City of Calgary to close Deerfoot Trail as ring road construction progresses

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Deerfoot Trail during rush hour, highlighting the busy and dangerous nature of this stretch of Highway 2 through Calgary.

CALGARY, Alberta – The City of Calgary announced today that it plans to permanently close Deerfoot Trail in 2015 after the SE section of the Stoney Trail ring road is completed. This decision was made in light of the deal with the Province of Alberta that stipulates that control of Deerfoot Trail within Calgary city limits will be handed over to the City once the SE portion of the Province-owned perimeter highway is completed.

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Mayor Naheed Nenshi, uncharacteristically excited for no damn reason

We have received numerous complaints over the years from Calgarians that “traffic on Deerfoot Trail is a nightmare” and that “Highway 2 is very, very dangerous,” wah, waaah, waaaaaah, waaaaaaaaaah. Sheesh.

 

By closing the highly-travelled 6-laner that cuts through town, we will elimate both problems at once – no traffic, no danger. Capiche? We fully expect that the east side of the Stoney Trail ring road will accommodate the traffic from Deerfoot Trail and then some. That’s what our traffic model simulator programs tell us.

Once Deerfoot Trail has been decommissioned, the City plans to convert it into the longest and widest bicycle/pedestrian/inline skating/long boarding/land sailing thoroughfare in North America.

The right lane in each direction will be pedestrian-only; the middle lanes will be reserved for non-motorized vehicles with wheels of 6″ diameter or smaller (for your skateboards, inline skates and the like), and the left-lanes will only allow non-motorized vehicles with wheels whose diameter is greater than 6″ (which will include most bicycles). And in a first of its kind anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, the shoulders will be flooded every winter to allow for people to commute to work on their ice skates (a system that will make Ottawaters and their fancy Rideau Canal vibrate with envy).

Mayor Nenshi is currently in talks with the Calgary Police Service and Bylaw Services to ensure that they are properly staffed to enforce the bylaws along the thoroughfare. This includes new Bylaw MR2014-DR which states that, “hockey sticks, and/or any sticks that resemble a hockey stick, no matter the material from which it is made, shall not be permitted on the ice lanes while they are flooded and frozen.”

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File photo of Jerome Iginla playing some lazy, late-Saturday night shinny

The sole exception to Bylaw MR2014-DR permits Jerome Iginla to skate with full equipment, a hockey stick, and even a puck, because he does not pose any threats of any kind to the general public at large, especially other would-be hockey players on the ice-shoulders.

When asked about the exception to the bylaw, Jerome Iginla, after pausing self-help DVDs, “How to play commensurate to your salary,” and “How not to suck,” stated, “Well, I see where you guys are coming from, and I’m okay with it. I don’t imagine I could do too much damage along the new skate-way. If by chance there was a hockey net in the ditch, the worst that could happen is that I would wind up, shoot the puck, miss the net, fall on my ass, and then just float around. So errr… yeah, I’m okay with it.”

To prepare Calgarians for Deerfoot Trail’s eventual closure, the City of Calgary plans to close down all of its 6 lanes during the 10 days of this year’s Stampede from 64th Avenue NE to Anderson Road SE for road marking maintenance.

The City will use a new technique whereby the lines are painted using a walk-behind machine, versus using trucks, so that the lines can be applied with care (a mandate from the Honourable Mayor Nenshi), at the expense of taking 10 days, instead of a single overnight session.

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City of Calgary’s Roads Division employee Jason Bracey, practicing painting straight lines in an abandoned parking lot with one of the new ManuMatic 2000 Lane Marking machines.

The City will not have a designated detour during this road closure, and Calgarians are super pissed.

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