With the Mission Road charrette entering its final phase, the project team presented its latest versions of design approaches to the community on Sunday afternoon. The presentation represented refinements of ideas tested on Saturday. And the version at Tuesday night’s wrap-up at 7:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn will integrate the community’s input from throughout the week.
Charrette leader Andres Duany told attendees that the week’s discussions with community members and City of Calgary staffers had convinced him to propose approaches that take advantage of the City’s invitation “to experiment outside the system that now exists.” Chief among the experiments will be a request to establish an Innovation Neighbourhood designation for projects like the Mission Road district, exempting them from several layers of regulation.
That’s a proposal that’s intended to address some of the district property owners’ suspicions that plans emerging from the charrette might get bogged down in red tape before they have the chance to prove themselves. If the planning is in harmony with the City’s broader goals and can demonstrate community support, “the City should just get out of the way,” said Duany.
Among the ideas attendees reviewed on Sunday were:
- The team’s refinements of designs for retail frontage along the north side of Mission Road with residences patterned after London mews behind the commercial buildings.
- An expansion of the study area to include a half-mile “pedestrian shed” from the key intersection of Macleod Trail and Mission Road.
- A proposed move of the transit station closer to the Macleod/Mission Road crossroads to further enliven the commercial potential of the district.
You can review the presentation images and meeting notes from the presentation by going to the DOCUMENTS section in the toolbar above.
For the most part, community attendees seemed pleased with the suggestions and the images Duany presented. What persists, however, are worries over traffic congestion, particularly in adjacent neighbourhoods where cars often cut through to avoid back-ups on Mission Road.
“I cannot promise you there will be less traffic,” said Duany. In a successful mixed-use district, “there will always be more traffic. But we can suggest better ways to manage the flow.”
The team is exploring the use of traffic circles at key points and restrictions against using certain routes through neighbourhoods at rush hour times.
Come to the final presentation on Tuesday night to see how the ideas evolve over the next two days. And please share your comments and ideas below.