|Bus-Only Crossing Rationale:|
Bus-only crossings are used at some locations in Calgary to provide a priority connection between communities for transit and emergency service vehicles. These crossings
have been designed and implemented when new communities were added adjacent to existing communities.
Bus-only crossings ensure that auto traffic from an area is directed to major roadways and expressways
that are designed to handle large volumes of traffic. Bus-only crossings permit buses to provide direct,
efficient and attractive transit connections between communities on local and collector streets that are
not suitable for high traffic volumes.|
The original bus-only crossings consisted of a pit located in the
centre of a narrow roadway with wheel tracks on either side of the pit.
The dimensions of the pit will only allow passage by a vehicle with an oversized wheelbase.
New bus-only crossings use a gate that is activated by an approaching bus. Gates have been
added next to older bus-only crossings to allow buses to bypass the pit if a car becomes
stuck in the pit.|
|Bus-Only Road with Pit|| ||Bus-Only Gate|
|Large Signs at Approaches|| ||Bus Wheels Span Pit|
|Locations In Calgary:|
|The following map illustrates the locations of bus-only crossings in Calgary.|
|North Calgary Bus-Only Crossings:|
|#1 - Centre Street N & Beddington Trail|
In 1976 City Council approved the Northwest Roads Study (1976) that established a transportation network plan for Northwest Calgary that included freeways, expressways and major roads to serve future growth in this quadrant. The planned roadways included the “Northwest By-Pass” (now Stoney Tr), Beddington Expressway (now Beddington Trail), Sarcee Trail and the extension of 14 Street NW as roadways to serve north/south traffic. In 1977, the Beddington Policy Report and Design Brief established the future land use, servicing and transportation links for the area between 14 St NW and Deerfoot Trail. This undeveloped area was then located on Calgary’s northern boundary.
The plan for the Beddington area included a requirement for a bus-only crossing on Centre St N at the site of the future Beddington Trail crossing. The bus-only crossing was planned in recognition of the need to direct future traffic volumes from North Calgary towards new expressways and roads such as Deerfoot Tr, Beddington Tr, Beddington Bv, 14 St NW and Berkshire Bv. It was also recognized that the bus-only crossing would permit Centre St N and other roadways such as Edmonton Tr and 4 St NW to continue providing direct transit link s within the North Calgary corridor and to the downtown. The closure of Centre St N to auto traffic at Beddington Tr allowed Centre Street N, north of 80 Ave N (now Beddington Bv) to be constructed as a lower standard residential collector street. Today, this segment of Centre St N has a narrow right of way and serves only local homes fronting on the street and provides access to the Beddington Towne Centre.
The Centre Street N bus-only crossing now provides for a continuous and direct transit link between Calgary North and the downtown. Today, buses along Centre St N and 4 St NW carry over 30,000 daily transit passengers who value the reliable service and travel time savings that this transit priority feature provides. As well, it allows Centre St N to function as a major roadway serving local communities south of Beddington Tr.
#4 - 4 Street NE Bus-Only Crossings
A pair of bus-only crossings located on 4 Street NE at Beaverdam Road work in concert with the Centre St N bus-only crossing to limit auto traffic volumes on roadways south of Beddington Tr. As a result, buses can continue to offer direct service and time savings along 4 St NE and Edmonton Tr. As North Calgary developed the decision was made to end the major road function of Edmonton Tr at McKnight Bv. 4 Street NE, between McKnight Bv and 64 Av NE is a residential and commercial collector street with no ability to handle the kinds of traffic volume that would occur without the bus-only crossings.
Benefits For North Calgary
Today, the North Calgary communities south of Beddington Tr are home to about 120,000 residents. North of Beddington Tr, projected growth will see the area population rising from about 70,000 today to 190,000 when the city reaches 1.5 million residents. Without the Centre St N and 4 St NE bus-only crossing, traffic volumes on Centre St N, 4 St NW and Edmonton Tr would result in high levels of congestion, significant spill over traffic impacts for local communities and significant delays for transit services and local traffic along these corridors. Without the bus only crossings, roadway and transit infrastructure improvements required to handle the forecast traffic volumes and permit the continuation of effective transit service along this route would be very extensive.
Possible Future Bus-Only Crossing at Costello Blvd. & 58 St. SW
The 'Bus Corridor' sign posted at the
gated crossing on Costello BV/58 St SW has
been placed there to clarify that this
location is a possible future bus corridor.
The reason for constructing this facility
well ahead of it being required for transit
uses was to establish a connection for use
by emergency vehicles, since the closest
Fire Station is at 17 Ave and 45 St SW and
the nearest full traffic access is located
at Strathcona Bv and Strathcona Dr SW. Using
this access reduces response times to some
areas of Strathcona quite significantly. The
Strathcona community was designed with only
one full roadway access via this
intersection on Strathcona Bv. This crossing
was planned for use by bus and emergency
vehicles only. Regular automobile traffic
will not be able to use this crossing.
Based on community feedback during the design of bus routes to serve West LRT stations, Calgary Transit will only contemplate use of this bus only crossing if a significant number of community residents request Calgary Transit to do so.