University of Calgary Landscape Master Plan Feedback on Pedestrian and Bicycle Circulation Strategy October 30, 2013 Bike Calgary would like to thank the University for the opportunity to comment on the pedestrian and cyclist circulation part of the Landscape Master Plan being prepared. We have canvassed members who cycle to or through the University area or campus. We are pleased to provide the following suggestions to the planning team, which is based on our members’ firsthand experience navigating the campus on bicycle.
General Feedback We suggest an overarching conceptual design that prioritizes active modes of travel on campus. Concentric zones of priority (core, inner ring, periphery) on campus could be applied to the layout of accommodations for various modes (e.g., locations of bicycle and motor vehicle parking) to encourage sustainable modes of travel, such as bicycling and walking. The core of the main campus where most student activity occurs should be identified as a pedestrian zone where pedestrian travel is emphasized. Bicycle traffic would be permitted, but calmed by pathway design and clear guidance from signage. Motor vehicle traffic would be permitted only when necessary (e.g., service vehicles, delivery vehicles, perhaps limited transit), but discouraged for commuters through street restrictions/closures. Outside the core, an inner ring area where pedestrian and bicycle travel are emphasized could be implemented. Commuter bike paths and endofcommute parking for bicycles would be located here (e.g., bicycle parking shelters). Attractive infrastructure for bicycles placed strategically in the innerring zone will naturally encourage cyclists to operate and store their bikes in this area, and not travel through the inner core zone except by foot. Motor vehicle traffic would be permitted in the inner ring, but roads would be calmed and speed limits could be reduced to 30 km/h to make them bicycle and pedestrian friendly. Little or no motor vehicle parking for commuters should be permitted in this zone to discourage vehicle traffic in this area. Bus transit stops could be located in this zone.
Outside the inner ring, the peripheral zones on campus would accommodate all modes of travel, and motor vehicle traffic would be best accommodated in this zone. Motor vehicle parking would be provided at the periphery of the campus, connected by pathways to the core. Clear entry points for pedestrians would also be provided, with proper guidance and street designs to minimize conflicts between all modes of travel. Accommodations for bicycles and bus transit should be implemented here also (e.g., bus pullouts or onstreet bicycle lanes).
Feedback on Pathway Design Generally, on campus, separation of pedestrians and cyclists is warranted when it is expected that high use or demand for higher cycling speeds would otherwise create conflicts. This means that in the core areas of campus, separate cycling paths could be implemented parallel to the planned major NS and EW pathway connections between TDFL, Kinesiology, MLB, MFH, Admin, SA and SB. Separation is most effective if the cycling part is clearly demarcated as such, preferably by a curb. If space restriction make separate cycling paths infeasible in the core of campus, signage and pavement markings should encourage safe sharing of pathways, but indicate that cycling is allowed. Cyclists and pedestrians can safely share the pathways, and the design of pathways and signage can encourage this in various ways. ● Signage that cyclists should yield to pedestrians and slow down in high use and potential conflict areas ● Signage pavement markings that indicate that pathways are shared (ie, cyclists are allowed) would be useful to increase awareness. Requiring cyclists to dismount or imposing a speed limit on cyclists on campus pathways is unnecessary and would likely be ineffective (compliance may be low or it will undermine the goal to encourage bicycling). Cyclists right now generally ride at an appropriate speed, cyclistpedestrian collisions are rare. Outside the core, separate bike pathways connecting buildings in the core of campus to campus entry points and destinations on the periphery (residences, Olympic Oval, Schulich and ISEEE, west campus and athletic fields) should be installed. Twinned pathways can be avoided here if good cyclefriendly onroad connections are available as an alternative. This, e.g., would be the case from the west (onroad connection via Collegiate Rd north of KNB and University Court south of KNA. From the east (LRT station) a combined solution could take cyclists from the overpass by pathway to Campus Dr, along Campus Pl to bike parking at SS, BI, and Admin.
Feedback on Cyclists On-Road Accommodation The preliminary design presented suggested cyclist will be accommodated along interior roads on pathways parallel to the carriageway and along the perimeter of campus (along 24 Ave NW). Such pathways may be a good addition to the pedestrian network on campus (e.g., facilitate joggers on campus, who now run on the lawn adjacent to Campus Drive). To make the interior
roads pedestrian friendly, however, they should all have at least sidewalks. Parallel pathways on interior roads are, however, substandard cycling infrastructure: ● Bicycle pathways along interior roads create conflicts for cyclists at every intersection, especially when bicycles are expected to ride against the flow of traffic (i.e. along the left side of the road instead of the right), increasing risk of collision and injury. Such infrastructure should be avoided in favour of onstreet bicycle accommodations. ● If volumes and vehicle speeds are low (or should be kept low by traffic calming measures and speed limits), best bicycle facility design practice indicates separation of modes is not necessary. ● Cyclists already use the campus roads and will continue to use them even if pathways are available. Roads have more consistent snow & ice control (SNIC), higher cycling speeds are possible, are more direct, and there is less conflict with pedestrians. ● Pathway/roadway intersections are dangerous. Many seasoned cyclists will therefore avoid pathways if a directon road connection is available. Physical separation (parallel pathway) is necessary only when the road carries high volume, high speed traffic (as e.g., 32 Ave and University Drive). When cyclists are separated from motor vehicle traffic on pathways, special attention must be paid to intersection designs. We therefore strongly recommend that cyclists be accommodated by adding bike lanes on interior roads where the carriageway is wide enough (10 m for two travel lanes at 3.5 m and 2 bike lanes at 1.5 m). At a minimum, these are: ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
Campus Drive Campus Gate University Way Collegiate Road Collegiate Blvd West Campus Drive West Campus Blvd
If the road is wide enough, a painted buffer, bollards, or a curb separating the bike lane from motor vehicle traffic should be installed. Bicycle sharrow pavement markings together with “Share the Road Single File” signage should be placed on all other roadways. A blanket 30 km speed limit on campus would drastically increase safety with basically no impact on travel times as distances are short. Chicanes, traffic diversions, raised crosswalks, and narrowed roadways (e.g., by installing bike lanes) will effectively curb speed as well. Bike lanes provide the added benefit of acting as an effective traffic calming measure, which will
help alleviate the problems with speeding especially on Campus Dr between ICT and BI. The following picture shows how much space there is on Campus Dr: the line of debris is to the right of moving traffic.
Feedback on Routes to and Entrances into Campus Main cyclist entry points to campus are (clockwise from NW): ● ●
Along 32 Ave regional pathway from the west (Market Mall) 32 Avenue and 37 Street NW (bike lane on 37 St connects to Varsity Dr and 40 Ave/Brisebois bike routes) ● 32 Avenue/Crowchild Tr bridge (connects to Charleswood Dr bike route)
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LRT Station bridge to Capitol Hill Crescent NW (main entrance point from east, connects to Brentwood, Morley Tr bike route, Confederation Park, 24 Ave bicycle connector east to 20 Ave and 10 St, 19 St bike route, 22 St NW overpass over 16 Ave) 24 Avenue and Crowchild Tr NW (connection to 24 Ave bicycle connector and Capitol Hill Crescent bike route on the east, pathway/desire line behind church parking lot to lot 32) 24 Avenue and Campus Gate 24 Avenue and University Drive NW (connects to Foothills Hospital via Usher Rd/pathway along University Dr and Unwin Rd/Uxbridge Dr/29 St) 24 Avenue and Udell Rd/University Gate (connects to Foothills via Udell Rd and Uxbridge Dr/29 St) 24 Avenue and Collegiate Rd (pathway south to West Campus Blvd)
Future connection opportunities: ● ●
32 Avenue and 33 St NW (to Research Park) 32 Avenue and 31 St NW (to Brentwood LRT and University City development)
Long range plans for cycling improvements and development around campus: ● ● ● ● ●
24 Avenue (east and west of Crowchild) may be outfitted with bike lanes, which will increase bicycle traffic from the west and southwest Shaganappi Trail corridor improvement plans include a pedestrian/bicycle connection to Montgomery at West Campus Drive. Planned cycling improvements in Varsity and Brentwood will increase traffic from the north and northwest The planned development at Stadium Shopping Centre will mean higher traffic to/from campus from Uxbridge Road Planned redevelopment of McMahon Stadium lands would increase foot and bike traffic to/from the south side of McMahon Stadium via the west sidewalk of Crowchild Tr, through the McMahon parking lot, and along University Dr Planned development of the West Campus
Recommendations The campus bicycle network must take into account all entry points and keep in mind probable future cycling traffic increase due to significant development and planned increases in bicycle infrastructure around the University. Special emphasis should be placed on connecting the campus to Foothills Hospital. No marked & signed route currently exists, but all three connections Usher Rd, Udell Rd, and the pathway along the west side of University Heights have potential and can be formalized into bike and pedestrian connections between Foothills and the main campus as well as the Children’s
Hospital and West Campus developments in concert with the City of Calgary. The University should extend the pathway along the west side of West Campus Blvd all the way to 24 Ave/Childrens Way to provide a direct connection between Foothills and the Children’s Hospital. Coordinate with City of Calgary in planning of facilities along/entering campus from 24 Avenue and 32 Avenue, including: ●
Propose cyclist/pedestrian activated signals (new/upgrade from pedestrian corridor) at ○ 24 Avenue and Campus Gate ○ 24 Avenue and University Gate/Udell Rd ○ 32 Avenue at 33 Street ○ 32 Avenue at 37 Street Provide access to/from 37 St bike lane to regional pathway along 32 Ave by providing curb ramp, widened sidewalk, crosswalk/crossbike on east side of intersection Improve access to campus from 32 Ave/Charleswood Dr bridge by formalizing cyclist access through intersection (mitigate channelized right turns on east and west side of bridge) and continue pathway treatments to Charleswood Dr. Provide safe access for cyclists to Brentwood mall parking lot and to Brentwood Rd (bike lanes on Brentwood Rd are planned, will provide connection to University City and Brentwood LRT). Work with City of Calgary to improve 24 Ave/Crowchild intersection. It is currently dangerous and very unfriendly to pedestrians and cyclists. ○ Cyclists approaching from the south on Capitol Hill Crescent have to cross at the intersection, which means crossing two uncontrolled channelized right turns (Crowchild Tr NB to 24 Ave EB and 24 Ave WB to Crowchild Tr NB). A setback pedestrian corridor/crossbike with activated signals connecting Capitol Hill Cr and 24 St would be ideal. ○ Paving the desire path from the crosswalk on the NE corner to Capitol Hill Crescent and installing a curb ramp would be a stopgap measure. ○ Cyclists approaching from east on 24 Ave have to navigate a difficult 5way intersection on the east side of Crowchild, and west of Crowchild have two lanes of moving traffic hoping to pass on the left and traffic turning west from Crowchild passing on the right in a rightturn only lane. ○ Formalize pedestrian/cyclist access to lot 32 by providing paved connection from 24 Ave/Crowchild trail intersection NW corner.
The regional pathway on the south side of 24 Ave is poorly signed, ends at Crowchild, has no clear connection to/through the McMahon stadium parking lot and the pedestrian overpass at Banff Trail station. The parking lot also has no designated connection for cyclists between the Banff Tr bridge and University Dr. This is University owned land and should be included in the pedestrian and bicycle planning.
Improve access from regional pathway along 32 Ave at Campus Dr entrance to campus: pave desire lines parallel to Campus Dr to pathway under +15 between ICT and ENA, provide cyclists with ramps and ROW to transition from 24 Ave pathway to Campus Dr. Improve Varley Dr for cyclists by installing pavement markings or converting to Woonerf. Improve Jackson Pl for pedestrians and cyclists (convert to woonerf) and provide direct, paved cyclist access south to Collegiate Rd. This would provide a direct route from the Children’s Hospital, future West Campus development west of University Heights, and the pathway connection to Foothills (also residences on the south side of campus and the Olympic Oval) to the 37 St bike lane and the regional pathway to Market Mall. Separate cyclists and pedestrians at the LRT footbridge. The current walkway between the LRT bridge and the pathway on the south side of Bio Sciences is already not wide enough to handle the volume, and the crosswalk is poorly designed. This is one area where separating cyclists and pedestrians makes sense, especially as many cyclists do not want to cross at the crosswalk but instead want to turn onto Campus Dr. So: build pathways parallel to current walkway from base of spiral ramp on the SE side to connect to University Dr at Campus Place on the south side. Build “crossbike” at the intersection to prioritize cyclist access across Campus Dr. Build another pathway from the NE side of the bike/wheelchair ramp pathway going north and to Bio Sciences.
Feedback on Conflict Zones Channelized right turns pose a very high safety risk to pedestrians and cyclists as they encourage speeding and drivers usually just watch for cross traffic from the left and not cyclists or pedestrians approaching from the right. They should be removed on campus, or, where not, conflicts should be mitigated with signage and special paint in conflict zones. ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
24 Ave WB to Campus Gate NB Campus Gate NB to Campus Drive WB 32 Ave EB to Crowchild Tr SB Collegiate Blvd and 32 Ave 39 St NB to 32 Ave EB Collegiate Blvd SB to Collegiate Rd WB 24 Ave and Collegiate Rd
When bike lanes and routes on campus roads are identified, places where bike lanes are crossed by parkade or surface lot traffic (e.g., exit of Arts Parkade), the bike lane should be painted green and bike stencils should be applied. High pedestrian and bike use areas should, whenever possible, be pedestrianized. Currently only
the section of Campus Dr south of ISEEE is designed that way. We recommend similar treatments for University Court between Hotel Alma and Kinesiology, along the Rosza Centre and the loop at the University Theatre complex. Where pathways enter or cross roadways, landscaping and vegetation has to be planned with sightlines in mind.
Feedback on Bike Parking Currently used racks are substandard. ● ● ●
Inverted triangle racks do not fit all bikes, encourage unsafe locking (front wheel only) Comb racks do not support bicycle frame, fit few bicycles, hard to lock bike securely Newer staple racks (e.g., grey flared staples on east side of MLT) are too narrow to allow proper locking, often installed too close to buildings/walls ● Coinoperated locks are never used Bike racks should be standard staple style/invertedU style to support bicycles securely and enable locking of frame and wheels to rack Bike racks should be located close to building entrances (e.g., there are no bike racks near SW entrance to MacHall) Bike racks even if just one or two should be available at every building entrance for convenience Bike racks should be located in welllit, visible areas (to curb theft, but also to improve safety of cyclists) Preliminary plans indicate new buildings/parkades at the locations of lots 11/12, 22, and 32. While secure bike parking is an important addition to bicycle facilities on campus, locating it so far away from the centre of campus will cause them to be underutilized. In short: few people will bike to campus in order to park in a corner and then walk 510 minutes to their building. Some bike commuters strongly desire shower and change facilities near secure bike parking, and these are only available at Kinesiology. Heated (indoor) bike cages would encourage winter cycling. Secure bicycle parking facilities would likely increase cycling rates especially among faculty and staff as many cyclists are very concerned about possible theft of all or part of their bicycle. We recommend: ● Investigating the possibility of installing bike cages in parkades, with separate entrances provided for cyclists. ● Conducting a comprehensive survey of oncampus building basements to identify underutilized space that can be converted to secure bicycle parking facilities. Conversion
priority should be given to central buildings and other buildings located near major activity centres, buildings with loading docks that can facilitate easy access for cyclists, and buildings that can be retrofitted to provide direct access to basement bicycle parking. ● Plan to build dedicated bike stations close to major destinations. Class II bike parking should, whenever possible, be located under +15s or under shelters to protect bicycles from rain and snow Provide safe and convenient access to bike parking locations: ● Paved surface and curb ramps so cyclists can ride from road to bike racks ● Paved surface for cyclist to walk to building entrances. Many bike racks are currently located in difficultto reach spots, cyclists have to jump curbs, cross grass or mud, or climb stairs to reach them. In the winter they get walled in by plowed snow and area around them is not cleared of snow and ice.
Feedback on Wayfinding We understand a project is under way to provide wayfinding on campus walkways. We recommend incorporating a special bicycle aspect into the wayfinding project to accommodate cyclists who travel on campus roads. If an onstreet route is preferable to a pathway route, separate bicycle signs should indicate that cyclist and pedestrian routes are different. (Eg at the north gate at ICT, pedestrians would be directed to walk through ES and ST to SS and BI, but cyclists should take the bike lane along Campus Dr. Many pathways deadend at buildings, but this is often not obvious because building entrances are obscured. Wayfinding signs should indicate if a pathway provides an opportunity for cyclists to continue. Work with the City of Calgary to provide wayfinding in surrounding communities: signs indicating “this way to UofC” on bike routes around campus, just as there are signs to the UofC on all major roads around campus.
Prepared by Darren Bender, Geography [email protected]
Richard Zach, Philosophy [email protected]
on behalf of Bike Calgary