Shortcut crackdown

Drivers have discovered that shortcutting through Red Deer’s temporary transit terminal location isn’t good for the pocketbook.

Drivers have discovered that shortcutting through Red Deer’s temporary transit terminal location isn’t good for the pocketbook.

For the last several weeks, city staff has been ticketing those who are using the terminal on 48th Street between 47A Avenue and 47th Street as a throughfare.

Transit operations superintendent Roger Bouchard said there were initial problems when the terminal opened in the parking lot.

Vehicles were regularly driving through the bus-only area.

“We were giving warnings and then we increased signage,” Bouchard said.

On June 24, drivers began being ticketed $150.

“We are giving about two or three tickets a day,” Bouchard said.

It’s important that drivers obey the rules since on a couple of occasions, pedestrians have nearly been hit, he said.

Other issues have surfaced since the city moved the transit terminal so a parkade can be built above the permanent transit terminal at 49th Avenue.

Garbage cans have been tagged with graffiti.

Some smokers walk into a nearby park, where they discard their cigarette butts.

Although the green space is not city property, the city wants to do something about this nuisance.

“We’re looking at putting butt containers in the area,” Bouchard said.

Riders have questioned where the washroom facilities are, since the former location had them.

Bouchard said there are no plans to put up temporary ones.

Bus shelters will be installed in the coming days.

The temporary transit terminal is only a couple blocks away so buses are generally running the same as they have before.

“Scheduling is within minutes,” Bouchard said.

Construction on the three-storey parkade is expected to start after the August long weekend, said acting Engineering Services manager Rebecca Clark.

Originally, administration had forecasted construction would begin in June.

“Some of the contract details had taken longer than we had hoped,” Clark said.

Shunda Construction applied for the tender and was awarded the project. Its bid was $13,414,000.

Despite the later start, Clark said the project is expected to finish on time in the early spring. Then the transit terminal will reopen in the downtown core.

The parkade will have 400 stalls and will also allow for expanded transit office space and kiosk retail opportunities in the northwest corner. While it’s being built, part of 49th Avenue will be closed so construction materials can be stored.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

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