Calgary City News Blog
 

Calgary City News Blog
 

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  • Venture into your yard & check the health of trees 27 March 2015 As temperatures warm up, it’s time to venture into your backyard and check your trees for damage that may still be there from the September snow storm last fall. Right now we estimate three quarters of the tree damage is located on private property.



    Here are a few things to look for when caring for your trees:
    • Comply with the Alberta elm pruning ban between March 31 and September 30. Alberta is one of the last geographic areas in North America to be free of Dutch elm disease. Elm trees are also one of the few types of shade trees that grow in Calgary so it is important to protect them.
    • Consider all options before removing your trees. Tree have many benefits such as providing shade and cooling, slowing down storm water runoff, increasing property values and helping to keep people healthy and happy.
      • Removing entire trees or large limbs can change the wind dynamics in a location or within the tree.
      • Do not take the drastic step of “topping” your tree in an effort to control its size. Topping is the drastic cutting back of major branches. Topping may destroy the natural form of the tree and encourages the tree to put our weakly attached shoots which are more prone to damage.
    • Practice safety first. Start with issues that will lead to major problems if ignored. Look for potential hazards such as major limbs that are still hanging in the canopy of the tree and/or trunks of trees that are split. These issues should be addressed as soon as possible, especially if there is a risk to injure people or damage property.
    • Know your skill level. Consult with an International Society Arborist (ISA) certified arborist or a tree care company that employs ISA certified arborists. This could apply if trees need work in their canopy, large limbs need to be removed or specialized equipment is needed.

    It’s important to look out for our trees not only for safety purposes but because they contribute many environmental, social, and economical benefits. Trees are one of a few assets that appreciate in value over time.

    For more information on supporting your trees and recovering from the September 2014 Snow Storm, visit calgary.ca/trees.
  • Unplug for Earth Hour on March 28 27 March 2015
    Participate in Earth Hour with The City of Calgary by turning off your lights and electronics and attending Calgary Unplugged, a free family event at Olympic Plaza. The event runs from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and features kid-friendly activities, free hot chocolate in compostable cups, an LED lantern parade, and music and lighting generated by pedal-power bikes.

    Earth Hour is a global initiative to raise awareness about how energy use contributes to climate change and ways we can all take action to reduce our impact.

    Each year The City participates by shutting off non-essential and feature lighting in various buildings and bridges. On March 28, lights will turn off at 8:30 p.m. for one hour at:

    • The Municipal Building and old City Hall
    • Calgary Public Building
    • Manchester Centre Building E
    • Ad Valorem Place
    • Whitehorn Multi-Services Centre
    • all fire stations
    • Centre Street Bridge
    • the 4th Street S.E. underpass
    • the Riverwalk area near Prince’s Island Park
    • Langevin Bridge

    The City’s commitment to reducing energy use in its operations goes far beyond Earth Hour. Some of the work underway includes converting over 80,000 community streetlights to more energy efficient LED bulbs. Additionally, The City is conducting a pilot to automatically power down desktop computers during non-work hours. If the pilot proves successful, a corporate-wide program could save enough electricity to power over 340 households per year.

    Join The City and go beyond the hour by taking action to reduce your energy use every day. Visit Calgary.ca for simple energy saving tips.
  • Green Line SE...Demystified! 25 March 2015 The City hosted three public workshops from March 10-12 about the Green Line SE Transitway route and development around transit stations. Approximately 400 people participated in the workshops. If you missed these sessions, check out the online survey - available until April 1.

    Since the workshops, we’ve been hearing a lot of great questions about the project. Read on for further information about sections of the Green Line route that are currently in discussion.

    Council has already approved the Green Line route alignment, so why is The City looking at possible alternate routes?

    The plans for the Green Line SE were started in the 1980’s – so when Council approved funding for the Green Line SE in 2013, they asked The City to revisit the plans to make sure they work for Calgary today and in the future.

    The project team looked at opportunities for improvement along the route. We focused on identifying areas where the route could be better integrated into communities, and potentially plant the seed for development around transit stations.

    What areas of the route are currently up for discussion?

    Three locations are currently under review for the Green Line SE route alignment:
    • 11 Street S.E. in Ramsay
    • Ogden Road
    • 24 Street S.E. in Quarry Park

    Why do we want to hear from SE Calgary about the three routing options?

    We see opportunities to build a more integrated service that accommodates all modes of transportation, serves the community, and encourages liveable neighbourhoods. The alternate routes offer better community access to stations, seamless integration with local streets and sidewalks, and potential for future development. However, we also recognize that we need to consider the trade-off’s in terms of traffic and land impacts. We want to understand how the communities along the Green Line feel about the alternate routes, and where they see issues and opportunities.

    Why are we looking at alternate routes in Ramsay?

    The current Council-approved Green Line Southeast alignment in Ramsay has a number of challenges, including space constraints between Canadian Pacific Rail (CP) tracks and the neighbouring historical resource buildings. We are currently looking at this option in more detail to determine how/if this route can work within this space.

    What opportunities does The City see if the Green Line runs down 11 Street S.E. in Ramsay?

    Ramsay is a beautiful character community, and we believe the Transitway can offer a unique chance to extend this quality to 11 Street S.E. One of the City’s tools create more liveable neighbourhoods is the Complete Streets Guide, and the project team sees opportunities to enhance the street by tying into store fronts and businesses, and creating a pleasant and safe environment with green space, upgraded sidewalks, and better connections for pedestrians and cyclists.

    Why is The City looking at an alternate route in Ogden?

    The current Council approved Green Line SE alignment in Ogden shows the route running parallel to CP land. The Transitway would be on the east side of Ogden Road and would transition to the backside of the community of Ogden, extending from Lynnwood (near CN bridge crossing) through to South Hill. This option works well from a transit speed point-of-view, but misses the opportunity for community building and/or integration with the station.

    Similar to the reasoning for an alternate route in Inglewood/Ramsay, we believe that there might be an opportunity to run the Transitway along Odgen Road to provide a more easily accessible station in the heart of the community. We are also looking at a hybrid option which would involve keeping the Green Line next to CP Rail with a station that fronts on Ogden Road. These could also potentially trigger revitalization and further development of Ogden Road

    When will the Green Line SE route be finalized?

    The route recommendations will be presented to Council in October 2015. The City will report back to communities with the final recommendations in September, prior to meeting with Council. Recommendations will be made based on input from the public, the development community, and The City’s internal groups (Transit, Planning, etc).

    Visit calgary.ca/greenline for more information.
  • World's first fully integrated research facility opens in Pine Creek wastewater plant 17 March 2015 Embedded within The City’s Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, a brand new, real-time, world class research facility has opened - Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA).

    The ACWA facility, with additional locations on the University of Calgary campus, is the only fully integrated research facility located within an active industrial wastewater treatment plant that will enable world class research that cannot be completed anywhere else.

    Students from the University of Calgary will work with City staff from multiple disciplines to develop new methods of wastewater testing, treatment technologies, and potential impacts on public health and the environment.

    "Water is our most precious resource. Every community along the Bow River is responsible for keeping it healthy," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi at the ACWA opening. "Developing wastewater treatment technologies that can improve the ecosystem and protect human health is not just important for Albertans – it’s also a global issue. ACWA represents our commitment to be responsible stewards of the environment and demonstrates we are good custodians of the public money invested in research."

    Manager of Water Quality Services, Nancy Stalker adds, "The City monitors emerging trends and regulations as well as pilot technologies to protect public health and the environment. Scientific findings are helping support our decision- making for our assets and natural environment."



    The ACWA research facility is result of the Urban Alliance collaborative partnership between The City of Calgary and University of Calgary that ensures Calgary and Calgarians directly benefit from applied research. The Urban Alliance specifically promotes and expedites the seamless transfer of cutting-edge research between The City and the University work on a wide range of issues (including water) that may impact our citizens and the community.

    Through other strategic partnerships with Water Research Foundation, Water Environment Research Foundation, Canadian Water Network and ACWA, The City of Calgary works as part of a greater team to ensure safe and sustainable water quality and quantity for our citizens.
    • Remembering Calgary’s Irish-born Councillors 17 March 2015 Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural and religious celebration held March 17 in honour of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

      To celebrate, we’re taking a trip back in time to visit some famous City Council members. Their stories are fascinating: a man elected mayor eight times, the founder of Riley & McCormick, a woman elected into Council in 1936 for three consecutive terms, and an Alderman who landed himself in jail for his beliefs.

      Read more about Calgary’s Irish-born Councillors below, information courtesy of The City's Corporate Record’s Archives.

      Andrew Davison

      Andrew Davison
      City of Calgary Alderman, 1922 - 1926
      City of Calgary Alderman, 1929
      City of Calgary Mayor, 1930 - 1945

      In 1921, Mr. Davison was elected to Calgary City Council as a Labour Alderman. After serving four terms as Alderman from 1922 to 1926 and in 1929, he was elected Mayor. He was re-elected Mayor another seven times, serving a total of sixteen years as the City's Chief Magistrate, a record unequalled before or since. During his term the ambitious and controversial Glenmore Dam water system was completed, as well as additions to the General Hospital. He is also credited with sound management of The City's finances during the Great Depression.



      Eneas Edward McCormick


      Eneas Edward McCormick
      City of Calgary Alderman, 1925 - 1930

      Does Mr. McCormick’s name sound familiar? It should. In 1902 he and W.J. Riley founded Riley & McCormick Limited. Over the 45 years that he was president of the company, he served on many boards. He rode in the first Stampede Parade in 1912 and was an associate director for the Stampede from 1913 – 1944. He also served as the ‘model’ for the Boer War Monument which still stands in Calgary’s Central Memorial Park. McCormick served three consecutive two-year term

      s as an Alderman on City Council. For part of that time he was the Chairman of the Legislative Committee of Council.


      Rosamond Elizabeth Owens Wilkinson

      Rosamond Elizabeth Owens Wilkinson
      City of Calgary Alderman, 1936 - 1943
      City of Calgary Alderman, 1944 - 1951
      City of Calgary Alderman, 1952 - 1955

      After studying nursing in England, Rosamond Wilkinson immigrated to the United States to be with her brother. She met and married her husband and moved to Saskatchewan. In 1927, they moved to Calgary. In 1935, Mrs. Wilkinson elected to City Council. She was re-elected for continuous two-year terms through to 1955. Upon her retirement from Council, a civic banquet and public reception were held in her honour, which was highly unusual for civic politicians. She also served as a social credit MLA from 1944 to 1963.



      Patrick Denis Lenihan
      Patrick Denis Lenihan
      City of Calgary Alderman, 1939 - 1940

      Patrick Lenihan came to Canada in 1922 and worked at various jobs across the country before arriving in Calgary in 1931. In 1932 he spent a year in jail for union activities. A self-avowed Communist, he was elected to Council in 1938 for a two-year term. Alderman Lenihan was the only acknowledged Communist to ever hold office. In his capacity as Alderman, he welcomed King George VI and Queen Mary upon their arrival in Calgary during their Royal Tour in 1939. Controversial and politically outspoken, Mr. Lenihan was charged with sedition (the crime of saying, writing, or doing something that encourages people to disobey their government) during the 1930s, but was later acquitted. On June 11, 1940, he was arrested by the RCMP for his opposition to the war, and interned at a camp in Kananaskis until his release in 1942. After his release, Lenihan was worked with The City in Parks & Recreation Department. He became the President of the Civic Employees Union (CEU). He founded the NUPE (National Union of Public Employees) which was the predecessor of CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees).

    • Small business continuity plays a part in Calgary’s resiliency 17 March 2015 Did you know The City of Calgary, in conjunction with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, has developed a business continuity handbook to help guide small business through their planning? Small businesses (those with 50 employees or less) are encouraged to download the materials and help increase their resiliency, which helps increase the resiliency of Calgary as a whole.

      Small businesses are an important part of our Calgary community. They employ twice as many people in Calgary than large businesses, and account for almost 40 per cent of Calgary’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

      What is business continuity?

      Business continuity is about understanding the risks your business could face, and developing strategies and plans to ensure continued operations during and after a disruption. In the past two years, almost 64 per cent of businesses have reported an interruption, which impacts business operations, employees and citizens.

      Proper planning will allow you to analyze and understand which products and services are critical to your business operations and will introduce you to the risks and hazards to which your business may be vulnerable.

      The handbook and additional worksheets, including templates, are available on calgary.ca/cema.

      Emergency Business Contact database

      Created by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, the Emergency Business Contact Database helps facilitate the communication and collaboration between the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) and the business community. During an emergency or disaster that could impact your business it is important to get timely information regarding business continuity and about the emergency or disaster as it is known.

      Small businesses can register on the Emergency Business Contact database.

      Business Continuity Week

      Business Continuity Week runs from March 16 to 20, 2015, and is the perfect time for businesses to assess their own plans. Visit Calgary.ca/cema or calgarychamber.ca for more information.
    • Prune your elm trees before April 1 to prevent the spread of Dutch elm disease 13 March 2015
      Our current warm weather is a great time to get out and check any elm trees on your property. Did you know you can only prune elm trees between October and March? A provincial pruning ban exists between April 1 and September 30 to discourage pruning elm trees at the wrong time.

      This is to help prevent the spread of Dutch elm disease. Dutch elm disease is spread by elm bark beetles attracted to the freshly pruned trees. Pruning when these beetles are not active helps reduce the risk of your tree attracting beetles and getting the disease.


      Here are a few tips to help care for your elm trees:
      • Elm materials should be disposed of at City landfills – stored elm firewood is an ideal breeding ground for elm bark beetles.
      • All trees should be watered every two to three weeks from April to mid-August, then again in the fall before freezing. Trees need much more water than lawns do. 
      • Ensure your trees are mulched properly. Mulch should be applied no deeper than four inches, not applied against the trunk of the tree (four inches away) and spread out as far as permitted. Mulch adds nutrients to the soil, conserves moisture and regulates soil temperatures. All good things for roots. 
      • And remember, prune your trees ONLY between October 1 and March 31 when the beetle that spreads the disease is not active. 
      Keep your trees free of DED
      Since Dutch elm disease (DED) was first introduced to North America from Europe in 1930, it has destroyed millions of elm trees. Alberta is one of the last geographic areas in North America to be free of DED and we want to keep it that way. Elm trees are also one of the few types of shade trees that grow in Calgary so it is important to protect them.

      The unseasonal snowstorm last September caused significant damage to our urban forest. Preliminary estimates indicate 50 per cent of the 500,000 public trees and 1.5 million private trees have sustained damage from the snowstorm. This means there are three times as many damaged trees on private property as there are on City land. Recovering from this storm will require us to look after our trees together.

      For more information on helping your trees recover from the 2014 September snowstorm visit calgary.ca/trees or view one of our other videos on tree health. 


      Submitted by Althea Livingston, Parks
    • Saving money by recycling handrails 11 March 2015
      Construction taking place at the 1 Street SW underpass
      Construction on the 1 Street SW pedestrian underpass is well underway with demolition work now complete on the west side walkway of the underpass.

      Through a collaborative design process, improvements will be completed on both the underpass structure and the pedestrian environment extending from 9 to 10 Avenue SW, including: improved lighting, new sidewalks and guardrails, integrated art and way-finding elements, water mitigation and painting of retaining walls and structure beams.

      Prior to the start of construction, City staff inspected the existing handrails of the pedestrian walkway and determined that they could be recycled and reused in other locations. Instead of the material being demolished, approximately 70 metres of steel handrail was salvaged from the west side walkway. The City believes there is an equivalent amount on the east side walkway that will be removed when the contractor moves over to that side later in the spring.

      Salvaged handrails from the 1 Street SW underpass

      The railing is currently being stored in The City’s bridge maintenance compound. One option being considered is to use the material to upgrade pedestrian railings at other Canadian Pacific Rail underpasses.

      Reusing the salvaged handrails should result in an estimated cost savings of $50,000.

      The 1 Street SW enhancement project is part of a broader underpass improvement program by The City to improve the pedestrian environment and underpass connections between the Beltline and downtown communities. The 1 Street SW underpass was prioritized for improvement because it has the highest pedestrian use of all Centre City underpasses, is an important gateway connection, and because of its significance as a heritage structure.

      To learn more about this project, please visit Calgary.ca 
    • Safety Expo makes learning fun 11 March 2015 Visitors to our Municipal Building Atrium on March 11 and 12 will notice a bit more activity than usual as we welcome 3,600 students for the 12th annual Safety Expo.

      Calgary Fire Department mascot "Sparky"
      Safety at home, school and play

      The kids are here to learn about hazards posed by fire, electricity and household poisons. They learn ways to protect themselves from vulnerable situations and how to stay safe online.

      They also pick up practical skills like bike and tire repair. And they learn about social responsibility through presentations on anti-bullying and information on ways to positively influence their communities.

      Power in partnerships

      Safety Expo continues to be a success because of our partners and volunteers. The event is led by the Safety Expo organizing committee made up of City of Calgary and non-City event partners.

      Student transportation to and from the event is free courtesy of Enmax. Volunteers share their time before, during and after the event to ensure all students have a safe and enjoyable time while they learn more about safety.

      Learn more about our partners.

      Submitted by Donna Bertrand, Community Services and Protective Services
    • City accepting online payments for new home construction permits 10 March 2015 Calgary’s high volume home builders will be spending less time at our counter, starting now.

      Thanks to the latest online payment option offered by The City, they can apply for new home building permits and complete the process by paying for Single Construction Permits with a major credit card. Those paying online will also obtain an immediate partial permit, so they can begin construction right away without having to visit our service counter.

      These improvements are part of The City’s Residential ePermit initiative, where we’re working to make it faster and easier to apply for residential permits, book inspections and pay for those services online.



      “Accepting these permit payments online is an exciting first step for The City and its customers,” says Henry van Aken, Manager of Customer Advisory Services. “We’ve now completely eliminated the need for these home builders to travel to City Hall, find parking, and stand in line at our counter. More importantly, we’ve succeeded in making it faster and easier to do business with The City, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

      The City started by adding its largest volume permit application to the web, the Single Construction Permit, and worked closely with members of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Calgary Region to help develop and test the online tool. Since April 2013, more than 4,000 new home construction permits and 10,000 paperless inspections have been booked online by home builders.

      For more information about the Residential ePermit initiative and details about the new online payments, visit calgary.ca/epermit.
    • Green Line South East Transitway March Workshops 9 March 2015 The Green Line Southeast Transitway, a dedicated road that will be used exclusively for public transit, is the newest planned addition to Calgary’s transit network. We are hosting workshops in March to hear your opinions about how the Transitway can be best placed in our communities.

      Construction on the first 10 kilometres of the Green Line Southeast Transitway is slated to begin in 2017. The Transitway will eventually run for 26 kilometres, from 4 Street downtown to the community of Seton.


      Participants for March Workshops Needed

      The workshops taking place from March 10-12 will present possible alternate routes and discuss the opportunities, benefits and impacts of the Transitway to each community. This is your opportunity to have a sit-down discussion with the project team, discuss the route options, ask questions and identify issues.

      There are three specific areas where The City is looking at making route refinements, including 11 Street SE, Ogden Road, and 24 Street SE.

      Location

      Date/Time

      Glenmore Inn – 2720 Glenmore Tr SE

      Tuesday, March 10.

      Workshop runs from 6:30-9 p.m.

      Cranston Century Hall – 11 Cranarch Rd SE

      Wednesday, March 11.
      Workshop runs from 6:30-9 p.m.

      Venue 1008 – Inglewood 1008, 14th St SE Access from 14th St, off 9 Ave

      Thursday, March 12

      Workshop runs from 6:30-9 p.m.


      The feedback collected at the sessions will be one of the factors used to help inform the recommendations for the final Green Line SE route.

      Recap of January Public Information Sessions

      In January, we hosted three Public Information Sessions to reintroducing the Green Line Southeast Transitway project. Over 600 people attended the sessions and overall, public reception was positive. Enthusiasm was strong for the project to move forward and citizens expressed a distinct desire for low-profile stations that could be functional in Calgary’s ever-changing weather. Many attendees also expressed that route accessibility for surrounding communities was a top priority.

      For more information, visit us at www.calgary.ca/greenline and follow us on Twitter at @yyctransport, #GreenLineSE.
    • Setting the clock "Back to the Future" 6 March 2015
      Photo credit: Adelaide Screenwriter
      In the 1985 film, Dr. Emmett Brown moved the hands of time on the Hill Valley clock tower and blasted "Back to the Future" - landing in 2015.

      In today's 2015, people don't travel by hoverboard or use future flux capacitors and we still have to remember to set our non-smartphone clocks ahead one hour for daylight saving time.

      This Sunday, as we prepare for the time change, City staff will make their weekly trek to the top of Old City Hall tower to twist the hands of time.

      Check out this video to see how it’s done:



    • Calgary Board of Education By-election 2 March 2015 On April 13, 2015 a By-election will be held for a Calgary Board of Education Public School Trustee position in Wards 11 and 13. Interested candidates can get information books and nomination papers at the Election and Information Services office at 1103 – 55 Avenue NE between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.

      Candidates interested in the Public School Trustee position must obtain 25 signatures from eligible public school electors living in Wards 11 or 13 and pay the required $100 deposit. Completed nomination papers must be filed on Monday, March 16, 2015 at Council Chambers, City Hall between 9 a.m. and noon. The list of official candidates will be available at noon on Tuesday, March 17.

      Advance voting will be available on April 2, 7 and 8, 2015 for eligible electors. The list of advance vote and voting stations will be available in March online. For more information, call 403-476-4100 (option 1) or go to calgary.ca/election.
    • Historic Eamon’s Building Future is Uncertain 27 February 2015 Calgary’s City Council will soon be deciding the fate of the Eamon’s Service Station building, and if Calgarians want the building to remain as part of our citys Calgary’s landscape, they need to act soon.

      Eamon's Service Station Building
      A Calgary Herald article outlines some of the history and previous uses of the Eamon’s building, including the filming of a music video by Canadian rocker Corey Hart.

      The City has protected the building for potential redevelopment and prepped the site at the Park and Ride lot at the Tuscany LRT Station. However, no one has come forward with a privately funded plan to make the move a reality.

      A decision will have to be made soon on the future of the building. City Council has suggested we find a private partner/investor to redevelop the building. The City has many competing priorities, and funding the restoration of the Eamon’s Building with public funds is unlikely.

      If Calgarians want this historic building to survive and be back on the site, someone needs to come forward now to invest.

      For more information, or to contact The City about the Eamon’s Building, you can get more details here.
    • 1000 hours of discussion about Calgary’s main streets 26 February 2015 Main streets are active urban areas that attract Calgarians to socialize, work, shop, dine, and celebrate local events. According to the Municipal Development Plan, there are currently 24 main streets across Calgary.



      The Main Streets initiative is exploring meaningful growth for Calgary’s main streets in the future. The first step in this process is to gather local perspectives about main street issues, opportunities and outcomes.

      Starting in November and continuing through to mid February, the Main Streets team started the discussion with main street users through a series of workshops across Calgary. The workshops provided Calgarians the opportunity to share their ideas and concerns about growth in these areas with City planners.



      The number of people who participated and the quality of input collected is very impressive.

      If you missed the workshops, join hundreds of fellow Calgarians who have shared, viewed, commented or voted on main street ideas on The City’s MindMixer account.

      As a next step, information collected at the workshops will be followed-up with main street specific surveys, information sessions, and online engagement activities.

      Subscribe at calgary.ca/mainstreets or follow #yycmainstreets to stay tuned for future events.
    • More Recognition for Calgary’s Airport Trail Tunnel 26 February 2015
      Project team members at 2015 Consulting Engineers of Alberta Showcase Awards Program
      TheAirport Trail Tunnel under the new runway at the Calgary International Airport continues to receive awards and recognition.


      The most recent honour The City has received is the 2015 Award in Excellence in Project Management from the Consulting Engineers of Alberta (CEA). Comments from the CEA judges reveal why the Airport Trail Tunnel continues to be recognized: “The complexity of managing and delivering the project on time and budget is impressive, particularly with the need to sequence the project with the building of the runway.”

      Other honours for the Tunnel include the 2013 top project award in the Civil category (over $50 million) from Alberta Construction magazine, 2013 Award of Excellence from the American Concrete Institute (Alberta Chapter), and a finalist for Project of the Year at the Project Management Institute (Southern Alberta Chapter).


      East end of Calgary's Airport Trail Tunnel
      The City opened the 620-metre Airport Trail Tunnel to traffic on May 25, 2014. The tunnel extends Airport Trail from Barlow Trail to 36 Street N.E. as a six-lane roadway, and also included widening Airport Trail between Deerfoot Trail and Barlow Trail from four to six lanes.

        

      The tunnel helps support economic development in the city by allowing for the efficient movement of workers and goods to and from the Airport. The most recent traffic counts show that 13,000 vehicles go through the tunnel each day.

    • Students learn safety at City Hall 24 February 2015
      Earlier this month, a group of Calgary grade 3 students had the opportunity to learn about the importance of building safety through a one-week session at City Hall School.

      City Safety Code Officers Vanessa Gash, Luke Fuglestveit and Chas Van Maarion presented to the classrooms, teaching them about how the Alberta Building Code and the Alberta Fire Code work together to ensure safe construction practices and protect Calgarians from accidents and natural disasters.

      The presentation ended in a group project, where students applied their new knowledge to the construction of buildings from paper plates, cups, chart paper and masking tape. They then competed to see which of their tiny buildings could stand up to the test of wind and weather (simulated by a hair dryer and fan).

      “If we were to just stand there talking about the building code, it would get pretty boring,” says Gash. “We try to make it interactive and fun. The kids walk away with hands-on knowledge about why building requirements are essential to the safety of our city. It was a great experience for everyone involved.”

      The students had the opportunity to see first-hand how their new building and fire code knowledge is applied to real-life structures, going for a tour of The Bow Building and other downtown landmarks. Additionally, Safety Code Officers showed students the Inspection and Permit Services office space in City Hall, where they could observe the East Village construction through the window. Students also got a close-up look of one of the City's weather stations, part of the weather warning system to builders.

      Visit our website for more information about the City Hall School program, helping students in grades 3-12 become informed and engaged citizens.
    • Roads crews plow ahead in nice weather 24 February 2015
      In terms of weather, 2015 has been very good to Calgary with an above average winter. We’ve had warmer temperatures and fewer snowfalls than the winter of 2013-2014. With all this sunshine and warm weather, some of you may be wondering what City Roads crews are doing.

      While Calgarians are getting a break from the harsh winters we occasionally experience, City crews are still hard at work. In place of plowing, salting and shovelling snow, crews are performing more seasonal duties, like filling potholes, debris and litter pick-up and prepping for SpringClean-up by doing some winter street sweeping.

      “We’re taking advantage of above seasonal temperatures and working proactively to keep city streets well maintained before spring hits by cleaning up gravel ahead of schedule,” said Roads Maintenance Manager Bill Biensch. “There are many benefits to being able to pick up left over gravel throughout the winter months.”

      Street sweeping early helps keep gravel off the road which provides extra safety at intersections and for cyclists. Winter street sweeping is also good for the environment by preventing any gravel and road salts from flowing into catch basins.

      Crews are also still responding to 311 service requests for Snow and Ice Control as roads tend to ice up due to low overnight temperatures.


      For more information on The City’s Snow and Ice Control program visit Calgary.ca/snow.
    • Shaw Millennium Park to stay a 24-hour skate park 24 February 2015 In 2014 we asked you to determine whether keeping Shaw Millennium Park open 24 hours a day still met the needs of the community.

      Your answer was yes!

      Input into the decision included visitor counts, onsite engagement of park users, and an online survey. Police crime statistics and key stakeholders in the area were also consulted.

      While user counts concluded that Shaw Millennium Park is used by only a handful of people after midnight, public engagement indicated that citizens liked the option of being able to use the park at any time day or night.

      A decision was also made to align the neighboring green space at Mewata Armoury with regional park hours and it will now be open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. On-site signage will notify visitors as to where the 24-hour status is in effect, and where regional park hours apply.

      North America’s largest free outdoor skatepark

      Shaw Millennium Park (SMP) is North America's largest free outdoor skatepark and is located on the western edge of downtown Calgary. It’s a highly valued recreation space for Calgary youth and adults. This park first opened in September 2000 and has over 35,000 visitors every year. The park features 75,000 square feet of skateable surface and has operated as a 24-hour park since it was built 15 years ago.

      More information on skateboarding in Calgary.

      Submitted by Corinna Baxter, Parks
    • Registration now open: Adventure starts with spring and summer recreation programs 23 February 2015 It’s official – warm weather is around the corner, and with it comes The City of Calgary Spring & Summer Recreation Program Guide. While there are more than 6,000 opportunities available, here are our top six recommendations so you and your family can reach this year’s summer adventure quota.


      1. Warm weather is a great time to check out our Glenmore Sailing School. Learn to Cruise is a two-week intensive introductory course to sailing which will have you enjoying the summer sun out on the water (there’s nothing wrong with getting a little wet)! 
      2. Many Calgarians spend spring and summer exploring the Rocky Mountains. Why not prep the family beforehand with rock climbing lessons? Or better yet – drop-in sessions for the family are available at all of our rock climbing walls.
      3. As the popularity of skateboarding continues to rise, so do the opportunities for your young ‘pro-skaters.’ This year, we are offering skateboard lessons for ages 6 to 17. There is also Skateboard Art School and the ‘uber-cool’ and oh-so affordable, One Push Skateboarding day camps. 
      4. Nothing says adventure like superheroes! Our arts centres offer Cartoons & Comics For Youth, or take Drawing & Painting for Families to create (literally) your adventure together. 
      5. By no means do we live in a tropical country, but with the warm weather we can sure pretend! To best do so, register for Latin Rhythms. This latest fitness craze will get your heart-pumping, and your feet- a-dancing. Then take your Latin moves onto the deck - it’s time to celebrate the season! 
      6. Lastly, nothing says nice weather in Calgary more than seeing golfers on the green! Join us for the Family Beginner Series or if you are an avid golfer at any City-owned golf courses, new this season, we are offering a Loyalty Program which lets you golf more for less.
      Don’t delay - registration starts today. Visit calgary.ca/recreation to register. Looking for more adventure ideas? Customize your own adventure with My Rec Guide.

      Submitted by Lisa Fleece, Recreation
     


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