Ward 9 Great Neighbourhoods Calgary – Gian-Carlo Carra

This is the official website for Gian-Carlo Carra, City Councillor for Ward 9 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Guest Blog - Why Forest Lawn matters to me

 
03 - Forest Lawn Alley Clean Up.jpg

Two years ago my wife and I decided on Forest Lawn as the place to build our family. We were pregnant and looking to buy our first home together. Initially, I was skeptical of the location based on the reputation the community had, but the reality of the neighbourhood was significantly different than what I had expected.

I love Forest Lawn

I have found Forest Lawn to be one of the best neighbourhoods I have lived in here in Calgary, for many reasons. There are many great shops, local businesses, amazing food, and a diverse blend of cultures all coming together to make Forest Lawn feel like a small town in a big city.

The proximity to downtown is great and with the construction work underway on 17 Avenue and the vision for the corridor from the BRZ/International Ave and the City of Calgary, I found that there are only a few things that needed to change to make Forest Lawn live up to its potential.

Before you complain, volunteer

One thing was that it needed to be physically cleaned up.

I had decided that I wanted to get involved in my community and I was able to get in touch with the Forest Lawn Community Association. I offered my services to help in anyway and I was informed about a community clean-up the FLCA was hosting.  I offered to design the flyers, print and distribute them.

One of the aspects of the clean-up was that not all residents were able to move their garbage or recyclables to the location. We would need to find some volunteers to pick up the materials from any residents that required it. This made me think, if we had to pick up the garbage, we should just be dropping it at the landfill. If we were able to get access to the landfill, I could use that access to clean up the rest of the neighbourhood.

I eventually elaborated on the idea until it developed into a project. I plan and implement projects every day in my line of work and it only seemed natural to apply the same formula to this project. I set up the goals for the project, expected outcomes, and a plan of action to have it accomplished.

Planning was essential

The first step was organizing a way to remove as much garbage as possible and where it would go. I contacted the City’s Waste and recycling division and sent the director my plan of action and asked for 3 days of access at no charge to remove the debris. I then tried to find a resource to fund the operation.

I received notification back from Waste and Recycling Services that they would be happy to be a part of the project. Although they weren’t sure about how they were going to go about structuring it as it was a new initiative.

Funding on the other hand was a much more difficult aspect as there wasn’t an operating body that would be able to fund the project, for one reason or another. (Starting in late 2018, anyone with an idea to help their community can apply for funding through the GFL Small Grants Committee).

Because we had the backing of Waste and Recycling Services, and the support of Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra and his team, I decided to fund the project.

02 - Forest Lawn Alley Clean Up.jpg

The next difficult step was to find volunteers. I made the rounds through my friends and family and had confirmation from many of them for at least a few hours over the weekend and that was a good enough start.

I then approached several businesses, not-for-profits and social program directors in the neighbourhood. Many said they were unable to help or didn’t have the resources and made recommendations to other places or people. When I approached Foothills Landscaping, a long-time member of the Forest Lawn community, they volunteered. They offered the project two vehicles, if they could find volunteers to run them from within the company. The President of Foothills landscaping, George, and another great volunteer, Roy, stepped up and drove the trucks and helped pick up the waste scattered through the alleys.  

I organized the teams so that we could have the maximum impact, giving each crew a set of laneways to clean-up. Because of our lack of resources, we really needed to be efficient in how we used them, so planning was a key element to achieving success.

The project was a huge success. By the end of the 3 days we had accomplished quite a lot and made a big impact on the aesthetics, safety and pride of the community.

The numbers

  • 21,840 Lbs of waste

  • 23 Trips to the landfill

  • 72.5 Hours of labour

  • $314.02 Operating expenses

  • $0.0144 – Cost per LBS

  • 301.24 LBS per hour worked


What we encountered

Some of the most common things we came across were couches and mattresses, we also often had to clean up ripped open garbage bags or overturned black bins.

We did have to call the Calgary Fire Department to come out to two scenes while we were on the clean up. We had come across several needles in various locations and one particular area with roughly 50 needles that needed to be cleaned up. While it wasn’t nice coming across those, we were very happy to be able to remove them from the neighbourhood and create a safer space for everyone.

The outcomes

One of the best outcomes of this project, outside of the intended goals, was the communication with the community. They were so happy to see that someone was helping the community and cleaning up what everyone had seen as a major problem.

We were thanked by many of the residents and many of them had questions as to why we were doing it, and who we were hired by. I think that many of them were shocked that someone could just take it upon themselves to fix a problem.

04 - Forest Lawn Alley Clean Up.jpg

If one lesson is learned from this, I hope it is that ever citizen, every individual has the power to make positive change. You don’t have to set up a whole program or clean up an entire community. You can volunteer a few hours at your local community association, pick up garbage as you walk down the street, cut your neighbours grass or shovel someone’s walkway. Everyone has the power to affect change in their community.

Thank yous

I would like to thank all of the 9 volunteers;

Perry, Chris, Dwayne, Pete, Allan, Steve, Roy, George and Bill.

I would also like to thank supporters of the project;

Mike Haines, Rick Valdarchi, and Je Fei Shi from Waste and Recycling Services. 12 Community Safety Initiative. BRZ / International Avenue. As well as Gian-Carlo Carra and his staff.

Final thoughts

If you or someone you know would like to become active in your community, a great way to start is by joining your local Community Association.

William Carnegie

 

Interested in the Olympic Plebiscite?

 
 November 13, 2018 is Vote Day for the Olympics. Photo source: Lyle Aspinall/PostMedia Network

November 13, 2018 is Vote Day for the Olympics. Photo source: Lyle Aspinall/PostMedia Network

Ward 9 2026 Olympic Bid Engagement Open House

There will be a 2026 Olympic Bid Engagement Open House in Ward 9

When: Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Time: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Where: Hotel Blackfoot, 5940 Blackfoot Trail SE

The Open House will follow a similar format to the City’s Engage events. Everyone is free to move around at their leisure.

There will be city staff on hand to facilitate. They will answer questions and direct attendees to information boards which will have much of the material you can see on the online portal here: https://engage.calgary.ca/2026Games

The open houses are opportunities to provide hands-on feedback directly to staff. Usually there are forms with specific questions that attendees can complete and leave with staff. The five focus topics of the engagement are:

  • Community

  • Venues and facilities

  • Environment

  • Economy

  • Costs

All five are outlined in detail on the Engage portal in Step 2 (“Learn about the proposed bid”). The Engage Toolkit is a great resource as well.

Olympic Public Engagement and Information

Do you want more information to answers like:

  • Why is Calgary considering hosting the Games again?

  • What are some of the proposed Olympic and Paralympic numbers in the Draft Hosting Plan?

  • Will hosting the Games help or hinder Calgary’s future?

Then please have a look at the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bid engagement toolkit.

Through to October 28, Calgarians have the opportunity to learn more about The City’s analysis of the Calgary 2026 Draft Hosting Plan Concept (see below).

In addition, the online engagement portal was launched today, giving citizens a chance to review materials and offer input at their convenience through to October 28.

The engage website is calgary.ca/2026Games

 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Bid Engagement and Public Events

2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Bid Engagement and Public Events

The engage website is calgary.ca/2026Games

The City of Calgary’s Secretariat was established to examine Calgary 2026’s Draft Hosting Plan Concept and provide advice to City Council and the Assessment Committee on opportunities, benefits, costs and risks associated with bidding and possibly hosting the Games. The Secretariat also ensures Council and the Assessment Committee have the information they need to make the decision on whether or not to bid.

The Secretariat has undertaken a thorough analysis of the draft hosting plan. It has worked with City of Calgary staff in all departments and external consultants with Games experience to determine and assess benefits and risks inherent in the draft hosting plan. It has also worked with other orders of government, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

There have been some external comments about how the information is being presented through the public engagement platform, specifically around categorizing potential benefits and risks associated with hosting the Games.

Should The City decide to submit a bid, and it is successful, the draft hosting plan would continue to evolve. The examples of benefits and risks listed in the engagement materials are provided to achieve a balanced approach. The examples are “potential” and not intended to be taken as exhaustive.

What are the next steps?

 The City is engaging Calgarians to help City Council decide whether or not to submit a bid to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. City Council will consider a range of information before making its decision.

The City is engaging Calgarians to help City Council decide whether or not to submit a bid to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. City Council will consider a range of information before making its decision.

Mark your calendars - November 13, 2018 is vote day!

What’s on the ballot?

The question on the ballot will be:

Are you for or are you against Calgary hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?

__ I am for Calgary hosting
__ I am against Calgary hosting

Advance Vote

November 6 and 7 – Advance Vote 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. (14 locations, one in each ward)

November 6 – Mount Royal University 11 a.m. - 5p.m.

November 7 – University of Calgary  11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Senior’s Accommodation Vote (November 6 & 7) – list of residences will be added to the website shortly

Special (Mail-in) Ballots

Applications are now open and can be made online, in person or over the phone until November 13, 2018 at noon.

Ballot packages must be received at the Elections Office by 4 pm on November 13, 2018. 

If the mail strike occurs arrangements have been made to deliver the packages to Calgary addresses via courier.

 

Voting on Vote Day

Time:  8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

160 locations across the City.

Voters must vote at their designated voting station.

Hospital Vote:  10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (rotating)  Foothills, Peter Lougheed, Rockyview, South Health Campus

 

Who is eligible to Vote

A Canadian citizen at least 18 years of age who has resided in Alberta for a least the last 6 months (since May 13, 2018) and lives in a Calgary Voting Subdivision on Vote Day. 

 

How to Vote

For the first time, Elections Calgary will be using vote tabulators to compile the results.  Voters will be provided a paper ballot and they will mark their choice on the ballot.  The ballot will then be run through the tabulator, if there are no errors, the ballot is accepted into the ballot box.  If the ballot has been marked improperly (e.g. too many choices) the ballot will be returned to the voter and the voter will be given an opportunity to correctly mark a ballot and have it accepted by the tabulator. 

 

Looking for information on The Games before you vote?

Results

At the Voting Station, after the last voter leaves the station, the tabulator will generate results for the ballots received by it.  Those results will be posted for scrutineers to read.

The results will be available on the Calgary.ca/vote2018 website and City social media channels. The legislation prevents the results being released voting station by voting station on Vote Day.  When all results have been tabulated, which we are planning for at the latest 10 p.m., Elections Calgary will post on its social media channels that the results will be released in the next 15 minutes.

Public, Campaigns, and Media will all be encouraged to watch our Social Media Channels to ensure they are prepared.

 

Useful web links:

Who can vote

When & Where to vote

The Question

ID Requirements

Vote workers


For more information, visit www.calgary.ca/vote2018 or call 311.


 

17 Ave SE BRT Update - upcoming detours and closures (September 28, 2018)

 
 Rendering of the 17 Avenue and 36 Street SE Station. Source: City of Calgary

Rendering of the 17 Avenue and 36 Street SE Station. Source: City of Calgary

Written by the BRT Project Team

Published on September 28, 2018

Crews are busy at work on International Avenue, and there are some detours and closures this weekend.

September 29 to October 1, 2018 – 17 Avenue and 19 Street SE

  • Starting at 7 a.m. September 29, 2018 westbound 17 Avenue S.E. will be reduced to one lane at 19 Street S.E.

  • The westbound left turn lane on 17 Avenue S.E. to 19 Street S.E. will also be closed.

  • Eastbound 17 Avenue S.E. will be reduced to one lane east of the 19 Street S.E. intersection. 

October 4, 2018 – 17 Avenue and 19 Street SE

  • Traffic lanes on 19 Street S.E. will be shifted and the pedestrian crosswalk on the east side of 19 Street will be opened. This work is weather dependant.

October 5 to 9, 2018 - 17 Avenue and 19 Street SE

  • Starting at 7 a.m. September 29, 2018 westbound 17 Avenue S.E. to 19 Street S.E. will be reduced to one lane at 19 Street S.E.

  • The westbound left turn lane on 17 Avenue S.E. will also be closed.

  • Eastbound 17 Avenue S.E. will be reduced to one lane east of the 19 Street S.E. intersection.

 Source: The City of Calgary

Source: The City of Calgary

Don’t forget your favourite businesses on International Avenue are open during construction, so make sure to stop by.

Stay in touch with the BRT Project Team and get all updates by visiting www.calgary.ca/17AveSEBRT.

 

Upcoming closure of the Calgary Zoo's West Gate

 
 Calgary Zoo’s West Gate will be closed effective Tuesday, October 9, 2018. Photo Source: Global News

Calgary Zoo’s West Gate will be closed effective Tuesday, October 9, 2018. Photo Source: Global News

Hi Inglewood and Ramsay residents! The Ward 9 Office has received word from the Calgary Zoo that the West Gate will be closed effective Tuesday, October 9, 2018.

However, eligible Calgary Zoo members who live in Inglewood and Ramsay are able to pass through the Calgary Zoo’s Security entrance with their valid zoo membership and special Ward 9 Community Pedestrian Pass.

Please confirm your eligibility for the pass by contacting ward09@calgary.ca and include a photo of your valid zoo membership and proof of address.

A few reminders for how members gain special access to the zoo when the West Gate is closed

Valid only for Day Admissions – Daily 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (during West Gate closure only)

  • Inglewood and Ramsay residents who are valid zoo members must contact the Ward 9 Office to receive a Ward 9 Community Pedestrian Pass.

  • To gain access through the Security entrance, members must present both a valid membership card along with a valid Community Pedestrian Pass.

  • If a membership has expired, unfortunately access will not be granted.  The Security Team is not able to renew memberships; this can be done at the north gate, online or over the phone.

  • Access applies to pedestrians only; there is no public parking available.

  • Members entering at the Security gate are not able to bring guests who are non-members as Security does not have the capability to capture payment or complete transactions.

  • As the Security Team does not have the capability to capture payment or complete transactions, there will be no special access for evening events including ZOOLIGHTS.

The West Gate will re-open in the spring of 2019. Please visit www.calgaryzoo.com for more details

 

Bridgeland-Riverside Water Main replacement at 7A Street NE

Hi Bridgeland-Riverside,

The Ward 9 Office received notice that there is water main work starting September 24. The work is estimated to take 2 weeks to complete and will effect the area in the picture below.

The City of Calgary will be replacing a water main on 7A Street NE, from Centre Ave NE to 1st Ave NE. The City has chosen to replace the water mains in this area given the past history of water main breaks and age of the infrastructure.

 The City has chosen to replace the water mains in this area given the past history of water main breaks and age of the infrastructure.

The City has chosen to replace the water mains in this area given the past history of water main breaks and age of the infrastructure.

If you would like more information, please click the link for the notice that was sent by Water Resources on September 12 giving more information about the water main replacement program.

If you would like more information on the project, you may also contact North Star Contracting’s project manager, Michael Campese, at 403-370-4434.

Please let your neighbours know.

Thanks!

Your Team Ward 9

Clarification on supervised consumption site community mail outs

 
 While the City of Calgary is a stakeholder in these discussions, the ultimate decision lies with the provincial government.

While the City of Calgary is a stakeholder in these discussions, the ultimate decision lies with the provincial government.

I want to give you a heads up that some of you in certain areas in your community will be receiving a mail out from HIV Community Link, the organization contracted by Alberta Health Services to provide advisory support to the development of supervised consumption services in Calgary, on behalf of the Province.

The card states that a supervised consumption site is coming to your community. This is not actually the case – one site is proposed for the east end of downtown while the other is proposed along 17 Avenue SE.

As part of their communications plan, HIV Community Link is mailing out post cards to postal codes whose boundaries intersect within a 1 km radius of the proposed location in the east end of downtown, and 2 km radius of the 17 Avenue SE proposed location.

While the City of Calgary is a stakeholder in these discussions, the ultimate decision lies with the provincial government.

If you are interested in learning more, contact HIV Community Link to register for one of their engagement sessions. You can contact them by visiting their website at www.calgaryscs.com, emailing them at supervisedconsumption@hivcl.org, or calling them at 587-393-4095.

As engaged communities, there is no shortage of items, ideas, and projects to be informed about and provide your feedback.

Please keep us in the loop when you provide your comments and submit your comments, we’re interested in hearing your feedback.

Thank you,

Gian-Carlo

 

Join us for the Ward 9 Traffic Safety Meeting

 
 Join us for the annual ward 9 Traffic Safety Meeting. Photo source Lisa Wolansky.

Join us for the annual ward 9 Traffic Safety Meeting. Photo source Lisa Wolansky.

Did you know that The City of Calgary and Calgary Police Service host annual meetings about traffic safety in each ward?

On Monday, November 5 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Forest Lawn Community Association (4020 26 Avenue SE) the annual Ward 9 Traffic Safety Meeting will be taking place. 

The Community Traffic Safety meetings are a great opportunity to learn about traffic safety initiatives in your community and provide your input on how we all can improve traffic safety in our neighbourhoods.

Presentations by The City and Calgary Police Service highlight work being done, followed by an open discussion with various safety experts from The City of Calgary, Calgary Police Service, and Ward 9 Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra.

Please RSVP by sending an email to ward09@calgary.ca

 

Improving street safety in our neighbourhoods

 
 The goal of this work is to reduce collisions, the severity of collisions that occur, and make our neighbourhood streets safer for all users. Photo source: Dreamstime

The goal of this work is to reduce collisions, the severity of collisions that occur, and make our neighbourhood streets safer for all users. Photo source: Dreamstime

Hello Ward 9! Happy fall. I am writing this article to tell you about a very exciting notice of motion that six of my colleagues and I on Calgary City Council are bringing forward to the September 10 Meeting of Council.

Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra shares his thoughts on the Street Safety and Neighbourhood Speed Limits and Vision Zero.

The Notice of Motion is entitled ‘Street Safety and Neighbourhood Speed Limits’. What we are looking to achieve is the culmination of many years of work and advocacy for Great Neighborhoods, and many years of listening to people at their doorsteps. That work, which is now within The City of Calgary’s jurisdiction due to the new City Charter, is to decrease speeding in residential neighbourhoods, on residential roads throughout Calgary, by defaulting the speed limit on residential roads to 30 kilometres per hour.

Why 30 km/h matters

Why 30 kilometers an hour? The science is clear that that is the point where our neighbourhoods and communities gets a lot safer for everyone who works, plays, and lives there. It is stunning to know that collisions involving people who walk cost society $120,000,000 dollars a year. At 30 kilometers an hour you feel a lot less concerned about the impact of neighbourhood traffic on your life and lifestyle, and importantly, in neighbourhood zones, it has a minimal impact on people's commute times.

Can 40 km/h work instead of 30 km/h?

There have been some people who have asked me whether 40 kilometres per hour is a decent compromise. To be honest, while it sounds like a common sense place to start, the science does not support it. In fact, what we know is that when collisions happen at 40 kilometres, survivability starts to decrease substantially. The fact of the matter is that 30 kilomteres per hour has the best balance of safety and travel times.

What do you mean by residential roads?

Often we think about residential roads as all streets in the neighbourhood. For the purposes of this Notice of Motion and the direction we’re looking to provide to City Administration, that is not accurate. In this case a ‘residential road’ would be roads that do not have lane markings on them. Different roads in Calgary have different ‘road classifications’, and not ever road found in a neighbourhood and community is a residential one – it could be a ‘Collector’, ‘Skeletal’, or ‘Arterial’ one.  

If you think about it, non-lined streets with no lane markings represent a small fraction of our commutes - about one minute – and the benefit for our collective and individual qualities of life is clear and obvious when we think about what safer, more walkable, and congenial neighbourhoods means to us. 

But the benefits to our quality of life do not end there. Lowering the speed limit in our neighbourhoods and communities also saves lives.

Read the Notice of Motion in .PDF format

This Notice of Motion will be going to Council for debate on September 10, 2018.

Is 50 km/h really THAT dangerous?

It is known and proven that at 30 kilometers an hour, one in 10 people will die from a collision with a vehicle. At 50 kilometers per hour, Calgary’s current default limit, that number skyrockets to nine in 10. The chances of accidents dramatically as our speed increases because our ability to see what’s around us and react quickly to unexpected circumstances as we drive decreases as the speed goes up.

Additionally, Council will be continuing the work that was started by the Step Forward pedestrian strategy which recognizes that lower neighbourhood speeds are key to making communities and neighbourhoods safer and more desirable.

04 - Street and Neighbourhoods Safety.JPG

Our neighbourhoods future matters

I am super excited that there’s a lot of support on Council for this. I am also very excited for the debate, both publicly in the lead up to September 10.

I have heard from many residents and businesses on this issue and I want you to know that I have given it full thought as there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to some of the specific questions we may have about the roads we use every day.

A 30 km/h limit can't solve it all

I recognize that changing the speed limit alone will not reduce speeds, but I also know that complimentary design changes are key to ensuring that Calgarians will follow the limit and that our communities and neighbourhoods become safer.

While changing the limit is a first step, I am dedicated to ensuring that these practices allow us to change Calgary’s design standards and build streets correctly the first time, saving money and time.

This Notice of Motion does not only call for lowering the residential speed limit to 30 kilometres. For us to make sure that this is successful for all of us, there are other challenges and obstacles we need to address. 

I fully acknowledge that setting a speed limit is one thing, and environmentally designing our road system to drive slower is a much different and more important thing. The old school transportation engineering approach, which built a lot of Calgary, worked on the flawed theory that you made streets safer by encouraging driving faster. What we now understand is that when you make it safer to drive faster people drive faster, and speed kills.

For example, if you have a 50 kilometre speed limit posted on a road, the old-school design speed for that road might be 70 kilometres an hour. We also know that people while drive at the speed the road design allows, regardless of what the actual posted speed limit is.

 Car collisions with people who drive, cycle, and walk, are common sites in Calgary. Road design and speeding are often factors. 

Car collisions with people who drive, cycle, and walk, are common sites in Calgary. Road design and speeding are often factors. 

Using fine revenues to end speeding

I have heard that some people think this is a cash grab. I want to be clear that this Notice of Motion asks City Administration to explore funding these road design improvements through speeding fines and that this revenue from those that are breaking the law as it currently stands does not solely go to enforcement or general revenue. Instead, I believe that this revenue should go to fixing the root cause of the problem of speeding.

Taking charge by fixing what's broken

This Notice of Motion is embarking on a generational shift to fix the wrong-headed approach in the past through also asking that roads are designed to reflect the speed limit that is intended – making streets safer for ourselves, our families, and our neighbours.

Enforcement is part of the solution

I am glad that the Calgary Police Service also believes that the cost to society is too high and that the number of collisions ending in harm to a Calgarian must be brought down.

City officials estimate the financial effect of life-altering pedestrian collisions and fatalities could be $120 million annually. Source Calgary Herald

The third item that this Notice of Motion is looking to achieve is an educational and promotional campaign that will work with the Calgary Police.

This is a major transformation for Calgary that will have a positive generational impact and it starts with establishing the expectation that 30 kilometres an hour is the right speed for residential streets. This Notice of Motion begins the process and City Administration will need to review budget impacts, understand effects on transit in our city, and provide Council with a map of exactly what roads are in or out.

Building Great Neighbourhoods 

I am not expecting this work to be done overnight. It will take time to get the on-the-ground expertise of residents, identify and prioritize hotspots, and update our policies and traffic calming will take years to spread throughout the city. But I have heard you loud and clear - you have asked me to work towards decreasing speeding in your communities and neighbourhoods – and through extensive research, international best practices, and clear science, I am proud to support this practical and plausible way forward.

I hope you can support this too, and I hope to hear from you.

Gian-Carlo Carra

 

Volunteering to Build Great Neighbourhoods

 
 What are some of the ways you can make your Great Neighbourhood better? (Photo source: City of Calgary)

What are some of the ways you can make your Great Neighbourhood better? (Photo source: City of Calgary)

Date: September 1

Hello Ward 9!

I hope that you’ve all had a great summer and that the smoke, heat and hail didn’t impact your days too much. I had the continually-invigorating opportunity to speak with Calgarians at Neighbour Day, Stampede, community events and meeting folks from all neighbourhoods across Ward 9.

It was great to see how many people love their neighbourhoods. The most asked question I got from residents was “What’s the one thing I could do to improve my community?”.

Each time I would respond the same way: volunteer.

It’s a little known fact that it was my time as a volunteer with my community association that ‘primed the pump’ for me to enter city politics. I had a lot of opinions about how things should, could, and would be if I would be listened to. One day, a close friend of mine (who had heard just about all of my opinions) turned to me and asked: “Hey, before you complain, have you volunteered?”.

I hadn’t thought about it. I realized that I took it for granted how many people were working to make my neighbourhood better – people who may not have had a lot of time to volunteer, but who had the heart to improve the neighbourhood.

Many people were taking the time out of their lives –– to staff Traffic, Safety, and Re-Development Committees (among others) to make our neighbourhood the best it could be and it was unfair for me to be so critical of them when I wasn’t stepping up myself.

So I joined.

I was put to work quickly and greeted by thankful volunteers. I got to know my neighbourhood and the people in it better, learned how The City worked, and got to improve the neighbourhood. I met some great people that I am still close friends with today. It was a wonderful experience and I wish I had done it sooner.

It’s said that the number one reason people don’t volunteer is because they’re not asked; so I’m asking you. Here are the community associations in your neighbourhood:

Each of them have dedicated volunteers who could use your input and help. I’m asking each of you who have the heart to volunteer, to volunteer for your community association. Your ideas and skills will make your neighbourhood better when you’re working with like-minded people.

I look forward to supporting you. As a former community association volunteer, you have a champion that will always fight for you in achieving your neighbourhood’s best future.

Let’s continue building strong and Great Neighbourhoods together.

Yours truly,

Gian-Carlo Carra

P.S. Be sure to sign up for the Ward 9 newsletter to know what’s happening in your neighbourhood and share this newsletter with your friends, family, and neighbours in Ward 9 so they can stay on top of things as well. Thanks!

 

Upcoming 17 Avenue SE BRT upcoming detours and closures

 
 Rendering of the 17 Avenue and 36 Street SE Station. Source: City of Calgary

Rendering of the 17 Avenue and 36 Street SE Station. Source: City of Calgary

Written by the BRT Project Team

Published on September 14, 2018

Crews are busy at work on International Avenue, and there are some detours and closures this long weekend that residents and businesses should be aware of.

September 14 to September 17, 2018 – Barlow Trail closed between 26 and 27 Street S.E.

  • Vehicles will be detoured to 26 Street S.E. and 16 Avenue S.E. to access east and westbound 17 Avenue S.E.

 

September 15, 2018 – Traffic switch at 17 Avenue and 28 Street S.E.

  • Starting at 9 a.m. September 15, crews will be shifting traffic to the north side of 17 Avenue S.E.

  • Eastbound travel lanes at the intersection will shift slightly to the north 17 Avenue S.E. so crews can continue work on the south side of the Avenue.

 

Crews will be preparing intersections for paving this week, and there will be night time closures at:

  • September 12, 2018: 38, 40 and 42 Street S.E.

  • September 13, 2018: 33 and 36 Street S.E.

 Source: The City of Calgary

Source: The City of Calgary

Once the prep work for paving is complete this week, crews will begin paving the intersections. We anticipate we’ll be working at each intersection – weather dependant – on:

Monday September 17, 2018

52 Street & 17 Avenue S.E. intersection, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

  • Calgary Police will be on hand to direct traffic, and east bound and westbound traffic will be maintained at all times.

50 Street & 17 Avenue S.E. intersection, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. there will be a full closure of the intersection.

  • Traffic will be detoured to 16 Avenue and 19 Avenue S.E. so crews can complete this work.

 

Tuesday September 18, 2018

17 Avenue & 50 Street S.E. intersection, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. there will be a full closure of the intersection.

  • Traffic will be detoured to 16 Avenue and 19 Avenue S.E. so crews can complete this work.

17 Avenue & 47 Street S.E. intersection, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. there will be a full closure of the intersection.

 

Wednesday September 19th, 2018

17 Avenue & 44 Street S.E. intersection, 7 p.m. 5 a.m. there will be a full closure of the intersection.

  • Traffic will be detoured to 16 Avenue and 19 Avenue S.E. so crews can complete this work.

17 Avenue & 42 Street S.E. intersection, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. there will be a full closure of the intersection.

  • Traffic will be detoured to 16 Avenue and 19 Avenue S.E. so crews can complete this work.

 

Thursday September 20th, 2018

17 Avenue & 40 Street S.E. intersection, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. there will be a full closure of the intersection.

  • Traffic will be detoured to 16 Avenue and 19 Avenue S.E. so crews can complete this work.

17 Avenue & 38 Street S.E. intersection, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. there will be a full closure of the intersection.

  • Traffic will be detoured to 16 Avenue and 19 Avenue S.E. so crews can complete this work.

 

Friday September 21st, 2018

17 Avenue & 36 Street S.E. intersection, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

  • Calgary Police will be on hand to direct traffic, and east bound and westbound traffic will be maintained at all times.

17 Avenue & 33 Street S.E., 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. there will be a full closure of the intersection.

  • Traffic will be detoured to 16 Avenue and 19 Avenue S.E. so crews can complete this work.

 

Saturday September 22nd

17 Avenue & 33 Street S.E. intersection, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. there will be a full closure of the intersection.

  • Traffic will be detoured to 16 Avenue and 19 Avenue S.E. so crews can complete this work.

17 Avenue & 31 Street S.E. intersection, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. there will be a partial intersection closure. Eastbound traffic and northbound to eastbound will be closed. Westbound traffic on 17 Avenue S.E. will be maintained in the right most lane.

Don’t forget your favourite businesses on International Avenue will be open during construction, so make sure to stop by. Thank you for your patience as we work to make 17 Avenue a great space for everyone. For more details on the work happening over the next few weeks please see the attached update.

For more information visit calgary.ca/17avesebrt

 

Green Line Utility work near Pop Davies Park

 
 There will be utility work being done near Pop Davies Park in Millican-Ogden in preparation for the Green Line LRT. Photo source: City of Calgary

There will be utility work being done near Pop Davies Park in Millican-Ogden in preparation for the Green Line LRT. Photo source: City of Calgary

Hello Millican-Ogden-Lynnwood,

I wanted to send you a note regarding some utilities work around Pop Davies Park in case you come across it and have questions or concerns.

With the Green Line coming to Millican-Ogden soon, Enmax will be doing some preparation work by conducting shallow utilities work along Ogden Road SE, in the area north of Pop Davies Park.

What’s being done?

Overhead wires will be lowered to underground ducts. The ducts will be directionally drilled. In order to do this, hydrovac work will occur with traffic accommodations with the road right-of-way to ensure that the drilling is successful. The work will also include removing abandoned poles along the west side of Ogden Road from the CN bridge south to just pas Millican Road.

How long will this take?

Work began on August 29, 2018 and will continue for approximately three weeks.

Will there be signage?

No signage will be posted for this work, though Enmax vehicles will be seen on-site. Please note that there are no direct impacts to private properties or private accesses during this construction.

What will the impacts be?

Traffic accommodations will be made from about September 5 to September 14 to ensure that traffic flows as smoothly as possible. There will also be two 15-30 minute windows of closure that will be coordinated with Roads to remove overhead wires will be necessary, though when they will happen hasn’t been decided and will be determined as the work progresses. One closing will be across Ogden Road south of the CN bridge, and the other will be across Millican Road along Ogden Road.

Also, I have been informed that no trees are being removed. There is an expectation that the smell of petrol from contaminated soil will be noticeable near the small excavations for drilling once the earth is opened up.

The Green Line team has indicated that the smell itself does not present a danger to humans and animals. The hydrovac truck will be operating in the area during the first 2-3 weeks and will be quite noisy but will only be operated during the work days, and not evenings and weekends and the excavations will be fenced off for general public safety according to best practices.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact 311. If you feel 311 isn’t appropriate, please contact my office and we will do the best to satisfy your concern.

Have a great weekend, and be sure to share this information with folks in the community who may have interest.

See you soon.

 

East Calgary Politicians Free Family Swim & Meet and Greet

 
East Calgary Politician Swim & Belly Flop Contest (gcc blog post).jpg

Come on out for the East Calgary politician swim and belly flop contest

Hello everyone! I'd like to invite you, your family and friends to come out and enjoy the last days of summer with your local politicians — Calgary-Fort and Calgary-East Members of the Legislative Assembly, Joe Ceci and Robyn Luff, along with myself.

This is a free family event and we'll have hot dogs and refreshments ready to be served. 

So come on by, meet your neighbours and come bend the ear of your local politician about the opportunities and challenges in our neighbourhoods or just come by to say hi! 

Hope to see you there and feel free to share this invitation with your friends and neighbours. 

 

CP Rail Community Alert for Inglewood & Ramsay

 
 Canadian Pacific will be conducting a mock HazMat exercise with Calgary’s first responders to practice the safe response to an unlikely rail incident. Photo source: Canadian Pacific Railway

Canadian Pacific will be conducting a mock HazMat exercise with Calgary’s first responders to practice the safe response to an unlikely rail incident. Photo source: Canadian Pacific Railway

 

Canadian Pacific will be conducting a mock HazMat exercise with Calgary’s first responders to practice the safe response to an unlikely rail incident.

On the morning of Wednesday August 29th, Canadian Pacific will be conducting a mock HazMat exercise with Calgary’s first responders to practice the safe response to an unlikely rail incident. This will take place at Alyth Yard. Residents can expect to see and/or hear many response vehicles as they attend the scene.

For more info visit http://www.cpr.ca/hazmat .

Exploring public cannabis use in Inglewood, Ogden & Bridgeland-Riverside

 
 From The City’s decision to prohibit public consumption of cannabis, it has put many Calgarians in a gray-zone and made it almost impossible for them to adhere to this bylaw and not to break the law.

From The City’s decision to prohibit public consumption of cannabis, it has put many Calgarians in a gray-zone and made it almost impossible for them to adhere to this bylaw and not to break the law.

In Calgary, public consumption rules for cannabis will be similar to those for public consumption of alcohol. Under the new Cannabis Consumption Bylaw, it will be illegal to consume cannabis in any form (smoking, vaping, or edibles) in public places, except for designated cannabis consumption areas, while its allowed to be used on private property.

The problem we have to solve

At this time, there are no smoking lounges, cafes or specialized bars in which cannabis may be used which creates a challenge that must be resolved. While according to provincial regulations, cannabis may be used in some public places, the Government of Alberta has given The City of Calgary the ability to further prohibit public consumption – and The City has done so primarily to protect underage public health.

Because landlord and tenant agreements, condo bylaws, and hotel rules may prohibit cannabis consumption (City of Calgary Bylaws do prohibit it), some citizens and visitors to Calgary may not have a legal place to legally use cannabis.  From The City’s decision to prohibit public consumption of cannabis, it has put many Calgarians in a gray-zone and made it almost impossible for them to adhere to this bylaw and not to break the law.  

This state of affairs is problematic and unfair to those Calgarians.

Under the new Cannabis Consumption Bylaw, it will be illegal to consume cannabis in any form (smoking, vaping, or edibles) in public places, except for designated cannabis consumption areas, while its allowed to be used on private property.

Taking a leadership role for Calgarians

While I am not an advocate for these public consumption areas, I support Council’s decision to explore these public use sites in theory. I’m of the opinion that if you have a legal substance but you bar its legal to use, that’s an oxymoron.

If there is nowhere to use cannabis for these Calgarians, we may reinforce and exacerbate activities that are present now. Staying this course could make the Bylaw and its enforcement challenging and proliferate public consumption of cannabis – something Calgarians have said they do not want.

With that in mind, a potential middle-ground (in the absence of cannabis lounges) is being explored. The Cannabis Consumption Bylaw allows Council to approve designated areas where cannabis may be smoked, vaped, or otherwise consumed in specific public places. These designated cannabis consumption areas are to help alleviate the lack of access to a permissible place to consume cannabis once it’s legal.

Taking charge to strengthen our communities

Understanding the challenges above and the gap between policy and practicality, City Administration is exploring the idea of piloting designated cannabis consumption areas in Ward 9, where in theory it may make sense to have one location per community. This proposed pilot project is meant to be an exercise in being proactive and empowering you through strengthening local governance and directing the future of your neighbourhoods by enabling you to have a greater voice in mitigating potentially aggravating behaviours in the community. Please take advantage of it.

We must take charge to address this gap to avoid the negative repercussions discussed above and mitigating against social disorder that the bylaw and policy, as it currently stands, could exacerbate.  Once again, Ward 9 is at the forefront in finding a solution for the benefit of Calgary. Rather than doing nothing, thinking this problem will solve itself and go away, we must address this issue head on through thoughtful conversations, empathy and compassion for our neighbours, and the benefit of our communities.  

Potential areas are carefully considered as we need them to be a minimum distance from schools, playgrounds, off leash areas, safety hazards, and not within sensitive natural areas. Each potential designated cannabis consumption area will be confined to a defined radius and equipped with waste receptacles and tamper-proof ashtrays. If the areas are approved and up and running, the City of Calgary may suspend locations should there be safety or nuisance concerns.

Where can these proposed sites go?

The viability of potential designated cannabis consumption areas is measured through criteria which address the location’s accessibility, safety, and proximity to sensitive land uses. The potential designated areas would have the following separation distances:

  • 150 m from a school
  • 100 m from areas intensively used by children, including playgrounds, sport fields, spaces with play amenities, or family-friendly attractions
  • Not within off-leash areas
  • Not within a sensitive natural area
  • Not in an area where other site users must pass to access another part of the site (e.g. pathways or park entrance)
  • 30 m from any safety hazards
  • 30 m from residences

Proposed locations of potential cannabis use sites

Inglewood

11 Ave, between 11 and 12 St SE

  • This area is located behind Festival Hall, and if placed near the south side, would be over 40m from residents.

Wildlands Parking Lot

  • If placed in the southernmost parking lot, this location would be over 100m from residents. To protect the natural environment, the area should not extend south of the pathway around the parking lot.

Bridgeland-Riverside

Murdoch Park (Southern end of 7A Street NE)

  • If placed just south of the pathway this area would be 50m from any residences and nearby apartments.

Millican-Ogden (North of Shopping Centre at Glenmore Trail and Ogden Road)

  • This area is just north of a shopping centre that holds the Glenmore Inn and Convention Centre which may have tourists. If located on the south portion of the field it would be over 100m from any residences

Next steps in creating our future

I want to be clear that nothing is written in stone and no public consumption areas are set. The City and I need your feedback in order to help us navigate this challenge and as the people who know your communities best, we’re relying on you to guide us to make the best decision for the benefit of all Calgarians.

I am aware of the preliminary opposition to this idea and appreciate the voices of those who do not think public consumption spaces are a good idea. I am also aware of the public support for these public consumption spaces and I’m looking forward to seeing how the conversation between neighbours in communities develops as we speak with each other.

Have your ideas heard and counted

Public engagement for these potential designated cannabis consumption areas is slated to begin today on August 27 and would take place for two weeks, ending on September 7. You will be able to take part in this engagement process by visiting on-location sounding boards and filling out the feedback forms, or by visiting the Engage web page, where feedback may be left online. I encourage you to participate and provide rationale and potential solutions. While social media is a good place to share your ideas and thoughts, I implore you to have them officially recorded by using the Engage web page.

The results of these engagement efforts will be brought to a Public Meeting of Council on October 9, at which you may speak. This timeline is in place to address the potential of having areas ready for use by the federal legalization date of October 17, 2018.

I’m very proud to be the City Councillor for East Calgary and I’m happy to continue building Great Neighbourhoods with you.  

 

YW Hub After-Hours Noise Exemption This Weekend

 
YW - C02_July17@025x-1024x513.jpg

If you aren't signed up for the YW Hub Facility Updates, I'd like to take this opportunity to let you know of the construction that will be taking place at the YW Hub this weekend. 

Below, you will find the update provided from the YW Hub to inform all residents of the temporary closure of 9 Avenue SE. Please share with your friends and neighbours who may have an interest in this update. 

If you would like to learn more about the YW Hub please visit their website and sign up for their frequent updates. 


Please note that construction will take place at the YW Hub facility this weekend and two permits have been approved for temporary closure of 9th Avenue as well as an after-hours noise exemption. 

The permits will allow for the movement, by crane, of mechanical units up to the roof of the south tower of the YW Hub facility along 9th Avenue. This necessary road closure cannot be completed during daytime hours given the frequency of transit bus travel on 9th Avenue.

Work is expected to take 6 to 7 hours and the noise permit covers the overnight period of Friday, August 24 until the morning of Saturday, August 25.

CANA representatives will be onsite for the duration of the work and any concerns can be directed to the 24-hour site number 403.401.1877. This 24-hour monitored line will forward all calls to the site superintendent or the next available person on call.

Thank you for your patience and understanding!

 

Ogden Rd and Highfield Blvd Closed for Green Line Construction

 
 The intersection of Ogden Road and Highfield Boulevard will be closed during the weekend of August 24

The intersection of Ogden Road and Highfield Boulevard will be closed during the weekend of August 24

The City of Calgary is making infrastructure upgrades in this area to help make the future construction of the Green Line LRT easier. This work includes the installation of a new drinking water main for the future Highfield Station.

To complete this work, the intersection of Ogden Road and Highfield Boulevard will be closed during the weekend of August 24.

The closure will begin Friday, August 24 at 7 p.m. and will remain in effect until Monday, August 27 at 5 a.m. During this time, traffic will be detoured to 15A Street and 34 Avenue SE, as per the attached map. To accommodate this detour, parking along 15A Street will not be allowed and alternative parking will have to be found during this time. 

Approximately 250 businesses in the area have been notified about this planned closure and The City of Calgary Green Line team thanks the public for the patience and apologizes for any inconvenience. 

If you have any questions, please contact 311.

Thank you,
The Green Line LRT Team