There are 38 communities around the city that are clamoring for answers to a long standing complaint about drivers avoiding rush hour tie ups, and short cutting through residential streets. However, any one wanting answers will now have to wait an additional year.
“We funded six new staff for short cutting in the operating budget,” complained a frustrated Coun. Michael Walters. “So what are they doing during this one year delay? it’s a big question for me.”
City planners have put things on the back burner, as one of the city’s directors who sits on a national board is waiting until a Canada wide strategy is studied, so it can be the basis of a made in Edmonton solution said Peter Ohm the city’s chief planner.
“There was always a lot of tension in those communities where there’s interest in having some sort of traffic calming tactics, but there were a lot of communities and members who were opposed to it, so that’s where there’s a fine line, the balance we have to seek in finding this policy.”
We saw an example of that last year in ward ten where a road was blocked off only to have the experiment abandoned before its scheduled conclusion because it made some Pleasantview residents very happy and others furious.
“It divides communities on what the problem is and every neighborhood is different from the next,” Walters said. “So I think we should take the time but what are we going to do in the meantime?”
In the meantime they’re using the flashing speed signs to document the extent of speeding and road use. Walters said a road that’s built for 5,000 cars to go 50 km/h are now seeing 10,000 cars going “sixty or seventy.”
“Traffic calming ultimately needs to be tied to neighborhood renewal because that’s when you can redesign the road.”
Coun. Michael Oshry said short cutting was a big issue during the last campaign in 2013 in west Edmonton.
“To me it sounds like we’d have to go another two years before we’d go back into any other community, and we’re already well behind where we need to be,” Coun. Andrew Knack agreed. “I’m uneasy about approving a new date with out saying there will be no work being done in some of these 38 communities.”