Traffic problems in Red Deer require far better planning

A recent Red Deer Advocate article has compelled me to do something I rarely do these days, express myself in print. It is unfortunate that while I am going to the effort of expressing my opinion I am sure that it will have little or no effect on the decision making of the “powers that be.” Be that as it may, I hope you will indulge me.

A recent Red Deer Advocate article has compelled me to do something I rarely do these days, express myself in print. It is unfortunate that while I am going to the effort of expressing my opinion I am sure that it will have little or no effect on the decision making of the “powers that be.” Be that as it may, I hope you will indulge me.

First of all, the matter of the Molly Banister Drive extension. The City of Red Deer has done a magnificent job of building roads to … nowhere. Ross Street from 30th Avenue to nowhere, 32nd Street from 30th Avenue to nowhere, Molly Banister Drive from Gaetz Avenue to nowhere are the most glaring examples.

The Molly Banister Drive extension should have been completed 20 years ago, contrary to what former councillor Watkinson-Zimmer thinks. The recent reconstruction of 32nd Street, while badly needed considering the disrepair, has done very little to alleviate the bottleneck of traffic heading east out of downtown. (Just try turning left off of 32nd Street westbound onto 40th Avenue southbound during rush hour or any other hour for that matter.)

The improvement of 19th Street has helped but people are inherently lazy and will take the shortest, easiest route on everything from walking to doing homework, despite what Cindy Jefferies says about it not being that far between 19th and 32nd Streets.

One only needs to look at the map to see that 32nd Street is servicing twice as many communities as 19th Street ever will, considering the Anders configuration.

Molly Banister would not only relieve pressure on 32nd Street but Gaetz Avenue as well, since traffic from Bower Place Shopping Centre could travel east immediately rather than funneling back to Gaetz Avenue, whether it is northbound or southbound.

I disagree with Dorothy Dickson on her opinion of the “wildlife corridor” through the Piper Creek area. You can’t tell me that deer are staying huddled between 32nd Street and 19th Street indefinitely. They are obviously crossing these roadways at will (although not always without mishap) and one more roadway surely could not disrupt things for them any more than they already are.

Next on my hit list is 20th Avenue. I must temper my arguments by stating that I am fully aware of the enormous costs and time constraints of building any road these days. (Which begs the question: how did they build the Alaska Hwy so quickly in the middle of a war?)

Range Road 270 is quickly becoming the collector road that 20th Avenue should be. Workers leaving town are using 39th Street to exit Red Deer (without traffic lights) and using the narrow, under-constructed road to access Hwy 11. 39th Street is another huge oversight of the city by creating a bottlenecked exit out of the city by reducing 39th Street from four lanes to two, placing backyards within a slowpitch throw from a busy street and then wondering why people are upset about speeding traffic 50 feet from their deck.

Had the city completed Ross Street and 32nd Street to Range Road 270 or RR 271 and co-ordinated with the county to upgrade RR 270 or RR 271, there would not have been the uproar created a few years ago with the resulting “bulbous speedbumps” made to capture unwitting snowplow operators and city bus drivers, not to mention distracted teenagers. I refer back to my comment about lazy people taking the shortest, easiest route as proof of the need for the Ross Street and 32nd Street extension.

Finally, I see city planners have decided to make Alexander Way and Taylor Drive an all-turns access intersection.

Have you lost your collective minds? Do you see the amount of traffic backed up to 45th Street waiting to get across Taylor Bridge? And you guys want to add another traffic light from a street that features a raised crossing/speed bump through an area of heavy foot traffic from the water park from a part of downtown nobody travels through?

Terry Johannson

Red Deer

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