Letter from Karen Natsukoshi re: recommendations on changes to Parkdale traffic and development issues

Parkdale Community Association’s (PCA) Board of Directors is writing in support of Karen Natsukoshi’s letter of February 20 2018. The three recommendations of that letter from Ms. Natsukoshi merit your consideration and support. In addition, the Board of PCA offers comments on the recommendations.

Traffic calming on 37 Street south of Bowness Road/3rd Avenue NW

The issue of traffic calming throughout Parkdale has been raised a number of times. We are aware that without a full traffic calming study, traffic management changes have been made on 37 St. NW north of 3 Ave. NW and recently at the intersection of 37 St. NW and 3 Ave. NW/Bowness Rd. NW. The request for an assessment of 37 St. NW south of 3 Ave. NW is reasonable and the PCA Board supports specific traffic calming solutions be considered for this unique roadway.

In addition, we again request that Parkdale be considered for a full traffic calming study. Traffic speeding and shortcutting is an increasing concern in our changing community. We raised the issue of speeding and unsafe movements on 5 Ave. NW and 7 Ave. NW in 2017 after the turning lane was installed at 37 St. NW and 3 Ave. NW/Bowness Rd. NW. Members of the community participated in a pedestrian safety walk with John Bolger of The City, and pointed out the lack of stop signage on both roads and the resulting increase in cut-through traffic. These roads, along with 37 St. NW and others in the community should be assessed for traffic management solutions.

We again request a Traffic Calming Study for Parkdale.

Instruct the Development Authority to “put the context back into contextual”, and Adopt Enriching Parkdale as a statutory document

PCA has brought the issue of contextual approvals to your attention several times and our residents remain frustrated that the contextual review process seems to consider only bylaw requirements for setback, albeit inadequately, and height when reviewing plans. The result is a number of poorly designed, poorly constructed and insensitive developments with a primary objective of maximum floor space at the lowest cost. The issue raised in Ms. Natsukoshi’s letter is only one of many in our community. The request that the development authority actually consider the context and not the quota of “time for approvals” is reasonable and has the full support of the PCA Board, our Planning & Development Committee and our residents.

The Enriching Parkdale document was delivered to you and presented to planners and CPAG members. At the time, there seemed to be enthusiasm for the quality of the document and statements that other communities should consider a similar approach. However, we have been disappointed that it has had negligible impact on City planning decisions and in statements

indicating Parkdale does not have an ARP, there is no recognition of this document. Although we had indications it would be considered by planners in making decisions this has clearly not been the case.

Since Parkdale does not have an ARP, we request you place it before Council and ask that it be adopted as a statutory and guiding document for development in Parkdale.

Parking restrictions on 1st Avenue NW between 37 and 35 Streets NW

The PCA Board has no objection to the implementation of parking controls on 1 Ave. NW, specifically on the south side of the avenue. There are already controls throughout the community that were implemented under The City of Calgary processes. In this situation there are two homes on the subject frontage and we encourage these owners to petition The City to install the controls.

Thank you for your consideration. If you have any questions, please contact Bill Biccum at (403) 283-5767 or bill.biccum@parkdalecommunity.com.

 

Update from Councillor Farrell

Following up on the submisison of the letter, Concillor Farrell reached out re: the content of the letter with both a written reply and a phone call from Dale Calkins, her staff member with responsibility re: development and planning. Her comments are reproduced below.

Thank you for your letter that shared the Parkdale Community Association’s support for Ms. Natsukoshi’s comments. I will largely reiterate the comments from Dale in his correspondence to Karen.

  1. Traffic calming on 37 Street south of Bowness Road/3rd Avenue NW: I am very supportive of Parkdale pursuing a traffic calming study, whether for the whole community or for specific areas. As Dale mentioned, the City has a set process for reviewing traffic calming and study requests. Community residents, with support of the Community Association, initiate this process through the policy identified here. Many of Ward 7 communities are requesting studies, and the same can be said of other wards. This is not a political decision, but rather prioritization is done by Transportation based on need. In this fall’s budget deliberations, some of the key items I will be pushing for are funding for the Pedestrian Strategy and more money for traffic calming. More funding for those programs will help deliver safer streets sooner. Community advocacy at the budget debate will be key.
  2. Instruct the Development Authority to “put context back into contextual”: The Parkdale Community Association and its Planning Committee will be familiar with my motion to request exactly that. I have mentioned many times to your volunteers that I also have significant concerns with much of the redevelopment we are seeing in Calgary. Parkdale supported my motion to reform infill policies and rules, and City Administration will be returning to Council later this year with recommendations. Details on my motion are found here. Again, community advocacy at the time this comes to Council will be helpful.
  3. Adopt Enriching Parkdale as a statutory document: Enriching Parkdale is an impressive document with many good features. However, it is not robust enough to simply port over to a statutory ARP. As Dale mentioned, an ARP requires significant community engagement, detailed analysis to ensure the plan meets MDP objectives, and analysis of economic/market forces that drive redevelopment. Currently, the City is only undertaking ARPs for communities experiencing significant change – for transit oriented development, as an example. For communities like Parkdale, where the majority of development is single family or row housing, our Planning Department is currently creating a new process for how to implement new/updated ARPs city-wide. Kind of an ARP “light”.
  4. Parking Restrictions on 1st Avenue NW between 37 and 35 Streets NW: I support residents in going through the City’s established process for enacting residential parking restrictions. Councillors are not involved in this process, and I understand Dale passed along the appropriate forms to Karen.

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