Categories: Your Views

Extending Ebony Way – disastrous!

That was a great letter from Katherine Van Hoof (Gazette, July 22) on traffic volume in Erin Ridge. Van Hoof has lived in Erin Ridge for almost three decades and her knowledge of traffic and the roadways in the area is clearly evident. In contrast, the letter from Tim Saunders (Gazette, Aug. 5) is a little disturbing. Saunders’ letter states that extending Ebony way across Coal Mine Road would result in a “negligible” increase in traffic on Erin Ridge Drive Erin Ridge Drive. So, let’s take a look.

The article (Gazette, July 8) titled “Council approves mixed use site” states the Landrex site will have 140,000 sq. ft. of commercial space with 120 residential units likely above the commercial. So, at say two cars per unit that is 240 cars. The article goes on to state that amendments to the Area Structure Plan granted to Landrex will see an additional low and medium density residential component of 1,540 units. So again, two cars per unit; that is an additional 3,080 cars potentially flowing through Ebony Way onto Erin Ridge Drive. In addition, the two schools in the area will both open together in September for the very first time. This will bring more than 40 school buses and an additional 200 cars onto Erin Ridge Drive. Many will go through Ebony Way if extended. Now keep in mind that’s only the residential component. It’s hard to say how many cars from the commercial component would be involved.

Traffic flow for any development north of Coal Mine Road should be from the St. Albert Trail and from Everitt North. Everitt North is the transportation corridor for any development north of Coal Mine Road. Everitt North is a four-lane divided roadway with two additional merge lanes at the St. Albert Trail. So, six lanes at the trail. In addition, there aren’t any residential homes on the portion of Everitt North at the St. Albert Trail. Compare that to little old Ebony Way – only two lanes, one block long with residential homes and driveways on both sides of the roadway.

Landrex calling Ebony Way a major collector can only be described as laughable. The first phase of Erin Ridge was developed in the1980s and Ebony Way has served as a connector roadway, connecting the people of Erin Ridge with Coal Mine Road. We are now in 2017 and Ebony Way has never at any time crossed Coal Mine Road. Council has a tough job. They want to be business and developer friendly and they should be. City council however, must also serve as a watchdog for the community. Landrex is a for-profit developer, they will always ask for the moon. It’s city council’s job to give Landrex everything they need to make a successful and profitable new development without negatively impacting existing communities.

Extending Ebony Way is not a deal maker or breaker for Landrex. Their new site will be developed with or without extending Ebony Way. The extension should not, and cannot happen. People of Erin Ridge have to start standing up for their rights. I would encourage Erin Ridge residents to email council members. Tell them that you want to stop the short-cutting through Erin Ridge and reduce traffic volume. Tell them by no means can Ebony Way be opened up to flow across Coal Mine Road. Tell council members and anyone running for council in October that the number one election issue in Erin Ridge is not the library or the hockey rink or swimming pool. Tell them the number one election issue in Erin Ridge is to stop the short cutting and reduce traffic volume.

Don Scott, St. Albert

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