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Thread: Gateway Boulevard and Calgary Trail

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS
    This is a good start for the NB lanes, what about SB? The longer drive of the 2 is SB, and the main issue is from Sask Drive thru to ~ 80th ave.
    I find the Low Level/Scona Road/Sask Drive route to be relatively quick.

    As for the High Level Bridge...open the upper train deck to SB traffic if need be. People have expressed concerns if the upper deck could handle the weight of vehicular traffic. Well, I say if it could handle freight trains for all those years then why could it not handle cars?

  2. #102
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    [quote="murman"][quote="SAL"]
    Quote Originally Posted by murman

    By your logic, we should be keeping that "70s traffic flow theory", wherein EXISTING infrastructure was the upper limit (instead of upgrading), and two lane roads were turned into one-way roads. And look at the ab*rtion you have now: something that would make W!nn!p3g proud.

    And Edmontonians lament why they're stuck being a yesterday town...
    Yes, for existing infrastructure and no, for one way roads. Edmonton was really progressive by actively resisting (in its core)the "my road is bigger than your road" frenzy of the 70s. Other cities, like Vancouver, made a decision not to do big roads. Their roads are much narrower and busier than ours and it all works. In fact, cities like Vancouver, Portland and now San Francisco (they are removing freeways) are the new models for city design. These cities are creating more intersections and making their cities more livable. Big roads divide communties and are a safety and health hazard.

    As for Winnipeg, it has managed to salvage some of the best turn of the century (20th) architecture left in Canada. It was the hub of distribution to and from western Canada in the early 1900s. Someday, they may realize how great that is. One of best planning schools in the country is at the University of Manitoba. Maybe, if they discover oil in Manitoba, Winnipeg can have another day in the sun.

    As for yesterday's city, Edmonton had a vibrant downtown in the last boom. It rolled over for the "forces of progress" , such as they were, allowed the reconstruction of downtown and the rest is history. We may never recover. Today's cities are all about diversity of use, street presence, controlled congestion, ambiance and people scaled places. The creative class demands stimulating environments.

    The freeway revolt of the 70s flew in the face of of the same forces of progress but the resistance on the south side created a vibrant historic downtown, a bastion of local economy and culture, and the meeting place for thousands of Edmontonians and regional residents. So much so, that Strathcona is now taking the brunt of social activity for the region - a problem of another type.

    It strikes me that doing the same things that destroyed many downtowns in the 70s and expecting a different result falls into the famous defintition of insanity.

    Check http://www.governing.com/articles/10speed.htm for where the rest of the world is going.

  3. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by SAL
    Edmonton was really progressive by actively resisting (in its core)the "my road is bigger than your road" frenzy of the 70s. Other cities, like Vancouver, made a decision not to do big roads. Their roads are much narrower and busier than ours and it all works. In fact, cities like Vancouver, Portland and now San Francisco (they are removing freeways) are the new models for city design.
    Oh, yeah, "it works" all right, if by definition you mean that road traffic is now effectively a parking lot, consuming fuel inefficiently.

    I can categorically deny that "it works". Sit on the Stanley Park causeway on any given day between 7 AM and 10-11 PM..., "it works" all right.

    And sorry, my learned friend, Vancouver is not removing any freeways. Ever heard of the Gateway Program?

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by murman
    Oh, yeah, "it works" all right, if by definition you mean that road traffic is now effectively a parking lot, consuming fuel inefficiently.

    I can categorically deny that "it works". Sit on the Stanley Park causeway on any given day between 7 AM and 10-11 PM..., "it works" all right.

    And sorry, my learned friend, Vancouver is not removing any freeways. Ever heard of the Gateway Program?
    I didn't make it clear that San Francisco, not Vancouver or Portland, removed the damaged and undamaged portions of its freeway after the earthquake. SF has turned the space into a world class boulevard that does not dissect the community or create freeway jams. Any large city will have traffic. The question is do you want roads that disconnect communities and create one large headache rather than a more even dispursal of cars. Big roads are not environmentally friendly. By collecting all the traffic onto one road, traffic gets worse eventually creating pressure for more and more roadway. This is a ride you cannot stop. Reducing the demand for car trips is the only real way left to deal with traffic volume. This is analagous to the over consumption of any resource.

    Check www.pps.org/info/newsletter/june2005 for a different look at transporation.

    Rule One: Stop Planning for Speed


    Speed kills sense of place. Cities and town centers are destinations, not raceways. Commerce needs traffic--foot traffic. You can't buy a dress from a car. Even foot traffic speeds up in the presence of fast-moving cars. Access, not automobiles, should be the priority in city centers. Don't ban cars, but remove the presumption in their favor. People first!



    Stop planning for speed by removing the presumption in favor of cars.


    Rule Two: Start Planning for Public Outcomes

    Cars were first introduced into cities as a public health measure--removing the dirt and filth of a transportation system based on raw horsepower, in the literal sense of the word. Cars also allowed us to separate people from the pollution of mills and factories, another public benefit. Great transportation, such as Grand Central Terminal, grand boulevards, cozy side streets, rail-trails, the wide sidewalks of the Champs Elysées, are transportation "improvements" that actually improve the public realm. Think public benefit, not just private convenience.



    The wide sidewalks and pedestrian-friendly crosswalks of the Champs Elysées in Paris are transportation improvements with a public benefit.

    Rule Three: Think of Transportation as Public Space

    Yes, the road, the parking lot, the transit terminal--these places can serve more than one mode (cars) and one purpose (movement). Sidewalks are the urban arterials of cities--make them wide, well lit, stylish and accommodating with benches, outdoor cafes and public art. Roads can be shared spaces with pedestrian refuges, bike lanes, on-street parking etc. Parking lots can become public markets on weekends. Even major urban arterials can be retrofitted to provide for dedicated bus lanes, well-designed bus stops that serve as gathering places, and multi-modal facilities for bus rapid transit or other forms of travel. Roads are places too!

    Transportation is public space to be shared by pedestrians, bikes, transit, and cars.

    Mae West was right in one sense--huge amounts of a good thing can be wonderful. It depends on what "good thing" means. Transportation--the process of going to a place--can be wonderful if we rethink the idea of transportation itself. If we remember that transportation is the journey, but community is always our goal.

    David Burwell - Project for Public Spaces

  5. #105
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    That's all well and good, but the fact remains that Gateway Blvd is our main entrance to the city from our International Airport. It is the route that tourists and business travellers use to get to Old Strathcona and downtown (where all the major high-end hotels are located). And the fact remains that many parts of this road consists of industrial blight and an overdevelopment of strip malls, then ends in the river valley with a series of confusing 2-lane hairpins.

    The freeway idea likely won't happen, regardless of what happens with the CN line.
    Tunnelling under Old Strathcona will be very costly.
    Paving over the Mill Creek Ravine is not an option.

    A couple more overpasses at 34 Ave and 63 Ave wouldn't hurt and could help expedite traffic.

    Something should be done about the industrial blight between 51 Ave and Old Strathcona, but I don't think adding even more strip malls and big-box stores is the answer. I've maintained that the Old Strathcona area could use more hotels, so maybe that's an option to consider for the area south of the Old Strathcona gate. Or if the hi-tech, biotech and medical research industries continue to grow here, perhaps it can be zoned for those purposes?

    I hope my above idea to resolve the hairpin issue into the river valley would at least be seriously considered...of the peanut gallery here, I've only seen feedback from Richard.

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    It's CP's line BTW...


    Yes, an acceptable compromise could be overpasses on 23 and 34th. That would cut a few minutes off, but open the discussion of $200 million for ~2 minutes saving.

    The biggest issue right now in my opnion for speeding up traffic is the bottleneck that is the 75th thru the river valley area both ways. Whyte and the left/right turns and the plethora of pedestrians (and yes, pedestrians are good) for the drive are killers. The hairpin is stupid. Simply put, as far as traffic issues, the Old Strath area is the problem - only due to its success as a unique district.

    The rest is just fugly. Period. Clean it up and the lights won't matter so much. Add pedestrian overpasses where necessary. Gut the warehouse district and the hotel idea has lost of merit.
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

  7. #107
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    I like the tommy banks way idea, but I think that you would still need to start going down before sask drive. I'd take 2 lanes to T.B. way, and go under sask drive, and build big retaining walls so the turn on to the existing hill is gentler. Two more lanes could go to sask drive for local access.

    I figure this idea would cost about $35M, so it's a great middle ground (cost vs performance) between do nothing ($0) and the "dig from south of whyte" option (+/-$250m).

    Then all you need to do is rebuild walterdale bridge.
    I figure:
    3 lanes on existing piers $40M, 1 summer hellish commute
    4 lanes, existing location $110M, 2-3 summers
    or
    4 lanes adjacent location, old piers removed or usedfor foot bridge,
    $110M-130M,plus native burialground issues and 1 mildly inconvenient summer

    A twin would suck

  8. #108
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    Yeah, I took a walk by there yesterday. The QE Drive is still a steep drop below the Tommy Banks intersection, but not too bad. Sask Drive and the new Gateway could be lowered at the intersection. The intersection itself could even be moved a little to the west of the Richie Mill, and allow the Gateway to curve NW so that it is less of a sharp turn onto QE Drive.

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    ...if you go west of Calgary Trail on Sask drive, you'll see an example of such a road/bridge combination - smaller but easily expandable to the Gateway realm and proof that the grade can be conquered.
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

  10. #110
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    Would that be 106 St going under Sask Drive?

    You know, if Gateway can duck under Sask Drive in a similar fashion then that can completely eliminate the traffic light intersection. All that's needed is just one lane from Gateway that merges onto Sask Drive EB. The only thing is how far down Gateway should burrow under Sask Drive.

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    Yes, that woudl be the alignment although I am not sure if they call it 106 as it services the condo's just above...

    As for how far, well, I don't think it needs to be a DGR or truck route, so enough for a holiday trailer (~4.5m).
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

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    S.D.M.'s concept for Gateway Blvd. has one fatal flaw. It is too simple and cost effective for the City Administration to understand.
    The major problem is, it is so straight forward that they wouldn't be able to justify the engineering studies and public impact hearings that are a prerequisite to any project undertaken by the Street Demolition and Occasional Repair Department.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph60
    S.D.M.'s concept for Gateway Blvd. has one fatal flaw. It is too simple and cost effective for the City Administration to understand.
    The major problem is, it is so straight forward that they wouldn't be able to justify the engineering studies and public impact hearings that are a prerequisite to any project undertaken by the Street Demolition and Occasional Repair Department.
    In other words...
    ...it makes sense and City Hall doesn't work that way!

    Anyway, here's the Gateway-under-Sask-Dr idea...


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    /\ I like the idea but can it be done nearer to where Sask. Dr. & Tommy Banks Way intersect? Perhaps a combination of digging down slightly for Gateway and having a Sask. Dr. bridge go up above ground at that location?

    I'm thinking that the biggest concern other people might have with the idea above is how much you'd have to dig into the river valley wall there. I like the idea either way - it's something that really should be done - but it would likely be an easier sell to others the less the river valley is disturbed.
    More joy. Less shame.

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    I took a walk along Sask Drive today (c'mon city, trim that bush in front of the lookouts already!), and from looking at the depth of QE Drive below the Tommy Banks intersection, I think my first idea is much better (see below).

    The height between Sask Drive and QE Drive is too shallow at that point for a bridge. In fact, the intersection at Sask Dr merely needs to be lowered by a few feet. Then the only other change is to have a softer turn from Gateway to QE Drive by curving it in more a NW direction.


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    OK, my first trip to Edmonton, I was coming out to decide between Edmonton and Calgary as a location for our second store. If you don't think that first impressions matter then you're foolish. The traffic flow into the city is not bad, and nowhere near as abysmal as Vancouver's clusterf***.

    Signage is huge. Clear and visible signage all the way into the city that holds the newcomers hand and says "You aren't lost, if you are going downtown, this is the right road" To be honest, the industry along Gateway is reassuring to business people. It lets them know that this is a city that isn't afraid to put industry on display. It's ugly, but so long as we know we're still on the right road, and they time the traffic lights to give priority to free flowing traffic, it's all good.

    Make North Saskatchewan Drive two way, and allow newcomers to do what they probably want to do. drive along the road for a bit to see the valley. You've got a huge asset in the valley. Don't try and make it faster to get downtown. It's not that big a deal except for people to stubborn to move to the same side of the river as the one they live on. For newcomers, and enough of them are potential investors in the city to make this worthwhile, focus on letting them see the city. Allow people to turn left onto Saskatchewan drive, and go all the way to Groat. Make Saskatchewan Drive into a proper parkway, and really let people see this gorgeous city. It'll also allow people to pick their bridge, from Groat to the low level. Me, I always go across Groat southbound, and Walterdale Northbound, but I'd prefer a slower, prettier drive along Saskatchewan Dr westbound to use Groat both ways...

    It ain't about speed. It's about making people feel that they are welcome.

  17. #117
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    Making Sask Drive a 2-way all the way to Groat Rd would be nice, but the same type of NIMBYs who killed Keillor Road will complain about the commuter traffic.

    As for industry on display, driving along Nisku from the airport should suffice. And what's nice about that is it's seen from a distance and not right in your face. And many here will argue the merits of a unsightly chop-shop-like hubcap store as industry on display.

    And finally, my concerns about the hairpins at the end of Gateway Blvd has more to do with safety (esp in light of the slippery roads this weekend) and aesthetics than speed.

  18. #118
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    I like the second plan that you came up with Sonic. The only thing that could be done is to purhaps start the reroute a bit further south, but also purhaps increase the slope of the road a lot more to accomodate a bridge on Sask drive. Also when the bridge would be built have a larger pedestrian area to allow for a lookout for the river valley.

    Also when you get down to the bridge going accross the North Sask River I'd say remove the bridge as it is currently and have a 4 lane bridge that would help with free flow of traffic. This bridge should also not just be any old bridge but something of more than exceptional architectural merrit. Something that hopefully would be an architectural feature for the city of Edmonton, not just another bridge.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

  19. #119
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    [quote="Titanium48"]With all the talk of long tunnels and megabridges, has anyone thought of what would become of all of that new traffic once it got downtown?

    Once across the river, traffic would disperse, with some continuing up 105 street hill, and others up 103 street or Bellamy Hill.

    I'm more concerned about 34 ave to Saskatchewan Drive. I think we eventually need grade separations at 34 ave, 51 ave and Argyll Road and then something from about 80th ave to Saskatchewan Drive - and I can't think what it would be other than a tunnel.

    We also need to think, do we make Gateway and Calgary Trail two-way - with grade separtions on Gateway but not Calgary Trail? Or stay the course?

    If it's the latter, I like the previously posted idea of a median separating through traffic from vehicles entering/exiting the shopping areas and motel row.

    From 51 to 8o Ave same thing. I agree the business mix is unsightly to say the least. Besides even more landscaping, perhaps access/egress to the through lanes should only be allowed at a few select locations, which would drive some business along that stretch to re-locate. Let's not get too high handed with this (we're still a free enterprise economy I hope!) but something needs to be done.

    At the very least - we need a plan: one the city can work on as resources become available. It's shocking that the traffic planners have mourned the death of the M.E.T.S. plan for nigh on 30 years now without developing a viable north-south alternative. With the city growing ever southward - the problems are going to get much, much worse unless something is done.

    FWIW, I test drove from Ellerslie to downtown on a Saturday, non-peak, and it still took 40 minutes. Yikes!!!

  20. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by McBoo

    I'm more concerned about 34 ave to Saskatchewan Drive. I think we eventually need grade separations at 34 ave, 51 ave and Argyll Road and then something from about 80th ave to Saskatchewan Drive - and I can't think what it would be other than a tunnel.
    snip
    34 Ave will remain lights. Same with 51 ave and Agryll Road. I dont know why people think that we need grade seperation here. The cost to benefit ratio has to be very low. For sure this would be very costly, what with all the business relocations needed and all. I compare this road to Mcleod Drive in Calgary. Theres more lights on that road then ours.
    Quote Originally Posted by McBoo
    FWIW, I test drove from Ellerslie to downtown on a Saturday, non-peak, and it still took 40 minutes. Yikes!!!
    You must drive slower then my dead grandma? I can drive from the Airport to downtown in 20 minutes off peak, and 25-30 at rush hour. This statement is coming from lots of experience too. Most times, If I hit the first red light, I do not see another red light till Saskatchewan drive. I have noticed the people who drive faster then then slightly above the speed limit always get the red light, and I always catch up to them at the next light. They brake to a complete stop, and by the time I'm there, traffic is already flowing northwards. The lights are timed, in general, for you to drive roughly the speed limit, and not hit a red light. I have done this too many times to know its true.

    40 minutes is absurb, and a far stretch of any resemblence of truth.

  21. #121
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    Well,

    1. So, Calgary gets a Deerfoot/Memorial to get them DT efficiently (when the DF isn't SNAFU'd) and we are stuck with a McLeod, a 16th, and a Barlow...greeeeeaaaaaattttt

    Gateway should be at least our Memorial. Our McLeod is more like 98th ave or 75th or 170th street....if you are looking for Calgary comparisons.

    We need a grade seperation to prevent the Charlie Foxtrot at 2 pm today. A super slow CP train not giving a flying crap that people were backed up at 34th and the Whitemud overpass. We need at grade seperation to drop the time to DT even further. I am not looking for a 120 km/h freeway, but an 80 km/h road with seperations off of Whyte to avoid that crap would help TREMENDOUSLY!

    2. Yeah, 40 minutes off peak is a little long. Off peak from TELUS Plaza to the Airport is about a 27 minute average for me. Late at night, I can shave 2 minutes but that's it. At peak though, depending on what happens at Whyte, I've been at least 40 at times. From Sask Drive to Whyte seems to be the key - hit that right and you are OK. Get Whyte out of the way, turn the right 2 lanes into a freeflow set up as the city advertised a few years back, and I'll shut up. Oh, and about that DT bridge already. You know, the #1 thing that was said by entrants this weekend at Dream Big....#2 was a N/S freeway.
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

  22. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS
    Well,

    1. So, Calgary gets a Deerfoot/Memorial to get them DT efficiently (when the DF isn't SNAFU'd) and we are stuck with a McLeod, a 16th, and a Barlow...greeeeeaaaaaattttt
    Look on the bright side, at least we don't have 16 Ave for our major E-W highway. :P I'd take Yellowhead in its present state over that mess any day.

    Gateway should be at least our Memorial. Our McLeod is more like 98th ave or 75th or 170th street....if you are looking for Calgary comparisons.
    Easier said than done. Gateway is more comparable to Macleod or even 16th Ave (if it was two way instead of parellel one way). If you wanted a "Memorial" to downtown, you could either....

    1) Revive the controversial 91 St/Mill Creek expressway. It would take away from parkland but would be freeflow from downtown to the airport. Wipe South Edmonton Common off the map and you could link the AHD/Hwy 2 interchange with 91 St.

    Or if that doesn't sound realistic...

    2) Make WGD/75 St a freeway, then improve 98 Ave between downtown and 75 St. This would be a mirror image of the Deerfoot/Memorial connection to downtown. Construct the Gateway bridge and it would be Edmonton's version of Macleod.

    At the same time, I question if there is a need for a freeway to downtown Edmonton. Downtown Calgary has significantly more people working and communting downtown than Edmonton so I'm not sure if a freeway is necessary.

    If they could make Gateway a freeway south of Whitemud, that would be an improvement.

  23. #123
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    Not really looking for a true blast of a freeway, but freer flowing.

    CP is but one issue. Plus, given that this was the #2 issue brought up at Dream Big, obvioulsy I am not alone.
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

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    The closest thing we have to a Memorial Drive type configuration would be 107 Ave and Victoria Park Rd exiting off Groat Road, which was the official Hwy 2 designation many years ago. But that doesn't do much for traffic from the airport.

  25. #125

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    No one will like my following reply, and I dont really strike this view myself, but WE COULD'VE HAD a freeway right into downtown from the southside, Had we not had tree hugging hippies back in the day, that prevented this.

    Has anyone looked before at why 91st has such a large right of way?

    We could've ran this road all the way up, creating overpasses at all the key intersections, and then went into the millcreek ravine and followed it all the way downtown. 91 street could've been the main "freeway" leading from highway 2, all the way downtown.

    Now, Mill Creek is one of my favorite places in the river valley park system, and I'm glad this never occured.

  26. #126

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    "tree hugging hippies". This is one of the intriguing things about Edmonton. Those interested in preserving the river valley span the spectrum. It is anything but a minority of lefties, as you suggest. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that there are as many on the right that oppose and opposed freeways through revines and the river valley as there on the left. If memory serves was it not a conservative politician way back who came up with the idea of preventing new development in the river valley and proposed the park system?

  27. #127

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    Quote Originally Posted by mick
    "tree hugging hippies". This is one of the intriguing things about Edmonton. Those interested in preserving the river valley span the spectrum. It is anything but a minority of lefties, as you suggest. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that there are as many on the right that oppose and opposed freeways through revines and the river valley as there on the left. If memory serves was it not a conservative politician way back who came up with the idea of preventing new development in the river valley and proposed the park system?
    Geez, I really need to indicate more when I'm serious and when I'm not. Please take the words "Tree hugging hippies" as an non-serious comment.
    I, for one, am happy the ravines, and our beautiful rivervalley was not given to the car.

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    I do believe that this issue is one of the top priorities facing Edmonton at present time. Gateway blvd is horrible, it is shameful. Last year I bought some colleagues up for a conference and they were not impressed. The first impression of Edmonton is ugly and disorganized. Personally I have seen this turn many business' away in different cities. When I city can show some solution to a big problem over 20-30 years, then business automatically peg the problem with the running of the city, and the way the community works.

    I think Edmonton needs to expand gateway, it would be a HUGE pain, and very costly to do it right but in 30 years when Edmonton is a lot bigger than present what are we going to do then, the pain and expense would/will be much greater.

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    Amen. Stop being so short sighted....
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

  30. #130

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    feepa. i wasn't responding to your comment directly. rather, i was pointing out an association between the right wing and enviromental preservation that is often overlooked. i didn't take your comment seriously.

  31. #131
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    Echoing many of the concerned citizens on this board, I once emailed the Mayor pleading for a solution - to which he replied that an at-grade crossing from Gateway @ Saskatchewan Dr over the river is impossible...but didn't rule out twinning the Walterdale Bridge but that would cost a lot of money. My mental response to this was so why don't you divert the $200 Million going to the Royal Alberta Muesuem into infrastructure projects?? Honestly, I visited the museum twice in 17 years...and both where school field trips. Who cares if it looks likes concrete bunker - look at Shaw Conference Centre!!

    I'd like to take the mayor on a drive from 23rd ave to downtown in the winter ( usually a 1 hr affair ) and see the look on his face when he spends a day in the shoes of a south Edmonton resident. Maybe that will get a few gears turning.

    (Has anyone noticed that mound of dirt right at the bend on QE Park Road?? is that a relic from what would have been a span across the river??)

    Shutting my big yap now...

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    People refer to that mound of dirt as Dantzer's Folly - and yes it was an approach to the bridge. They did try at one time....

    An at grade crossing is not impossible. There are many spans far longer that exist - it is not like we are trying to build the Confederation Bridge. I think the right answer is that an at grade span is expensive, and the spots where it would meet up would basically kill any access to 97th ave, and turn the 105/Jasper intersection into the ONLY way out of the downtown...plus I think the north bank is a little lower.

    We do need the RAM expansion. There are archives and displays that the U of A, the city, and others have housed in dark warehouses that need somewhere to go.

    I do agree that those who oppose 23rd avenue's interchange just need to physically sit there and watch....
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

  33. #133

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS
    People refer to that mound of dirt as Dantzer's Folly - and yes it was an approach to the bridge. They did try at one time....
    Was it part of this grand plan??

    http://albertaroads.homestead.com/ed...tage1-Ikey.jpg

    I found a site that has scanned plans of the 1969 Metro Edmonton Transportation Study (METS). While a N-S freeway would be nice and consider myself one that leans towards freeways, I'm glad that the entire plan wasn't put into play.

    http://albertaroads.homestead.com/ed...ans/index.html

  34. #134

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    I've been meaning to post this for a while...
    After varying my route out to the airport a couple of times, I've got to say that Gateway is a lost cause as a N-S route to downtown.

    Here's my plan.

    Make a true freeway starting at the QE up to 23rd, cutting across to 111th street, up 111th street to 61Ave, following 61Ave around the curve to 113St, up to University Ave and along to Groat, over an expanded Groat Ave, and then make Groat/St. Albert Trail as the balance of the N-S freeway.

    All of those roads are wide enough to build a true freeway, and it also passes all of the major commuter centres needed for a N-S freeway (South Edmonton Common, Century Park, Southgate Centre, the University, downtown, St. Albert). It also allows those exiting at the downtown to not have to go right downtown, which eliminates some of the congestion downtown.... River Valley Rd would then be the true approach to downtown, allowing Gateway/Calgary Trail to be more of a secondary commercial strip...

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    I akin the METS to planner masturbation in the 1960's spirit, but there were queues in the plan that we should have completed.

    M0nkey....you won't get this freeway done there any faster than on Gateway....sorry
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

  36. #136

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS
    M0nkey....you won't get this freeway done there any faster than on Gateway....sorry
    Yeah, but it'd be a freeway. I just don't see Gateway/Calgary Trail being turned into a freeway. The route I've proposed has very little street frontage retail that would be impacted by a switch to a freeway. Gateway has a lot of retail that would be interrupted by a switch to a true freeway.

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    True enough, there is another route though...

    Your route has too much residential...they scream louder...
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

  38. #138

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS
    True enough, there is another route though...

    Your route hastoo much residential...they scream louder...
    It's fences up to University Boulevard by my memory, and residential screams at meetings. Business makes quiet phone calls before the meetings. Somtimes quiet is much louder.

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    true enough, but businesses are more likely to move if given the incentive. Residents jsut complain and say "I've been here for generations."
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmuzika

    Was it part of this grand plan??
    Part of our problem is that is WASN'T

    Most of the 60s and 70s transportation planning still relied on the eventual construction of the Mill Creek Freeway along with the possibility of a more major route on 109/111/114.

    Gateway was always a minor road on all the plans...not even an arterial.

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    That's right...just think of it as our version of Calgary's Edmonton Trail....until we blew 91/Mill Creek out of the water...
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

  42. #142

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    I'm surprised that not more attention is given to the Gateway issue by C2E member. Most of the threads associated with Gateway have been dormant for far too long. I think that improvements to Gateway ought to rank among the top 5 priorities for the city. The most common criticism I hear from tourists coming into Edmonton usually has something to do with the appearance or functionality of this roadway.

    Now that 23rd ave is coming fruition we should look ahead at what the next challenge might be. What can we do with 34th ave? 63rd? Whyte Ave? IMO Gateway needs to be free flow to the Whitemud at the very least. There are a few contributors to this site that are very good at creating diagrams of potential road alignments. However I have seen very few of these with regards to Gateway/CGY trail south of Whyte.

    Let's see and hear some fresh ideas on this pressing issue.

  43. #143

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    ^ next most important on gateway is to fix that double hairpin curves and weird descent into the rivervalley and back in to downtown. I hear a ton of complaints from people thinking that its pretty confusing (if not from around here) on how to get downtown, or if they just went the wrong way...

  44. #144

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    ^ next most important on gateway is to fix that double hairpin curves and weird descent into the rivervalley and back in to downtown. I hear a ton of complaints from people thinking that its pretty confusing (if not from around here) on how to get downtown, or if they just went the wrong way...
    I know Edmonton residents who live in the South side of the city who avoid downtown like the plague because they are confused by such roads through the river valley. It's easier for them to take the Whitemud to Sherwood Park, than it is to get to the city center, which I think is an embarrassing indictment of how poorly the city has prioritized the key linkages of the road system, for some crazy reason, the core has not been a priority, and we shouldn't be surprised that the core declined thanks to that lack of respect. Time to turn that around.

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    I am dissappointed to see that Edmonton has not even considered making downtown access easier from the South Side. "Oh, it's too expensive", or NIMBY attitudes have persisted for too long. This is Edmonton's last chance to have a decent north-south connection. And yes, it will be worth the fight.

  46. #146

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    Agreed that the hairpin needs to be fixed once and for all and yes I agree that it is disspapointing that the city doesn't consider our southern approach into downtown a priority. But it would seem intuitive that after spending so much money on 23rd that the city would look at the next bottleneck on this route.

    Is there room for an overpass on 34th Ave? It would seem so ( eventhough I know it might not be viable just yet), at least on cgy trail. Getting rid of the tracks might be a perequisite for an overpass structure on Gateway and 34th.

    I think not having to stop untill the Whitemud should be a tenable goal. Take out some of those ridiculous lights between 23rd and whitemud and make some merge lanes for the traffic coming out of that area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by debos View Post
    But it would seem intuitive that after spending so much money on 23rd that the city would look at the next bottleneck on this route.
    The city is looking into this to coincide with a bridge replacement for the aging Walterdale.
    Last edited by RTA; 26-08-2008 at 05:28 PM. Reason: Clarity

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    Just as long as it's done properly, without cheeping out and doing a half-arsed job, then I'm all for it.

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    Please fix this drive! It is an eyesore! It makes Marine Drive look wonderful.

  50. #150

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    To be honest, the hairpin is not the problem, it's the bottom of the hill that is the problem.

    At first, I was thinking a bridge spanning across the entire valley, like the High Level Bridge. Probably too costly and not really feasible.

    Next was a covered tunnel starting at 81st Avenue to the valley. I actually like this idea because it would eliminate a major thoroughfare in the Old Strat district. The only problem would be the old train station (Iron Horse) and businesses on 81st and on Gateway (north of 81st Avenue).

    I think a LRT line, from Downtown to YEG would be better to build than overpasses at 34th, 51st, and 63rd Avenues.

  51. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by debos View Post
    Agreed that the hairpin needs to be fixed once and for all and yes I agree that it is disspapointing that the city doesn't consider our southern approach into downtown a priority. But it would seem intuitive that after spending so much money on 23rd that the city would look at the next bottleneck on this route.

    Is there room for an overpass on 34th Ave? It would seem so ( eventhough I know it might not be viable just yet), at least on cgy trail. Getting rid of the tracks might be a perequisite for an overpass structure on Gateway and 34th.

    I think not having to stop untill the Whitemud should be a tenable goal. Take out some of those ridiculous lights between 23rd and whitemud and make some merge lanes for the traffic coming out of that area.
    I don't think your being very fair to city council. The South entrance to our city has really come along. It's WAY more atractive then it was in the late 90's.

    We just can't snap our fingers and POOF everything is changed.

    The city started looking at ways of "fixing" the whyte ave intersection. The initial plans were NOT liked. I think the city fully reconizes an upgrade is needed.

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    Pardon me, but am I the only one that noticed the post from debos is from August 2008?
    happy to be the grumpy old bugger waking up the booster club!

  53. #153

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    haha whoops... I think I got to this thread from a link in another thread...

  54. #154

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    it's still a good topic of conversation

    old does not equal bad.

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    ..considering it is my pet peeve, I'll agree edp...
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

  56. #156

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    Is there any new information on this topic?

    To be honest I am surprised there were not more conceptual drawings done by any C2Er's on this project.

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    There are a few...but mainly they are of specific choke points on the road...
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

  58. #158

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    I still dislike the names Gateway & Calgary Trail. I would preferred something using the words:

    Capital City Boulevard for southbound
    Capital City Gateway for northbound

    Or something similar to the above.....

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    Default Example of bridge we need


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    example of Gateway Blvd. we need to new bridge and downtown
    http://my-photo-blog.com/wp-content/...11/freeway.jpg

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    Default Gateway

    This new freeway and bridge could take you from the east side of the Leg. parking lot to the airport in 20 minutes at 110 kph. Think Ed and MLAs. Airport to Leg, Leg to Airport. Airport to Leg. Leg to Airport. Loosen up those purse strings and get started on it Ed, pleeeze. you will love it.

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    Default bridge

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3509/...2382682c1e.jpg anything is possible if making use of oil revenues from our ' worlds largest reserve of oil'

  63. #163

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    Iconic bridge - yes
    Hairpin removed - yes
    Stack interchange and freeway - no

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    I think its too late the stack is already there at AHD and at 23 rd

  65. #165

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbones View Post
    This new freeway and bridge could take you from the east side of the Leg. parking lot to the airport in 20 minutes at 110 kph. Think Ed and MLAs. Airport to Leg, Leg to Airport. Airport to Leg. Leg to Airport. Loosen up those purse strings and get started on it Ed, pleeeze. you will love it.
    Complete the LRT extension to the airport. done.

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    Just do both, we need both the LRT and a good road/bridge

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    This weekend, Edmonton will get a chance to see the effect of the 23
    Avenue interchange. I think, after next election, City Council will seriously debate a new Walterdale approach and bridge for Gateway Boulevard.
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lat View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbones View Post
    This new freeway and bridge could take you from the east side of the Leg. parking lot to the airport in 20 minutes at 110 kph. Think Ed and MLAs. Airport to Leg, Leg to Airport. Airport to Leg. Leg to Airport. Loosen up those purse strings and get started on it Ed, pleeeze. you will love it.
    Complete the LRT extension to the airport. done.
    There ya go. Bingo!
    aka Jim Good; "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

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    Bridges. I love bridges.



    I'm left with more than a few questions regarding this Gateway/bridges issue.

    Do we really, really need another bridge? I'm not saying we don't, I'm just not convinced we do. The traffic doesn't seem that bad to me (but then, if it's backed up, I just fly past anyway).

    Are we continuing to accommodate the problem of increasing traffic levels instead of addressing it, the way we have for fifty years, with no success? Even a cursory examination of traffic shows a real problem - 90% of the vehicles on the road have only one person in them, and lots of empty seats. We're building roads so one person can move the equivalent of two couches around (and then some).

    Do we need to spend hundreds of millions, maybe a billion dollars so people don't have to make a sharp turn? We surely have more pressing concerns, don't we? Better public transit, maybe? LRT expansion? More investment in making alternative forms of transportation more attractive as options? Infill?

    Or am I missing something else here. If so, let me know.
    aka Jim Good; "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

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    Has anyone tried navigating that hairpin turn in ice and snow? Not fun. Not a good impression for visitors either. It helps reinforce that backward-arse image if you ask me.

    The hairpin fix could have been approved 2 or 3 years ago if some ***** at Silly Hall didn't insist on increasing the number of Gateway Blvd lanes to do this. That prompted the usual cries of "no freeways through Old Strathcona" and killed the whole thing.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    Has anyone tried navigating that hairpin turn in ice and snow? Not fun. Not a good impression for visitors either. It helps reinforce that backward-arse image if you ask me.

    The hairpin fix could have been approved 2 or 3 years ago if some ***** at Silly Hall didn't insist on increasing the number of Gateway Blvd lanes to do this. That prompted the usual cries of "no freeways through Old Strathcona" and killed the whole thing.
    People have been successfully negotiating that turn forever. Anyone who can't probably shouldn't be driving. I agree, it's a hassle though, but I'm sure it doesn't really have a big impression one way or the other on visitors.

    One reason this matters to me at all is the same kind of reason the Old Strathcona residents don't want a freeway going through their wonderful neighbourhood. I'm afraid it would destroy some of the most beautiful bike paths and parkland anywhere. Maybe, maybe not. Another is cost. If it's not hundreds of millions, and it's not going to ruin something I believe really makes this city special, then I'm certainly willing to consider it.

    We shouldn't discount that we're asking others to pay a steep price, not only in dollars, and that something they love would be lost, forever, so some will be able to make an easier turn. Driving is easy enough as it is, I think.
    aka Jim Good; "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

  72. #172

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    Walterdale Bridge has reached the end of its service life and should to be replaced by 2014.

    http://www.edmonton.ca/transportatio...le-bridge.aspx

    How much parkland and bike paths will be lost when one straighter road replaces one windy road? If anything there would be a net gain of "precious" parkland.

    And it would utilize the mound of dirt for the bridge approach that has been there since the 60's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deedub35 View Post
    Walterdale Bridge has reached the end of its service life and should to be replaced by 2014.

    http://www.edmonton.ca/transportatio...le-bridge.aspx

    How much parkland and bike paths will be lost when one straighter road replaces one windy road? If anything there would be a net gain of "precious" parkland.

    And it would utilize the mound of dirt for the bridge approach that has been there since the 60's.
    Thanks for the info. I'm the guardian of the paths ;-D And it is indeed "precious" parkland.

    It's hard to tell from riding in the parkland below just what would be lost. I know there's an open field just south of the bridge that wouldn't be a big loss. It's just south of that I'm concerned about.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 03-09-2010 at 10:17 PM.
    aka Jim Good; "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

  74. #174

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbones View Post
    I really liked the idea of the tunnel under Old Strathcona. Cut and cover and come out of the tunnel onto a bridge like this would certainly have a WOW factor. Maybe if Calgary gets its $500 million tunnel for their airport, Edmonton can get this. LRT and vehicle traffic would be great because whether we like it or not, people are still going to drive.

    It would be nice to have this in less than ten years. Six if we host an Expo. This bridge looks nicer than any office tower we have and would give a great impression to visitors.

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    Exactly. Expressway to tunnel and tunnel to bridge to downtown. Use CPR right of way and go underground before Whyte Ave and come out onto bridge with cityscape before you, what a difference this would make to Edmonton.

  76. #176

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    I was in Calgary and someone complained that Gateway now has to many overpasses... LOL
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    I took a walk along Sask Drive today (c'mon city, trim that bush in front of the lookouts already!), and from looking at the depth of QE Drive below the Tommy Banks intersection, I think my first idea is much better (see below).

    The height between Sask Drive and QE Drive is too shallow at that point for a bridge. In fact, the intersection at Sask Dr merely needs to be lowered by a few feet. Then the only other change is to have a softer turn from Gateway to QE Drive by curving it in more a NW direction.

    This is the right idea, in my opinion, except I think the new portion should start immediately after the giant speedbump where the train tracks used to be (Sorry Yardbird Suite) on the off chance the HSR ever actually goes through. Cut and cover and keep the park on top.

    I'm also ok with the lights at Whyte Ave. If we could eliminate lights up to that point but still have people stop at Whyte, I see no problem with that. It's one of our flagship/landmark areas and the traffic keeps the "busy" feeling going all the time.

    Also, on the above diagram I wouldn't even bother with the little exit from the new Gateway onto Sask Drive. Keep the existing road as an exit. If someone is going to Sask Drive, they deal with a light or a free-flow turning lane.

    Imagine driving stop-free up Gateway Blvd and at the first traffic light you are in a busy retail area with plenty of pedestrians and history. The light turns green and you drive toward downtown, the road gradually descends into a tunnel, and at the end of the tunnel you see nothing but lush green river valley goodness. You emerge driving on an unchanged Queen E Park Road leading to a brand new bridge (using Dantzer's Folly, replacing Walterdale) and into "lower downtown" (i.e. Rossdale).

    We don't need an overextended tunnel taking traffic away from Whyte, or a superbridge connecting the top of both sides of the river. Keep it simple.

  78. #178

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    I wouldn't mind tunneling south of whyte ave, but still having short on/off ramps to allow traffic on/off whyte ave and on/off of gateway blvd. Something similar to the Decarie in Montreal

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    We absolutely do NOT need any development whatsoever of any larger scale than what is there now.

    I would be opposed -- and take to fighting publically -- a single lane being widened on any of the approaces to any of the existing bridges in the core.

    Motor traffic: JUST. SAY. NO.

  80. #180

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    JUST SAY NO to progression! All of you in the Southside can walk downtown.

  81. #181

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    I think a tunnel starting south of Whyte would be beneficial. As it is right now at the intersection of Whyte and Gateway it is four lanes across south and three lanes across north. I know it gets dicey there especially on a farmer's market day and during the fringe. Thru traffic flowing under that area would ease congestion and make things safer for everyone.

  82. #182

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    The discussion on 'worst first impressions' coming into Edmonton got me thinking about the possibilities for Gateway Boulevard. Would there be a way to use the CP rail overpass (with modifications of course) on 63rd Ave for Gateway once CP pulls out entirely? Gateway could rejoin the current alignment near 71 Ave.

    I understand that this would require some expropriation of a few businesses and perhaps use of a ROW. Thoughts?

  83. #183

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    CP isn't pulling out entirely. The still will need to come into the city to end east to the refineries

  84. #184

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    I wouldn't mind tunneling south of whyte ave, but still having short on/off ramps to allow traffic on/off whyte ave and on/off of gateway blvd. Something similar to the Decarie in Montreal
    X2
    An overpass would just divide whyte into two and would be reductive and visually unattractive for the area.

  85. #185

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    CP isn't pulling out entirely. The still will need to come into the city to end east to the refineries

    So they're just moving out of their Strathcona yard? That sucks, Gateway could use some quick wins.

  86. #186

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctzn-Ed View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    I wouldn't mind tunneling south of whyte ave, but still having short on/off ramps to allow traffic on/off whyte ave and on/off of gateway blvd. Something similar to the Decarie in Montreal
    X2
    An overpass would just divide whyte into two and would be reductive and visually unattractive for the area.
    an underpass or a tunnel for a few blocks could work though... imagine joining the east and west whyte avenue into a street without massive gateway blvd and tracks, and instead, more commercial store fronts? Tunnel underneath... dipping down under saskatchewan drive, eliminating the hairpin turn into a new bridge replacing the walterdale.

    Dare to dream. Would could even add a bike lane!

  87. #187

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    200% agreed!

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    That was an idea a few years back, then the plans suddenly disappeared...
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

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    ^ Did that idea even reach City Hall?

    All I know is that they had a solution to fix the Sask Drive hairpin but the local NIMBY groups raised the freeway boogieman.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  90. #190

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    ^ Did that idea even reach City Hall?

    All I know is that they had a solution to fix the Sask Drive hairpin but the local NIMBY groups raised the freeway boogieman.
    I thought the Sask Drive underpass was abandoned due to cost. Initially it was to be included in plans for the new Walterdale bridge.

    Also, back to the 63rd ave rail bridge, the spur that CP uses to go east splits off a few blocks south of 63rd so perhaps it is a distant possibility.

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    Might have been both, actually. But the fools in Transportation planning decided that an unnecessary extra lane was required on Gateway north of Whyte, which set off the freeway hysteria. I wouldn't be surprised if the Transportation planners did this just to get that reaction and get the idea killed.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  92. #192
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    I remember listening to that council meeting, and if memory serves the idea was "split off" of the Walterdale Bridge planning in order for it not to interfere with the bridge going ahead as scheduled.

    i.e. Gateway tunnel would be a headache while Walterdale Bridge isn't an issue at all. I assume the tunnel idea will be revisited at some point in the future.

  93. #193
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    that is the end result...get the Waltedale going...but use the tunnel and Gateway plans for the new bridge...maybe even using Dantzer's Folly...
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

  94. #194
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    If the tunnel is eventually built and extended to south of whyte - and I think on balance it's a good idea - , the hard part becomes building the tunnel to nclude cues that it's not quite a freeway anymore. The last thing we need is drivers approaching river valley road at 80k.

  95. #195
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    The nice thing about a tunnel at Gateway Boulevard is that Edmonton is a leader in tunneling technology. Something like this, though, might have to start before 80 Avenue, and continue to north of Saskatchewan Drive, probably over 1000 metres. The traffic calming around Strathcona would be significant. Gateway (above ground) could be repurposed to have a bike lane.
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

  96. #196

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    $$$

    no thanks.

  97. #197
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    Tunnelling would be a smooth and good transition in to our downtown core. Plus it would make Whyte much more walkable.

  98. #198
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    That cost would be incredibly prohibitive though. I like the idea of it, but do wonder about opportunity cost.
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  99. #199

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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    That cost would be incredibly prohibitive though. I like the idea of it, but do wonder about opportunity cost.
    I agree but there aren't too many alternatives unless we want to destroy Mill Creek.

    The tunnel is something that will have to be explored in the future. Hopefully other upgrades to Gateway keep that in mind.

  100. #200

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    Could Gateway somehow / somewhere (e.g. South of Whyte?) flow into 99 street, and make that freeflow somehow? Just a thought.

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