Letter: Bower community in Red Deer exhausted by lack of compassion over Molly Banister extension

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As a 33-year resident of Bower community and I am in total shock.

For decades we have been saying “no” to extending Molly Banister Drive across the Piper Creek wildlife corridor. We have been badgered by the traffic gods for the need to quickly get cars from the east side of Red Deer to the west side. We were told this extension was vital to our city’s very existence and that it had to be a four-lane arterial roadway, since Molly Banister and 22nd Street are both arterial roadways. No matter that nature would be irreparably damaged and we would forever lose precious parkland about which we so proudly boast about in our tourist brochures.

Now, suddenly we are being presented with a new proposal.

Not only is the Molly Banister extension still on the table, but two other crossing locations are being presented, both of which cut right through the heart of the Bower community.

It seems it wasn’t enough to “need” to destroy the beautiful Piper Creek corridor, now we are also being faced with the permanent scarring of our residential neighbourhood as well. And for what? So Melcor can build more houses and move more cars across town?

I wonder how other established communities in this city would feel under this constant barrage. I wonder how many would be content to be so disrupted for the shallowest of reasons. Not many, I bet!

Bower community is exhausted by the total lack of compassion by leaders and builders who should know better. It is of no comfort to be told that the crossing may not be built for 20 or 30 years. It is of no comfort to be told that suddenly the “arterial” roadway can now be downgraded to a mere “collector” roadway. Long-term Red Deerians like me know from experience that council decisions are never permanent. Whatever they decide now, is sure to be reconsidered later. It happens all the time.

This invasive crossing, and it’s accompanying damage to our neighbourhood is not needed now, and will likely not be needed in the future. That was city administration’s decision last year, and it was correct. But that’s not good enough for council or Melcor. They want to forge ahead anyway.

Virginia Lewis, Red Deer