February 3, 2011
Southwest residents are enraged they may lose their properties to the proposed southwest ring road, says a community leader.
Duncan Kent, president of Lakeview Community Association, said the options the province is outlining for the project could mean up to 700 houses in Lakeview and south part of Glamorgan would have to come down to give way for the expressway.
“Generally, speaking they’re really upset and anxious about this, because nobody knows if we’re going to get stuck with a really expensive stupid solution or if sanity will prevail,” he said.
People whose properties may get expropriated and those who may get an expressway behind their backyards are the ones most vocal on the issue, said Kent.
The city needs to be on the driver’s seat in finding a solution to the dilemma, he said.
“I think it’s time for the mayor to take a leadership role in this and to talk to the province and say, ‘Look you’re trying to solve a transportation problem in a dumb way,’” said Kent.
“Let us get involved, let us take a lead role, don’t impose a provincial solution on Calgary.
Alberta Transportation Minister Luke Ouellette has said in the past any plan that would displace the residents of 700 homes is not acceptable but hasn’t said how many could ultimately be affected.
The preferred route of five listed being suggested by the province would take the route along 37 St. S.W. and over the Weaselhead natural area.
Kent said he recognizes that it’s the province that has the bucks to build the southwest expressway to close off the Calgary ring road, but it’s a problem that should be decided by the city.
Completing the ring road is a transportation problem but it must be examined in conjunction with the transit issues in the area, the network of roadways and what Calgary wants for the long term, he said.
Council endorsed in 2009 a long-term blueprint for development called Plan-It Calgary, which also included a transportation infrastructure plan.
Kent said the city should look at that plan and find a ring-road solution and not simply hire a “bunch of highway engineers” to figure out where to put an eight-lane road.
For other media coverage of the latest developments with the south west portion of the ring road, click here.