The Erlton LRT station was built in the early 1980’s. The at-grade condition of the LRT alignment precipitated a traffic condition at the adjacent McLeod Trail/25th Avenue intersection that has deteriorated over the years. Recently City Council rejected a plan to build an interchange at the intersection. Together with McIlhenny Engineers, we were engaged by the City of Calgary to propose a new LRT alignment that would improve the intersection traffic, and would establish developable parcels for mixed use urban development on the lands currently vacant or occupied by the station.
Our approach has involved Public Engagement to come up with a set of three options for the realignment of the LRT tracks, and to reconsider the 25th Avenue Right of Way, in order to minimize traffic impacts and to maximize the potential of the site within its potentially valuable context sitting between the Elbow River to the north and the largely under appreciated Reader Rock Gardens to the south. Immediately to the east, opposite the site on Macleod Trail, Anthem developments has approval for a high rise mixed use development. As a means to re-establish the McLeod Trail/25th Avenue intersection as a community hub, high rise mixed use development on the LRT site will not only fulfill the goals of Transit Oriented Development, but will strengthen the community of Erlton without impacting the neighbourhood itself.
Opportunities exist as well to redevelop the vacant lands east of the intersection to embrace the grand views to Reader Rock Gardens, and to re-establish the access to the Gardens as an identifiable place in the City.