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Erin Ridge traffic calming measures to start this year

Implementation strategy outlines three years worth of projects to deal with parking, traffic concerns in neighbourhood

By: Victoria Paterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jul 09, 2014 06:00 am

PLENTY OF VEHICLES – Erin Ridge traffic near Eldorado Rd.
PLENTY OF VEHICLES – Erin Ridge traffic near Eldorado Rd.
CHRIS COLBOURNE/St. Albert Gazette

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Some traffic calming measures will be rolled out in the Erin Ridge neighbourhood starting this year.

On Monday, council received for information the implementation strategy for traffic and parking mitigation measures in the Erin Ridge Drive area.

The planned efforts for this year include the installation of a three-way stop at Erin Ridge Drive and Erin Ridge Road and a mid-block crossing/sidewalk extension at Eldorado Drive.

Future years’ additions include intersection bulb-outs, the implementation of a hospital zone, time restricted parking on Erin Ridge Drive and Erin Ridge Road and in the area around the future high school and a drop-off zone for the school.

There will also be an assessment of the idea of putting in a residential parking permit program for the area.

“That is going to require a little bit more effort in terms of what needs to be done,” said Carol Bergum, the city’s director of planning.

While the measures planned for this year are to be funded from the existing city budget, council will have to approve funding for the projects planned for future years.

Some Erin Ridge residents were in the gallery to listen to the report. A few addressed council.

Murray Lambert of the Erin Ridge Residents’ Action Committee said they’ve been eagerly awaiting the report.

“Although at first glance it may appear impressive, closer examination reveals several flaws,” Lambert said. “Many if not all of the solutions provided are of a simplistic textbook nature.”

When asked to provide an example of a suggested mitigation measure that could be detrimental, Lambert suggested the three-way stop could cause big back-ups of traffic.

The planned “bulb-outs” which will serve to constrict traffic aren’t going to stop people from using the route as a cut-through either, Lambert said.

“Where are they going to go?” he asked.

Lambert suggested that now that the public-private partnership model for building the new school has collapsed, a new site could be sought. Those in the council chambers were told the francophone school board plans to go ahead with the school at the site.

Tom Tilley, another resident of Erin Ridge and a member of the action committee questioned why the delay in implementing a hospital traffic zone.

“If you want to put in 40 km/h, why does it take to 2015 to do that?” Tilley asked.

He also said a three-way stop would back up traffic, noting he spent two days counting vehicles in front of his house and there was one every three seconds.

“It’s inconceivable that you don’t have a stop light on this road,” he said.

Council voted unanimously to accept the report for information.

Coun. Tim Osborne gave notice of motion for more public engagement feedback to be sought on the implementation strategy.

He noted that this has been a contentious issue for council and that the staff report only went up on Friday afternoon with the rest of the council agenda, not allowing much time for feedback.

“I recognize that might not be comfortable … sometimes we have to have difficult conversations,” Osborne said of the discussion process.


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