Molly Banister extension is in taxpayers’ best interest

Do you realize that the City of Red Deer planners, and ultimately, city council is attempting to deny you once and for all, a beautiful, streamlined arterial access road between the east and west portions of the city?

This road, if it were built, would relieve traffic on 32nd Street and 19th Street and provide a second access to Red Deer College and businesses on the southwest portion of the city.

This road has been planned for over 30 years, but remains unbuilt. This road has been called Molly Banister Drive and currently connects Taylor Drive in the west and ends where it meets Barrett Drive, northeast of Bower Place mall.

It was intended to cross Piper Creek and follow south along the east side of the creek, then turn eastward following along the powerline right-of-way, and ultimately connecting the intersection of 40th Avenue and 22nd Street.

The west end at Taylor Drive was planned to continue westward, providing another access to Red Deer College.

So, what’s the problem? Melcor Developments Ltd. wants the land east of Piper Creek to develop housing lots.

What developer wants to see a roadway on land that could be subdivided and sold for top dollar. It appears on this basis alone, the City of Red Deer is to trash this 30-year-old, common-sense plan for thousands of taxpayers in favour of the wants of a multimillion-dollar company.

How are they doing that? A letter, a very confusing letter, was sent to only the residents of the Bower subdivision and Horizon Village. Included with the letter was a map of a scale requiring a magnifying glass to read the small print.

This map did not show the original plan for the road; rather, it showed a green line and an arrow connecting 40th Avenue to a small Bower subdivision street, called Boyce Street, which runs by a playground, a community centre and multiple residences and can never be widened.

Really? This is the new arterial road that the City of Red Deer is proposing? Beware Bower residents of what is being proposed.

No wonder the map was so hard to read and the letter so convoluted. No wonder the thousands of taxpayers on the east side of the city were not notified.

You can go to a meeting at the Harvest House on Oct. 27, but no council members will be there, only watching by video. You can make a 10-minute presentation (strictly monitored), you can phone in, write in, but you don’t get to ask questions.

This city can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on preparation, take-down and security for two protest marches, where COVID-19 rules were not adhered to, but cannot provide all citizens of Red Deer with a simple yes or no referendum on the original Molly Banister extension plan.

Who asked the city to consider an amendment to the Municipal Development Plan or the East Hill Major Area Structure Plan to remove the Molly Banister Drive to 40th Avenue?

Who? Certainly not the citizens of Red Deer.

Charles and Lois Collier, Red Deer

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