Red Deer citizens are asked to do a survey on the future expansion of Molly Banister Drive to connect with 40th Avenue. It’s on the city’s website. (Advocate file photo).

Widening of 32nd Street found to be an infeasible alternative to Molly Banister expansion in 2006 study

It’s too hemmed in by other properties, the study found

The City of Red Deer will have few options to prevent future traffic jams if the Molly Banister Drive expansion is taken off the table, according to a 2006 study.

A study done more than a decade ago found the widening of 32nd Street was not a feasible alternative as there is little-to-no room for the construction of additional traffic lanes.

Consultants found that the widening of 32 Street is likely not possible as it would require additional land from existing properties next to 32nd street, said the city’s planning manager Emily Damberger.

The 2006 study identified that widening 32nd Street would also have environmental impact, including on existing trails along Kin Kanyon, and the loss of trees.

As well, it would increase traffic noise for residents living next to 32 Street, Damberger added.

The 19th Street widening was found to be more doable, since there is more road right-of-way available for potential new traffic lanes, compared to the 32 Street corridor.

However, the study showed that a major intersection improvements, with significant cost, would be required, and this would also impact to Piper Creek.

Damberger said no alternatives to these two options were found in the 2006 study.

“Other options that were explored were not able to address the growing demands on the transportation network.”

The City of Red Deer is asking residents to share their opinions on the future Molly Banister extension over Piper Creek, to connect with 40th Avenue, in an online survey on the city’s website.

While this road construction would not be necessary until Red Deer has between 115,000 and 180,000 residents, Melcor Developments asked the city to make a decision on this future project.

Melcor officials want the road corridor to be taken out of future area plans as the developer is planning a new neighbourhood between the Sunnybrook and Southbrook neighbourhoods and needs to know if a future multi-lane road will intersect it.

Damberger said the public survey will provide citizens feedback that will be reviewed and presented to Council early in 2020.

The 2006 study will also form part of report to council. It will “provide a full review of all aspects of the potential future road alignment conversation,” said Damberger.

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