No Cars on 7th Ave

Calgary 7th Ave Fire Trucks - Rob Moses Photography
Camera: Canon 5D & 24-70L @68mm – Settings: 1/125th // f16 // ISO 640

This is not your typical street photography shot, but this is not your typical street. This is 7th Avenue in Calgary. Strange thing about this street is you are not allowed to drive on it and it is right in the middle of downtown Calgary! The city has reserved 7th Avenue strictly for trains and buses. When I first learned of this I found it to be quite strange, as I had never seen such a thing. I don’t know how typical this is compared to other cities, but to me it seems rather strange. On the edge of the east side of downtown one of the train lines is underground and comes aboveground as it turns onto 7th Ave. In my opinion they should have just kept the train underground as it went through the downtown core. I honestly can’t see why they wouldn’t have done that, especially since we have such long winters here in Calgary. I am sure it has something to do with the cost of putting the train underground, but I think it would have been worth it in the long run. At least the train is free downtown!

* Incase you where wondering, I shot this from a pedestrian over pass andΒ I have no idea what all those fire trucks were doing there haha. Sorry πŸ˜‰


  1. Deb · February 11, 2013

    My 2 year old loves 7th ave as it is a great spot to see a lot of trains.

  2. coyotero2112 · February 11, 2013

    A Calgary fact you can fill me in on – does Calgary have any pedestrian-only streets? That is one of the few things I like about San Jose…the main street, Avenida Central, is like many downtown areas of European cities – no motorized vehicles. They made a core area of downtown Seattle pedestrian-only just before I left a few years ago, and the business community was in an uproar. Now they have more potential customers ON FOOT than they ever had.

    • Rob Moses · February 11, 2013

      Yes Calgary does have a pedestrian only street. In fact it is only one street south of 7th Ave. I believe it is pedestrian only from 6am to 6pm, after which it opens up to vehicles during the night. I must admit I rather like this πŸ™‚
      Thank you for your comment.

  3. Patricia Jordan · February 11, 2013

    Love your site and photography!

    • Rob Moses · February 11, 2013

      Thank you very much! πŸ™‚ Kind of you to say so.

  4. Graffiti Lux and Murals · February 11, 2013

    Hot topic for Calgary!

  5. Boomdeeadda · February 11, 2013

    We’re in the process of the train expansion to NAIT and a extra line downtown to City Hall, they actually talked about going down Stoney Plain Rd which luticris. It’s barely 4 lanes now..add a train down the middle and it’d be bumper to bumper. I saw on the news that Toronto is test driving a ‘quiet’ car on their train which I would love. No cells or loud music or loud riders…very zen…..a dream come true for moi. Another city with a similar street is Chicago. State street is all park benches and pedestrians. you can ride their L down thru it but no cars.

    • Rob Moses · February 11, 2013

      Ya I saw that story on the news about the GO Train too! Sounds like an interesting idea :). As for Edmonton, hopefully they come up with a good solution. And Chicago, I haven’t been there before, but I am desperate to go and check it out. It look AMAZING!

      • Boomdeeadda · February 12, 2013

        If you get a chance, I think you’d love to photograph the city. Lot’s of history, tree lines streets and of course the lake. I’ve been a number of times as I have family there. The neighbourhoods each have their own flavour punctuated by great resturaunts

      • Rob Moses · February 12, 2013

        Sounds great! I’ll make it out these one of these days!

  6. Ron Scubadiver · February 13, 2013

    Was there a fire that day?

    • Rob Moses · February 13, 2013

      I couldn’t see any kind of fire from where I was. Not really sure what was going on.

  7. Minkee Robinson · February 13, 2013

    Actually the best Bus Rapid Transit systems–such as those in many South American cities–dedicate lanes and streets, plus build “stations” for a bus system that operates with many of the speed efficiencies of a rail system without the need to build rails.

    I wish Calgarians were more open to public transit but urban sprawl limits the economic efficiency of any transit system we implement. The debate about the cost of putting our downtown LRT underground fell in favor of the street level system we have now. I guess Calgarians like seeing where there money goes.

  8. Yardley · February 14, 2013

    Fantastic picture and a very nice accompanying post. You are not the first to wonder what the logic (if any) there was in deciding against the subway.

  9. Keli · February 17, 2013

    All the fire trucks make for a really cool shot.

    • Rob Moses · February 18, 2013

      Thank you, I like the fire trucks too! πŸ™‚

  10. Rob Sutherland · April 25, 2013

    The train was supposed to go underground. 7th ave was only intended to be temporary. If you watch the side of the underground tunnel that you mention in your post on the side closest to downtown you will see a branch that starts to go off towards downtown. There was supposed to be stops under city hall and along stephen ave. However, it never materialized likely due to cost., And then when they put up those big sculpture trees on Stephen Ave. they had to anchor them down into the area that the train would have gone finally killing the chances of the train going there. Without having to remove the trees again at least.

    • Rob Moses · April 25, 2013

      OMG! That is insane! Thank you so much for sharing. That really upsets me! It would be WAY better if it was underground. It makes no sence to not have just done it underground straight away. And the thing you mentioned about the trees finally killing the chances of it going underground is terrible! How unfortunate 😦

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