepoints with a minimum level of service (think the Anderson Deerfoot interchange or the Crowchild Bow Memorial mess). Obviously if the budget is there they will be able to better accomodate growth but it's not a perfect world.
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  #2827  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 1:46 AM
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Street cleaning seems to be starting earlier this year. And already I'm seeing nice large patches of thick gravel where some asshat didn't move his car, and the city once again didn't tow.
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  #2828  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 5:03 PM
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Street cleaning seems to be starting earlier this year. And already I'm seeing nice large patches of thick gravel where some asshat didn't move his car, and the city once again didn't tow.
Do they at least ticket? At least if they ticket it costs them no delay, but gets them some free money, and might encourage the person to move their car next year.
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  #2829  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 6:02 PM
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Street cleaning seems to be starting earlier this year. And already I'm seeing nice large patches of thick gravel where some asshat didn't move his car, and the city once again didn't tow.
They haven't started the official street cleaning program yet (it launches today actually according to the city's website). What you've seen in the past week or so is just the preparatory work they do every year before the official street cleaning program starts. Once they start the main cleaning they will ticket and tow (though only tow to a nearby street, not impound)
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  #2830  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 6:10 PM
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Of all of the portions of that road to upgrade, the Sarcee-69th is easily the most needing of attention, and that's the part that (i believe) is being left out of these improvements.

I kind of understand why, but then again not really; if history has taught us anything, it's that SWCRR agreements and decisions are never just around the corner.

See this article from 1985. Apparently the negotiations were settled, and the road is approved! lol
This goes to show how ridiculous inflation has affected construction costs. Sure the $100M estiamte is from 30 years ago and the design spec is probably considerably higher now, but still scary to see $100M turn into a several billion over a period of time when the CPI has averaged around 2%.
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  #2831  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2012, 3:50 AM
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They haven't started the official street cleaning program yet (it launches today actually according to the city's website). What you've seen in the past week or so is just the preparatory work they do every year before the official street cleaning program starts. Once they start the main cleaning they will ticket and tow (though only tow to a nearby street, not impound)
Interesting. I didn't realize they have a pre-work stage. At any rate, it seems more... aggressive than it has been in the past. Our main street has already been mostly swept, as have a lot of semi-minor residential streets (I noticed this in Tuscany the other day). Pretty thorough jobs, too. Perhaps this is targeted towards pavement with more than the average amount of grit?
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  #2832  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2012, 3:52 AM
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This goes to show how ridiculous inflation has affected construction costs. Sure the $100M estiamte is from 30 years ago and the design spec is probably considerably higher now, but still scary to see $100M turn into a several billion over a period of time when the CPI has averaged around 2%.
You'll also notice that the $9 million was forecast to have a return of 11%. Reminds me of when I used to be able to double a CSB every 7 years or so. Times certainly have changed on many economic fronts.
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  #2833  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2012, 1:43 PM
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Interesting. I didn't realize they have a pre-work stage. At any rate, it seems more... aggressive than it has been in the past. Our main street has already been mostly swept, as have a lot of semi-minor residential streets (I noticed this in Tuscany the other day). Pretty thorough jobs, too. Perhaps this is targeted towards pavement with more than the average amount of grit?
Yep. From what I understand of how they do things, the pre-work is usually just to keep workers who otherwise might not have much to do busy in the period between snow clearing and the official street cleaning program. A lot of places do it, I remember my dad complaining out in Cochrane last year about the fact the town swept his street 5 times before the official street cleaning program there. He said there wasn't a piece of gravel left after the third time and they still came 3 more times.
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  #2834  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2012, 1:32 AM
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I was pleasantly surprised walking to work this morning to find 4th St SE swept. Calgary Roads didn't touch it last year. Yes, its in Manchester Ind., but businesses pay taxes as well and should have the same level of service from the City.
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  #2835  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 2:15 PM
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Hmm. So much for the sweeping.

Although to be fair, this slushy snow didn't really require any grit - just graders to scrape it out of the way.
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  #2836  
Old Posted Apr 14, 2012, 1:28 AM
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I was pleasantly surprised walking to work this morning to find 4th St SE swept. Calgary Roads didn't touch it last year. Yes, its in Manchester Ind., but businesses pay taxes as well and should have the same level of service from the City.
I have complained about lack of sweeping in the past and the city has always come back to it - eventually. One thing I see consistently is a lack of sweeping on bridges. Annoying as a cyclist as you're trying to stay over as far as possible, and traveling in the dirt.

I'm guessing the lack of bridge sweeping is due to the complications of debris falling onto the area below?
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  #2837  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2012, 5:23 PM
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I see signs up on Shaganappi about widening around John Laurie. To start April 23 - happy they accepted the suggestion of waiting for the University to be into spring session, as demands on that intersection reduce significantly then.
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  #2838  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2012, 7:05 PM
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I see signs up on Shaganappi about widening around John Laurie. To start April 23 - happy they accepted the suggestion of waiting for the University to be into spring session, as demands on that intersection reduce significantly then.
I saw that too. Any chance the lights will be removed/minimized? Or is this just new lanes?
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  #2839  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2012, 7:39 PM
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Project Scope
The improvement project consists of widening the Shaganappi Trail approaches to the John Laurie Boulevard intersection, allowing for the construction of dual left turn bays in the northbound and southbound directions. The widening will provide enough space to allow dual left turns to operate simultaneously, without the traffic streams overlapping in the middle of the intersection.

The widening of the approaches will include the extension of the six lane cross section of the Shaganappi Trail corridor south of John Laurie Boulevard (i.e. three "thru" lanes northbound and southbound, respectively).

http://www.calgary.ca/Transportation...provement.aspx
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  #2840  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2012, 2:03 AM
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Project Scope
The improvement project consists of widening the Shaganappi Trail approaches to the John Laurie Boulevard intersection, allowing for the construction of dual left turn bays in the northbound and southbound directions. The widening will provide enough space to allow dual left turns to operate simultaneously, without the traffic streams overlapping in the middle of the intersection.

The widening of the approaches will include the extension of the six lane cross section of the Shaganappi Trail corridor south of John Laurie Boulevard (i.e. three "thru" lanes northbound and southbound, respectively).

http://www.calgary.ca/Transportation...provement.aspx
Why are they not adding dual turn lanes to John Laurie? The Westbound to Southbound can build up quite a long queue.
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