Key station on Green Line could have unique street access

People wanting to catch a CTrain at one underground station on the Green Line downtown may have to head to the middle of the street to get to the platform.

The picture on the city’s website shows the public entranceway to the future Seventh Avenue underground station as being in the middle of Second Street S.W.

The city says it’s merely a conceptual rendering.

But according to one city councillor, it’s an idea that the city could use if it can’t negotiate access to the underground station through nearby buildings.

Coun. Druh Farrell said the future station will be an incredibly important one.

It’s where the Green Line will intersect with the existing Red and Blue lines which run on the surface of Seventh Avenue downtown.

“I’m not all that fussed with the quality of the design of the entryway exactly. That can change,” said Farrell.

“This is purely conceptual but they’re looking at ways to connect these important lines together.”

Talks continue

She said there are plenty of negotiations ongoing between the city and downtown building owners about underground connection with Green Line stations.

In the space where the picture shows the station entrance, today there are four northbound vehicle lanes.

According to the city, the rendering shows that a single lane would remain for vehicle traffic on Second Street.

Farrell said that shouldn’t be a huge concern, as it’s the east-west avenues downtown which see high traffic volumes in the core. 

“Not all of our streets are well used. A lot of the streets in the downtown actually have fairly low traffic volumes. It’s more the avenues.” 

Highly visible

The head of the LRT on the Green Foundation, Jeff Binks, expressed surprise at the picture.

“Part of the benefit of the underground alignment was to try and minimize the impact on vehicle traffic,” said Binks.

A map shows the location of the future Seventh Avenue Green Line station. (City of Calgary)

But he said one advantage this kind of station entrance has over those in neighbouring buildings is it would be highly visible.

“The one plus to seeing this rendering is they seemed to listen to that part of the feedback they got from Calgarians. It’s a nice looking rendering,” Binks said. “It is a station that looks like it will be very easy for them to find and deliver them directly to that train platform below, which is what Calgarians have said they wanted.”

The city said station integration with neighbouring properties is a primary objective for the underground portion of the Green Line and it is actively pursuing station entrances in existing or future developments.

But the Green Line team said if that can’t be achieved, then entryway options in the road right-of-way will be considered.

Procurement paused

Construction on the $5.5 billion Green Line is tentatively slated to start later this year.

However, procurement work on the southeast portion of the line was paused in December while the city and the United Conservative government discuss provincial concerns about the city’s plan for the project.

Design and technical assessment work is continuing on the second portion of the line, which includes a 2.3-kilometre tunnel downtown.

So far, more than $600 million in federal, provincial and city money has been spent in the past several years on preparations for construction.

That spending covered things such as enabling works, planning and land acquisition for the city’s next LRT line.

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