Traffic Circle To Ease Glenmore Congestion

Posted by: Kenny Chan onSeptember 10th, 2009
Source: City of Calgary

Source: City of Calgary

When the Tsuu T’ina Nation voted against the Ring Road deal, The City of Calgary promised quick actions on a Plan B and today it has announced plans to alleviate the traffic congestion faced by commuters everyday along Glenmore Trail at the 37th street intersection. The solution, albeit a temporary one, is to no longer allow eastbound traffic on Glenmore to make a left turn to head north on 37th street. Instead, they will make a right turn to head south on 37th street where they will enter a roundabout / traffic circle to turn around and head north again. The City admits this is not a long term solution, but only one that will temporarily ease the congestion.

The good news is that construction will start as early as next week and it should not disrupt traffic as it is on a relatively quieter section of 37th street. The project is expected to take about a month to complete so we will not have to wait long to see how well it will work. The City estimates that the construction of the traffic circle and accompanying changes will cost about $250,000. A proper long term solution to the congestion in the area is a full interchange with a pricetag of $85M.

I see this as a great solution. It does not cost that much, and eliminating the left turn allows traffic on Glenmore to keep moving for an extra 20 seconds. Cars blocking the left lane trying to get into the turn lane will also no longer be an issue. However, an issue that may potentially arise is that the increased westbound traffic flow will now bottleneck at the Highway 8 intersection. The City and province needs to move quick on the 37th street Ring Road and in the mean time expand Glenmore capacity in case of any future construction or planning delays for any alternate routes.

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  1. Syritis says:

    GREAT. the 20second of left turn lights will be replaced by 20second longer that the north/south lights will have to be.

    Another very common decision from the city to waste more money. I would consider it a far better use of resources if they just started the bridges over 37st rather then pissing around with temporary solutions. in the 80’s the city spent millions of dollars to remove the traffic circles from Calgary, now they’re being put back in like they’re gonna solve all calgary problems.
    The biggest problem Calgary has is this idiot of a mayor we have.

  2. Isaiah says:

    Of course the armchair quarterbacks are the first to critique any decision the city makes. I’ll take the $250,000 1 month implementation over the $85M muli-year solution. Let’s see what happens with it first before we criticize it.

  3. Tomaz says:

    I agree with Isaiah

    Though the solution is very temporary, it is worth a shot at trying. If it would take 4 years and $85 Million to properly fix, what is $250K to temp fix it before implimenting hell at that intersection? Some beyond members spend that much on lunch!

    At least they are attempting to address the problem NOW rather than waiting for elections, approvals, funding, and support on the big project. Plus if it does work, it gives the city some time to come up with a plan of attack to get a proper intersection made.

  4. Syritis says:

    regardless if it actually lets half a dozen more cars through per light cycle. when the construction begins glenmore will be a 50km/h zone for a long as the city can make it last.less cars will be getting through, the rush hour will be longer and bronco won’t be around long enough to see the project started.

  5. ALEZ says:

    I Live in the apartments right beside the so called “traffic circle”.
    The traffic there and through lakeview drive is already really BAD!!!!
    I wish there was a better solution than bring the crashes and honking horns closer to my front door!
    thanx Calgary…keep up the pointless work!

  6. Tomaz says:

    All in the name of progress eh?

    I would love for you to come up with a better solution to ease traffic flow. If it takes a year to do the construction, so be it. nothing much you can do about it anyway. The construction is nessesary, and inevidable. Bitching about wont change anything.

  7. Me says:

    Im sure that the Grey Eagle casino will love the backed up cars who’re trying to make the U turn blocking their entrance. Also anyone who is trying to legitimately get to /from glenmore park will have to wait for the cars to go straight.

    In reality I think drivers should just start carpooling. Here’s an idea, if you fill all the seats in your car, the road can have (roughly) 4x the throughput.

  8. Tomaz says:

    In a perfect world, carpooling works. It also works for people who work at the same time and area. This is a great idea for downtown commuters. As for the rest of the world, I can’t fathom not being in control of my own transportation. From home, to work, to school, to coffee, back to home is my usual day. All of these locations are about 30 mins from each other. Both work and school have defined times on when I need to get there. Carpooling is not the most viable option for a lot of people with busy lives.

    Traffic is going to happen. City design was far behind trying to accommodate so many people. Now we need to play catch-up, and I am afraid that construction zones along Glenmore/Sarcee will be the only “real” solution.

  9. Mikayla says:

    I live down the street on 46th ave. The traffic through MY NEIGHBORHOOD is ridiculous. can we not find a way to channel traffic away from small neighborhood streets, rather then messing them up with traffic circles!! (i have yet to see a calgarian use on correctly!) i really hope something goes wrong and this doesnt happen down the street!

  10. ME says:

    Tomaz, I agree that currently our lifestyles prohibit carpooling from being a satisfactory solution for many. But I am also suggesting we change our lifestyle. Maybe if the true cost of gasoline and autos was borne by the consumer then we’d think twice about living 40kms from work or our favorite coffee house. Anyways, im as guilty as the next guy so bring out the orange cones!! :)

  11. Eric S says:

    ME has a point. It’s Calgary’s lifestyle that has to change. The thing I despise most about this city is that you HAVE to have a car around here. It’s what I consider to be the typical “American” ideology: why build up when you can build out?

  12. Syritis says:

    our lifestyle has also dictated that the city be built outward instead of upward like most high density cities and not something that can be changed so easily.
    I heard a rumor that every building in tokyo over 5 stories tall has either a cafe or restaurant. Unlike working in the foothills industrial park. huge area, yet i can only think of 7 food places. 4 of them are across the parking lot/street from each other.

  13. Well I really hope that this works out for you, here in South Africa our drivers really have no clue on how a traffic circle works, we have more accidents at these circles at any given time. Great post loving the site.

  14. Kenny Chan says:

    Traffic circle seems to have improved the flow a bit the last few times I drove by the area (around 6pm). Anyone else drive by there more often to shed some light on how well its working?

  15. Chris says:

    I dunno if you guys have done much travelling to other larger cities in the world, but honestly I’ll take the urban sprawl with it’s traffic problems any day over the increased population density/living in a tiny appartment that comes with the “lifestyle change”. I personally like having a back yard. And honestly, we love to bitch here, but really traffic here is not that bad at all compared to other cities I’ve driven in. Obviously there are things that need improvement, but by comparison YYC ain’t doing too bad imho.

  16. […] City took the first step to alleviate traffic pressures in the SW by constructing a roundabout on 37th street. Instead of allowing eastbound Glenmore Trail traffic to turn left across westbound […]

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