Administration wants time to monitor effects of Broadway BRT

News source from CTV News

City administration recommends confirming Broadway Avenue as the final choice for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route for the Nutana neighbourhood – but to defer the choice between mixed traffic and dedicated bus lanes.

Administration on Wednesday released the options, along with its picks, for Nutana and downtown BRT designs as well as a downtown active transportation network.

“The BRT system and Downtown AT Network are about more than transit, cycling and walking,” director of transportation Jay Magus said in a news release.

“They are about making a transportation system that works for everybody as the city grows and more people need to safely and efficiently move around the same amount of space.”

Administration says Broadway Avenue is the most suitable corridor for BRT as it is a major destination and within a 400-metre walking distance to residential, commercial and retail uses. The corridor would connect about 54,000 residents with Broadway Avenue link to the downtown via Broadway Bridge.

Deferring a decision on configuration of the route would provide some of the functional benefits of BRT without the initial investment and construction, and would allow for monitoring its effects on traffic and business.

Downtown BRT based at First Avenue

Administration recommends a north-south BRT route connection on First Avenue. It would balance needs of the transit system, city-building and preserve Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue as Active Transit corridors.

The capital cost, mainly for BRT stations along the route, is estimated at $3.6 million.

Administration outlines several advantages – good reliability, good geographic coverage, and supporting a potential arena/convention centre locations – as well as several disadvantages including the northern station’s distance to employment and activity areas, the need for significant redevelopment on City and private land, and a loss of on-street parking.

Active Transit to run through Third Avenue

Administration recommends an Active Transportation network on Third Avenue, 19th Street and 23rd Street.

While it would mean a loss of around 67 parking spaces, this option would minimize the trade-offs between the variety of users and functions downtown streets serve, administration says.

City Council will receive the information at its April 29 meeting.

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