Residents voice concerns on LRT, traffic lights

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Residents were asked to take one last look at plans and provide feedback on future road, transit and trail systems at an open house at the St. Albert Legion last week as the city wraps up its transportation master plan review.

Ross Guffei, a St. Albert resident and retired urban planner, was concerned to see that an LRT through the city was still included in the plan.

Planned to run alongside the city’s main thoroughfare, Guffei is concerned that the line will wreak havoc on an already busy St. Albert Trail.

He argued that potential ridership – which he quoted the city as stating would be 2,400 in peak periods – did not justify the cost to implement the project, nor the potential negative impacts to motorists’ standard of living.

The line would originate at the planned Campbell Park and Ride transit centre and make three stops along the trail – a downtown station, a Hebert station and a Boudreau station – before ending at a park and ride station in northern St. Albert.

Guffei argues that rather than trying to encourage modal shifts in transportation, city engineers should be weighting its decisions on percentage of usage.

“It is not up to the municipality, in my opinion, to dictate to a driver that he cannot drive. And that’s what they’re trying to do,” he said. “The engineer and the city, in my opinion, are here to make sure that it satisfies the needs of the people.”

Dean Schick, manager of transportation, said that the city is doing just that.

He said the main focus of the new plan was to ensure that the right street is designed for the right user and the right purpose.

“What we’re looking at with this TMP is a stronger recognition of functionality of a road. What is your primary road user and what impact do they have to the others,” he said.

Sylvia Bilsky attended the open house to get some answers on why the lights on St. Albert Trail always seem to turn red as she reaches an intersection – a common feeling among St. Albert residents.

She said she was very satisfied with the city’s explanation.

Schick explained that at the same time that protected left turns were implemented so were new pedestrian safety standards, which made light transitions slower.

In an interview, Schick also indicated that the city would be installing fibre connections to all its lights, beginning with the St. Anne Street and St. Albert Trail in the next month.

Comment forms can be filled out and returned to the city by Oct. 8.

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Michelle Ferguson