City approves speed reduction measures for 39th Street

Red Deer city council has given the green light to installing more speed reduction measures along 39th Street.

Red Deer city council has given the green light to installing more speed reduction measures along 39th Street.

Council supported on Monday a plan to install two electronic signs on 39th Street east of 30th Avenue and one pedestrian signal at the intersection of 39th Street and Douglas Avenue. The $150,000 cost would come from a provincial grant and a municipal reserve.

The decision comes after months of public input and further investigation from administration on how to slow traffic along 39th Street abutting Denison Crescent.

Council supported the measures, with the exception of Councillor Buck Buchanan, who said he lived on the back of 39th Street for eight years and would have liked to have seen more.

He favoured also having four-way stops at the 39th Street/Davison Drive and 39th Street/Dempsey Street intersections, plus rumble stops in the westbound lane leading up to Dempsey Street until 20th Avenue is built to 39th Street.

Denison Crescent resident Michael Donlevy called these latest approvals immediate solutions to a problem that’s extended over many years. Drivers are going too fast on the road to get out of the city or get back in.

“We’re really happy with this outcome,” Donlevy said.

Residents along Denison Crescent have been seeking improvements because their houses are so close to the road.

In August 2009, they suffered a close call when a pickup truck slammed through three backyards and into the kitchen of one home. Last summer, the city spent about $110,000 on tall deciduous shrubs and temporary concrete barriers along the north side of 39th Street.

“There’s other things (the city) may look at that are low cost or no cost,” said Donlevy. “But I think the immediate solution will look after it in the short term.”

Some residents complained they weren’t consulted about the summer changes and, as a result, a public open house for the entire neighbourhood was held on Nov. 17. About 60 people attended and of those, 61 per cent or 28 people supported the electronic speed signs. Another 78 per cent, or 36 people, favoured pedestrian signals at Douglas Avenue.

Residents offered other solutions — installing four-way stop signs, traffic lights or additional pedestrian signals (46 per cent), removing and/or modifying existing traffic calming bulbs (37 per cent), making physical changes to the road (26 per cent) and extending 32nd Street and/or Ross Street (24 per cent).