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Erin Ridge traffic calming

Erin Ridge and Erin Ridge North residents have until July 15 to let the city know if the communities want to move forward on traffic calming.

A neighbourhood support survey has been mailed to residents. At least 55 per cent of the neighbourhood must be in support of continuing to work on the traffic calming process before work will continue. Each household gets one vote.

On Wednesday, residents got the chance to view traffic volume and shortcutting statistics as well as identify their concerns and make suggestions for how to address problems in the neighbourhood.

Several residents praised the opportunity to give insight to traffic problems in the area. Concerns range from parking and visibility issues to the safety of children playing near residential roads used as shortcuts.

“It’s a good thing,” said Judy Cameron. Her husband Don Cameron said the whole area has been an issue, noting issues often arise from people trying to use the neighbourhood to access the nearby commercial areas.

The couple said they’ve encountered visibility issues trying to turn onto Erin Ridge Drive from their street. The visibility issues are caused by cars parked on Erin Ridge Drive, many of which are staff or visitors at the Sturgeon Community Hospital.

Danielle and Steve Potvin are concerned about child safety along Everitt Drive, often seeing vehicles whizzing past despite the residential nature of the road.

“There’s only one solution, it’s reducing the speed,” Steve Potvin said. He also noted some of the playground zones in the area don’t have the speeds – 30 km/h – actually posted.

A type of road engineering called bulb-outs, meant to help reduce speeds, haven’t had much effect, Danielle Potvin said. She recently saw someone pull out to pass despite the presence of one.

She was in favour of the idea of putting in one of the bright yellow crosswalks that now feature in several St. Albert school zones and along Perron Street.

Like the Camerons, the Potvins had some praise for the consultation process on Wednesday.

“It’s good as long as something comes out of it,” Danielle Potvin said.

Chief community development officer Gilles Prefontaine said in an email that the feedback from Wednesday’s open house will be used to identify specific areas of concerns and help inform traffic calming strategies for the neighbourhood.

“The preferences expressed in this feedback from residents play a significant role in the neighbourhood’s support and adoption of traffic calming initiatives,” Prefontaine said.

If it turns out that 55 per cent of Erin Ridge and Erin Ridge North residents are on board according to the survey results, the next steps will be to continue identifying neighbourhood concerns and the creation of some preliminary traffic calming plans.

That will be followed by some more open houses and another support survey, which will require a 60 per cent household buy in this time.

The information presented at the open house on Wednesday included traffic volume and shortcutting data for some of the routes in the neighbourhood.

Some of the shortcutting information showed areas where only a small percentage are using the residential streets as a cut through during peak periods. But the route along Eldorado Drive and then south along Erin Ridge Drive or west along Erin Ridge Road showed that 35 per cent of the traffic during a peak period appeared to be shortcutting.

Another section of Erin Ridge Drive, heading north from Eldorado Drive to Bellerose Drive, showed 17 per cent of the traffic during a peak period was shortcutting.

Prefontaine said there is greater analysis required regarding the short-cutting data that was gathered.

“Understanding how residents move around the community is important in planning for improvements to the transportation network today and planning in the future to support our community’s goal for greater multi-modal transportation options,” he said.

If at least 55 per cent of households don’t vote to move onto the second phase of traffic calming work, alternative solutions will be examined.

The city has posted the information from the open house on www.stalbert.ca. The information can be found by searching either neighbourhood traffic calming or Erin Ridge traffic calming.

Responses to the survey mailed to each household have prepaid postage, but answers can be emailed to the city instead at dschick@stalbert.ca. The deadline for email responses is also July 15.

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