On May 30 we sponsored an evening workshop on transportation and parking issues in the Belgravia community raised in a report prepared by a working committee of the Board.
Sixty residents, two councilors, and two representatives from Edmonton Transportation participated. In addition, 26 resident households of the Mckernan part of the community, not in attendance, in a petition endorsed most of the remedies. Masood Makarechian, the facilitator, played a critical role in the meeting’s success as did Jeanette Boman, who handled all arrangements, and David Ridley, VP of BCL.
The City’s Transportation Master Plan recognizes many of the problems raised by residents at the meeting: “Edmonton supports livable and healthy communities … [and]…seeks to…mitigate the impacts of the transportation network on …residential communities. To avoid congested arterial roadways, some motorists … cut through neighborhoods. As a result, communities may experience increased traffic volumes, traffic noise, shortcutting, and higher traffic speeds. … [This tends to] raise concerns regarding the safety and quality of life in [the] communities.” (2009)
The broad concerns of the meeting were livability, quality of life, and sustainability of the community. For many the success of the community will be an important test and demonstration of the ability of the City to show the effectiveness of its new development strategies. There was a general consensus on problems and remedies and the need for follow-up. The immediate focus was on parking, speed of vehicles, cut through traffic, safety, and entry and exit.
Endorsed implementation of most remedies proposed in the BCL committee report.
- Emphasized that the volume and speed of traffic and the aggressiveness of drivers presented increasing problems for the community and that the problems have expanded to areas from 72nd Ave to 77th Ave. These problems are now seen as community wide problems.
- Expressed concerns about: the community environmental impact; health and safety consequences of density, speed, and aggressiveness of drivers; health effects of vehicle idling; endangerment of pedestrians and cyclists; and emergency vehicle access.
- Showed a clear preference for a proposal which one resident called the “simplest and most elegant solution: prohibit right turns east bound on 76th Ave onto 114th St.” between 4 and 5:30. Some members wanted a longer period; 3:30 to 5:30 will not create significant problems for residents. All seemed prepared to live with some inconvenience, given the benefits.
- Voiced support for prohibiting right turns for east bound Univ. Ave. traffic to 115th St. 4 to 5:30.
- Unanimously thought that there is a need for extensive use of four way stop sign systems and reduction of speed limits to 40 Km/hr throughout the community.
- Backed options to deal with day parking recommended by the BCL report. Many wanted an exploration of the Windsor Park “24/7 residents only with a daily visitor permits” system.
- Showed support for speed bumps on 74th Ave in front of Belgravia School. Indicated limited, mixed support for speed bump solutions in other locations.
- Wanted exploration of the use of one lane traffic circles on 76 Ave. at 116th and at Sask. Dr.
10. Demanded attention to some law enforcement problems on traffic cut through exiting from the UH complex onto 115th St., cut through over the curb from 71st Ave. to Belgravia Rd., and the blocking of intersections.
Many members were visibly upset about the whole process of public consultation and implementation of the City’s bicycle lanes program from process, location and safety perspectives.
If the above recommendations are implemented, there is support for a traffic signal system at Sask. Dr and Univ. Ave. to improve safe and quick exit from the community (a short phase for exiting traffic).
The community desires prompt action; some members are volunteering; more are needed. For more information or comment, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Submitted by Gil Reschenthaler, Chair, BCL Transportation Committee