City adds 2 more options for Green Line route into Ramsay

City officials are adding two more alignment options as they continue to puzzle over how the Green Line LRT will get through Victoria Park on its way to the planned Inglewood-Ramsay station.

Earlier this month, the city decided the new LRT route will run underground in the Beltline from Second Street S.W. to Macleod Trail S.E.

But the train's eastward path from there is complicated by the location of Calgary Transit's bus barns next to the Elbow River at 12th Avenue S.E. while keeping proper access to the Stampede grounds for both drivers and pedestrians.

Last month, the city said technical considerations had forced planners to consider routing the train south of the barns, along MacDonald Avenue, across the Elbow into Ramsay, and then have it curve to the southeast to align with the existing railway tracks along 11th Street S.E.

It's estimated 10 houses would have to be torn down if the MacDonald Avenue plan is chosen.

Officials explained that an earlier plan to align the LRT north of the bus barn would slow the train down and might cause too much wear and tear on C-Trains because of the tight turns, but the option has not been ruled out.

This week, the city said it is now considering two additional alignment solutions:

- Transitioning north from 12th Avenue at the Centre Street station to 10th Avenue south, so the train would run parallel to the south side of the CP tracks until it reaches the Inglewood-Ramsay station

- Building the tracks in two stages, allowing the Green Line to skirt the Transit Centre until it is re-located — an estimated $300-million undertaking for which there is no immediate plan. After that, the tracks would be re-aligned on the former bus barn lands. Under this plan, a Victoria Park station would be placed at this location, two blocks farther east than other plans being considered.

News that the city is looking at two new alignment options came as a surprise to Peter Oliver, head of the Beltline Neighbourhood Association.

He says the city could solve its bus barn dilemma more effectively by keeping the new LRT below ground at least as far as 12th Avenue and about Third Street S.E., where an underground station should be located.

"These new two proposals … that they're putting out here are really trying to do all these backflips to go around this infrastructure, the bus barn, which is obsolete infrastructure, and is not going to be there in the long term," he said.

"So what you can do is move it north of 11th Avenue right behind the bus barn … so that it crosses the river at Ninth Avenue."

Oliver would like to see an underground option included in the city's proposals.

The multibillion-dollar Green Line, which will use low-floor trains, will eventually stretch across the city from Country Hills Village in north-central Calgary to the southeast community of Seton.

The city is hosting two public drop-in sessions for people to learn more about the alignment options:

- May 4 from 4-8 p.m. at the Alexandra Dancehall at 922 Ninth Ave S.E. 

- May 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the The Commons at 1206 20th Ave S.E.

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