Now the subject of a formal application for a development permit, the Stadium Shopping Centre redevelopment in northwest Calgary could be one step closer to reality. That hasn’t stopped a group of concerned University Heights residents from expressing their concern that the massive project, as is, will create significant traffic flow concerns in the community. Spearheaded by four professors at the University of Calgary, the group recently issued a 15-page report catalogues a number of issues that are being supported by the University Heights Community Association. CREB®Now takes a look at some of those concerns.
According to the report, “serious traffic congestion problems” will accompany the proposed development. Even today, the study’s authors reference serious congestion problems at the site during peak periods, with peak traffic flows expected to rise by 39 per cent on Uxbridge Drive N.W. and 56 per cent on Unwin Road N.W. as a result of the new development.
With the proposed development sitting just across the road from the Foothills Medical Centre, heavy congestion could slow the arrival of emergency vehicles into the community of University Heights and Stadium Shopping Centre, or ambulances or fire trucks to Foothills Medical Centre, said the report’s authors.
- Future Development
Along with the proposed 800,000-square-foot redevelopment of the Stadium Shopping Centre – which includes residential, retail, hotel and office space – the area is expected to soon see the development of a new cancer centre, the construction of the University District project, as well as projected enrolment growth at the University of Calgary of potentially upward of 10,000 students (plus additional faculty and support staff) – all of which could place further strain on area infrastructure.
According to the report, insufficient parking stalls at Stadium Shopping Centre, combined with high parking prices, will encourage drivers to cruise University Heights in search for curbside parking, thus congesting area streets. The report’s authors note several community streets are already heavily used for parking. Without future parking restrictions, more curbside parking will be utilized by residents or visitors, and by people who visit or work at the nearby medical and cancer centre.
Particularly noteworthy is that many children living in the rental housing and apartment accommodations presently cross Uxbridge Drive N.W. and the site to attend University School in the morning and return home in the afternoon. The report noted that following the shopping centre’s redevelopment, many of these children will utilize an east-west crosswalk at the roundabout and internal roads and pathways.