*Screengrab courtesy of The City of Calgary's Website.
What do the words green and belt have in common? Attach the word ‘line’ at the end of each and they become important pieces of infrastructure within the city of Calgary. The now most favourable route for the upcoming Green Line LRT construction will be mostly underground tunnels. While the fully tunneled option is certainly the most expensive- and will therefore have the most strain on taxpayers pockets- it’s an investment that will be well worth it in the end outcome. A big concern for city designers was making as minimal an impact as possible on the urban charm of areas like Inglewood and the Beltline while still making the stations accessible. There is expected to be two stops which will be placed directly in the Beltline, and the stops surrounding these will be strategically placed in order to reduce impact. Here’s the information regarding these four stops:
INSIDE THE BELTLINE
Centre St S- 4th St S.E.
Currently, the city is in the midst of deciding how exactly the LRT line will run along 12 Ave S to pass through the Beltline. According to the city’s website, “The Green Line project team will carry two options forward for further evaluation: 12 Avenue S surface (which sees the LRT running at street-level, from 2 St SW through the Beltline), and 12 Avenue S tunnel + surface (which see the LRT running underground through most of Beltline, coming to street-level just east of 4 St SE).” Ideally, the Council will decide to move forward with the underground option, to reduce traffic in an already traffic heavy area, as well as to preserve the uptown feel of the Beltline.
OUTSIDE THE BELTLINE
7 Avenue S.W.
The city’s website discusses that the Council is further along in the approval process for this station, and gives lots of details: “On October 4, 2016, City Council approved a fully tunneled LRT route in Calgary’s downtown core. The approval was made ‘in principle’, contingent on the overall funding for the Green Line program.
The fully tunneled route would see the Green Line LRT run underground north of the CP tracks on 9 Avenue S, under 2 Street S.W., and under the Bow River. The line would resurface north of 16 Avenue N along Centre Street N.” This approval of an underground tunnel leading out of the Beltline would be extremely beneficial to the area, as it would cause minimal disturbance in traffic flow and enhance the city’s value and infrastructure.
According to the city’s website, “The Inglewood/Ramsay station will be an elevated ‘bridge’ station located over 11 Street S.E. parallel to the CP Rail bridge that will serve the communities of Inglewood and Ramsay. This station will connect the communities of Inglewood and Ramsay through an upgraded underpass on 11 Street S.E.” The connection of Inglewood to the Beltline through the Greenline LRT will bring more tourist traffic around to the area, especially in the summer, and although the elevated platform is not ideal for the aesthetic of the neighborhood, the LRT finally making its foray into the area will service the city well.
What do you think about the city’s decisions for the Greenline?