Oh for FUCK'S
Calgary's West Village blueprint features designer bridge
Pedestrian link urged west of 14th Street S.W.
By Jason Markusoff, Calgary HeraldNovember 4, 2009 7:22 AM
Design concept of the $24.5-million Peace Bridge in Calgary.Photograph by: Courtesy, Santiago Calatrava, Calgary HeraldCALGARY - The concept map for the West Village features what is becoming a mainstay in urban renewal plans for Calgary: an architecturally striking pedestrian bridge.
The ultramodern blueprint suggests a twin-arch Bow River crossing between 14th Street and Crowchild Trail S.W., although design and construction might not occur for another two decades, or more.
It would be a successor to Santiago Calatrava's red helix footbridge about 12 blocks downstream. About 15 blocks east of that will be another designer crossing that adds spark to East Village and St. Patrick's Island redevelopment plans.
And outside the core, there are long-range plans for a pedestrian link as part of Bowness Park's renovation, which would span the Bow to Baker Park.
There's at least one other pedestrian bridge proposed, spanning the Elbow River between Fort Calgary and the Deane House.
East Village and West Village bridges may not be needed now for the parks and pathways, but wait until there are thousands of new residents and workers there, said Chris Ollenberger of Calgary Municipal Land Corp., which is planning the St. Patrick's Island and Elbow bridges.
"You do really want to make those convenient pedestrian connections to obvious gathering places or continuations of pathways that might not have had the traffic volumes to warrant it before," he said, "but as redevelopment occurs, the traffic volumes will definitely be there."
The public furor over the city's $24.5-million Peace Bridge by Calatrava has spilled over into anger at the mere suggestion of more elaborate river crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.
"Oh no, looks like there is another expensive designer bridge planned for West Village," a reader commented on calgaryherald.com.
"What, is the city gonna go and hire another European hack to design it!!? This is outrageous."
Ald. Bob Hawkesworth said council has chosen to spend on infrastructure for foot-powered transportation because it's much cheaper than roads, and helps clear up more street space for drivers.
"The public subsidy for them to take a car or the public subsidy for them to take the bus is significantly higher than the public subsidy for them to walk or take a bicycle," he said.
"Unless you understand that, none of this investment in bridges makes any sense."
Construction of the steelwork for Calatrava's Peace Bridge is slated to begin by year's end.
For the St. Patrick's Island Bridge design competition, Ollenberger plans to announce the judges' three finalists from among 33 design entries.
The bridge in East Village, as well at the future West Village span, will be paid for through a special fiscal scheme that recoups costs from land sales and property taxes in those districts.
In addition to the river crossings, the city also generates a list every three years of top-priority pedestrian overpasses needed over roadways, said Don Mulligan, director of transportation planning. The latest span is over McKnight Boulevard at 44th Street N.E.
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald
I didn't know journalists now cherry pick quotes from anonymous reader comments from a story the day before counted as journalism these days. Maybe Markusoff made the comments himself so he could quote the anonymous comment the next day? We'll never know.