Future of Calgary's Crescent Heights road closure up in the air

WATCH: Most adaptive lanes in Calgary were shut down earlier in October. Those were roads that were partially closed to vehicles at the start of the pandemic to allow people to spread out. But as Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, one that is still open is causing some debate in the community.

Some people who live along Crescent Road in northwest Calgary are demanding the city open up part of a road closure that went into effect in April.

Crescent Road comes with some of the best views in Calgary, but six months ago, the city put up barriers banning vehicles from Centre A Street to 6A Street.

The move served two purposes: it provided space to be physically distant in an often-crowded destination for pedestrians and cyclists, and addressed community concerns about traffic and noise.

“It has really enlivened Crescent Road from a pedestrian perspective,” said John McDermid, director of the Crescent Heights Community Association. “You take the vehicles out of the equation and it really transformed that area. People love it.”

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But not everyone does. Some people living in the west end of the closure have sent letters to the city demanding it open because it’s left them with no parking in front of their homes.

“It’s a major inconvenience for those of us who need to have parking for visitors,” said Brian Lemke, who lives on Crescent Road.

He said it gets busy there during graduation season, Halloween and Canada Day but he can live with that.

“Like everybody else along this roadway, we realized that Crescent Road is a busy place and we accepted that. It just seems that some people have chosen not to,” Lemke said.

“I don’t know what the long-term solution is planned for this. But the current one just really doesn’t work.”

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Hugh Borgland recognizes that the traffic problems are worse on the east end of Crescent Road. He’s proposing the city divide the section by his home in three parts: a bike lane, one-way traffic and a parking lane.

“That way it will restrict traffic and everybody’s happy. We get to park. We can have friends and family come to visit us without having to walk a block or two,” said Borgland, who lives on Crescent Road.

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Ward 7 Coun. Druh Farrell said the city will look at Crescent Road block by block to see what can be done to meet most people’s needs, but she supports the idea of the shared road.

“It became a promenade and a place for kids to do street hockey, learn how to ride a scooter, learn how to bike. So it was an interesting dynamic that was happening up there. It was quite beautiful, actually,” Farrell said.

The Crescent Heights Community Association requested a six-month extension of the shared road back in August. The city transportation department is still evaluating that and no decision has been made yet on the future of Crescent Road.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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