Traffic chaos in Red Deer

I have lived in Red Deer for two years after living in the U.K., Portugal, Spain and the U.S. over a period of 60 years, some of these years spent living in cities or driving daily to and from them. Quite honestly, have never driven in a city so badly thought out and planned as this one.

I have lived in Red Deer for two years after living in the U.K., Portugal, Spain and the U.S. over a period of 60 years, some of these years spent living in cities or driving daily to and from them. Quite honestly, have never driven in a city so badly thought out and planned as this one.

I live in the northern part of the city, which I think has two north/south arterial roads, namely Taylor Drive and Gaetz Avenue.

On Gaetz, driving south towards the city centre there are traffic lights at 78th, 77th, 76th, 74th, 71st, 68th and 67th streets, with left turn lanes at each.

There are two main east/west streets in that section, namely 77th and 67th.

A driver can at each of these lights have to stop because the light has changed, doubling the time it takes to get from A to B. During these idling times, more and more pollution is being spewed into the air and no doubt more during the extreme long cold winters that this city experiences.

Running parallel to Gaetz on both sides is a secondary road or commercial road and I fail to understand why there has to be traffic lights at every single crossroad. In most European and Central and South American cities, these secondary or commercial roads are used for traffic, which has to make a left turn, but the lights are only set at major intersections such as in the above example would be at 77th and 67th streets, the sidewalks between the main and secondary roads being blocked off at all other roads. Of course this cannot be achieved now but for some reason driving north through the city centre, all the lights co-ordinate, allowing traffic to run smoothly through them all without stopping until one clears the city centre and the fun begins again.

Taylor Drive, although not quite so busy, has different problems. One can, for example, drive west on 77th Street to Taylor Drive. A driver can sit in his vehicle for up to 30 seconds on a red light waiting for the signal to go green and during that time not a single vehicle has driven either north or south on Taylor Drive.

And finally, the short stretch of road on 43rd street between Taylor Drive and 52nd Avenue.

Approximately 12 months ago, this short section of road was dug up that lasted for many months. All this was probably necessary but some time after completion, what happened at the intersection of 43rd Street and 52nd Avenue? Instead of the four-way stop, which had worked perfectly adequately for many years allowing vehicles to turn right on 43rd to go to the hospital or the reverse coming the other way on 43rd, we got traffic signals, resulting in the buildup of traffic whilst waiting for the lights to change.

I wonder if the city could respond and tell us why the four-way stop had to be removed and in addition how much it cost the taxpayers of the city? In all probability, the city hasn’t a clue — especially with all the digging and underground electrical cables that would have had to be connected to the system.

One thing is definite: with elections coming soon, I for one will not vote for any of the present council to be re-elected.

James Taylor

Red Deer

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