Molly Banister extension is needed for future growth

Molly Banister extension is needed for future growth

Red Deer city council will vote on removing right-of-way on Monday

The city will be expanding 32nd Street to six lanes in the next five to 10 years. At huge cost to the taxpayers.

The city will be expanding 19th Street to six lanes in the next five to 10 years. At huge cost to the taxpayers.

The city will build a traffic circle on 19th Street. Last I heard, it would be in the 10s of millions of dollars.

The city planners are recommending removing the right-of-way for the Molly Banister extension. One item they talked about was that 19th Street will be widened anyways. That the traffic on 32nd Street did not increase as much as they thought since 2006.

Isn’t the city spending millions, now reinforcing 32nd Street near 47th Avenue, because of a shifting foundation?

The population has only increased by 195 residents in five years.

The Molly Banister extension was meant for when the population increases by 88,000.

Are the city planners predicting stagnant growth or declining populations?

They want to remove a road allowance that may be a quiet road for many decades, when we hit 188,000, so that the developer can now build 50 houses where the road allowance is supposed to be.

There will be no turning back, then, if the city does rebound from this period of stagnation and decline and does see a population of 188,000, then sorry. We are out of luck.

Three hundred families along 32nd street would see traffic go from 23,500 per day to 45,000 per day.

For every hiker, biker and skater who won’t have to use a crosswalk, there will be thousands of motorists driving four extra kilometre every day.

You can imagine how much emissions will be spewed over the years before they change to electric. Eight thousand kilometres per day, minimum 20 kilometres per litre of fuel, 400 litres extra of fuel burned every day so hikers don’t have to use a crosswalk. Very environmentally friendly.

There is a very small chance for animals to cross 32nd Street now at 23,500 cars per day. What chance will they have at 45,000?

The same can be said for 19th Street.

Ten years ago, I would have supported removing the Molly Banister extension, but things have changed. My grandchildren won’t walk in those woods: homeless camps, needles and garbage take something away from the experience.

Seniors, not being able to cross 32nd Street to socialize, get a haircut and go to the convenience store. Children, not being able to cross as easily to go skating or use the park.

Three hundred families will hear more traffic, see homes devalued due to traffic. Ask the realtors.

I am repeating what has been said many times already. I know I don’t donate to election campaigns, host parties or socialize with planners and politicians. I am just a taxpayer who thinks homeowners should be able to enjoy their homes.

Many people have said the city cannot afford to maintain the infrastructure we have now, and our population is stagnant. Our assessment values have been depreciated.

Perhaps we are on the wrong track, now. Maybe we should not tie future councils’ hands.

I am asking the mayor and councillors to vote against removing the road allowance when they vote on Monday, Sept. 14.

We are not in a rush to build 700 plus houses and we don’t need 50 houses backing onto Piper Creek.

Will we continue down this road and appease a few at the expense of the many?

Garfield Marks is a Red Deer resident.

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