Like most other Calgarians, Danielle Dawson drives by herself on Calgary roads to her job as a makeup artist.
She said that the introduction of carpool lanes, or High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, would not be beneficial to her because she doesn’t work the same shifts as others or live in the same areas as her co-workers.
“They could potentially be good, but it would need to be planned well in advance,” said Dawson. “At this point, our roads aren’t set up for something like that.”
The High Occupancy Vehicle Strategy report will go before city council on Monday, recommending Calgary adopt a 220-kilometre network of HOV lanes.
Anne Cataford, manager of network planning with the City of Calgary, said retrofitting Calgary for HOV lanes would be difficult in some areas in the city.
“We’re going to need to figure out what projects we have, which are going to be the easiest to implement and start with those initially,” said Cataford. “As we build a network, we’ll deal with the more difficult ones as we move into the future.”
Building the network would require widening roads and improving intersections and changing the designation of lane use, said Cataford.
The HOV network in Calgary has not been approved for funding, and if it is approved, it will be phased in over decades, said Cataford.
The policy would see HOV lanes implemented on city-run roads. Roads that fall under provincial jurisdiction like Deerfoot and the Ring Road could not be included.
Ald. Andre Chabot would like to see HOV lanes in Calgary, but on certain roads it cannot be accommodated without significant investments being made.
“Volume is typically high in the mornings and evenings,” Chabot said about Memorial Drive. “Trying to incorporate an HOV lane in some of the two-lane roads is going to create more backlog and idling.”