Erin Ridge traffic committee supports city’s traffic calming recommendations

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The Erin Ridge traffic consultation committee wants to see their work continue into 2019.

Tim Saunders, who is a resident member of the committee and presented a report to St. Albert City Council, said that the greatest benefit to being part of the committee was that he was able to talk to Erin Ridge residents about traffic in a more informal fashion.

In the report to council, the 14 member resident committee suggested to council that the city implement the proposed traffic calming solutions for the area.

According to city data, Erin Ridge ranked third in number of collisions in 2014 and 2015. The proposed traffic calming measures include curb extensions, raised intersections and pedestrian crosswalks and speed display signs throughout the neighbourhood.

Along with supporting the city’s traffic calming measures, the committee proposed an additional 12 recommendations to council.

Frank Vagi, a member of the committee, said that the biggest issues facing the community are traffic speed, volume and short-cutting through the neighbourhood.

“Drivers will look for the path of least resistance and use that,” Vagi said.

Vagi said that the city’s traffic calming measures will slow down traffic, they will not reduce the volume or short-cutting through the neighbourhood. He said that those issues can only be addressed outside of Erin Ridge.

“We also note that the issues in Erin Ridge are a result of previous mistakes made by city planning,” Vagi said.

The committee said that the closure of Coal Mine Road for a developer negatively impacted the traffic in the area. They recommend that developers should retain the traffic patterns laid out in the neighbourhood Area Structure Plan (ASP).

To help ease problems in the neighbourhood, the committee wants to see roadways on the perimeter of the community improved. Roadways like Ray Gibbon, St. Albert Trail and Bellerose Drive need to be improved to draw traffic out of Erin Ridge, the report said.

One of the big problems highlighted in the community is that residents of Erin Ridge Drive, which has now become a busy collector road, have to back out into the roadway.

“The winding road design compounds the safety issue with lack of sight lines. Drivers are ill prepared to slow or stop to allow vehicles to enter onto the road and this increases frustration within the neighbourhood,” the report read.

The Erin Ridge traffic committee was struck on July 6, 2015 and since then has provided annual feedback. Over the summer the committee collected feedback on the proposed traffic calming measures from residents in an open house.

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Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2016. She writes about municipal, provincial and federal politics; court and crime; general news and features.