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From East Village, there’s nowhere you can’t go. Once virtually cut off from the rest of the city, EV is now linked to everywhere you need to be, even though pedestrian-friendly streets invite people to stay. Innovative lighting makes streets as safe as they are entertaining; benches and public art invite you to linger. When you need to leave, transit is virtually at the door of every East Villager – the new City Hall station is a showpiece of efficiency. Come see the new streetscapes for yourself: some major thoroughfares are complete, and more streets are being completed all the time.
The Riff streetscape will connect virtually all character areas of EV by slicing diagonally through Calgary’s traditional square grid. It will extend in a north-easterly direction all the way from a plaza southwest of the EVE block in The Crossing to the edge of RiverWalk near the Fort Calgary lands. From there, this sunny pedestrian thoroughfare, animated by sculpture and street life, will lead over a new pedestrian/cycling bridge to a gently-rejuvenated St. Patrick’s Island.
Besides being a transformative amenity for East Village and a waterfront gathering place for all Calgarians, the 4 kilometers of RiverWalk will link key city neighbourhoods. From its beginnings at the Centre Street Bridge near Chinatown, RiverWalk meanders along the Bow through East Village to the confluence of the Elbow River, then flows south toward Stampede and Lindsay Park. In a single wonderful bike ride, you’ll be able to see a dozen city neighbourhoods. The first three phases of RiverWalk are now open – from Centre St. to the Simmons Building – and through Fort Calgary to 9th Ave SE.
The 4th Street Underpass, which opened in the Fall of 2011, is a new car, pedestrian and bike-friendly link that runs north/south under the CPR tracks on 9th Avenue SE, effectively linking East Village with Stampede Park. Anyone who has experienced the traffic congestion leaving a Flames game will immediately appreciate the benefits in connectivity the underpass provides. The new corridor also considers the requirements of future retail and mixed-use developments being planned along 4th Street SE inside East Village and along Olympic Way in Stampede Park.
The new St. Patrick’s bridge will be an East Village icon people can use every day: the span will be a key connection onto St. Patrick’s Island from East Village, and also link it to the northern banks of the Bow River near Memorial Drive and its associated pathways. The bridge is the product of an international competition. RFR from France and Halsall of Calgary won for a design that reminds Calgarians of a stone skipping over the water. Construction starts in 2012; completion is scheduled for late 2013.