By NADIA MOHARIB, CALGARY
September 11, 2010
Frustration is in the driver’s seat for many still awaiting the stalled
southwest ring road.
About 300 people showed up to a panel discussion Saturday looking for new
developments to the ongoing ring road saga, but many, clearly frustrated at the
seemingly never-ending process, said they left with little more information than
they arrived with.
Longtime Lakeview resident Bill Snowdon said “rhetoric” surrounding plans,
proposals and last year’s kiboshed deal, has been much the same for years.
And while there will be community open houses in late November, the
81-year-old, scoffed he’s not optimistic a plan will be acted on any time
“I’m not going to live that long,” he said.
Last year, the Tsuu T’ina First Nation backed out of a plan inked with the
province that would have seen the ring road cut through reserve land after a
community referendum didn’t back it.
Since then, a joint planning study looked at other options, which could
include a route along 37 St. S.W. through Lakeview from Glenmore Tr. to 37 St.
S.W. to accommodate the potential eight-lane freeway.
While it is to be complete next fall, area MLA Alison Redford said open
houses set to garner community input will allow citizens to look at engineers’
ideas and start a discussion towards viable solutions.
“I want to fix the problem,” she told the crowd at the Lakeview Baptist
“This is not intended to hurt the community, to destroy this community — if
the community doesn’t agree with it we won’t do it.”
She said she is optimistic open houses, where citizens will be able to see
engineers’ proposed plans, will be a beginning of constructive discussions.
“I fully expect some will be ridiculous — until we see those designs it will
be difficult to take the discussion any further,” Redford said.
Residents of Lakeview have raised concerns hundreds of homes could be
levelled to make way for a ring-road down 37 St. S.W. across the Weaselhead,
although the province’s transportation minister has said that’s unlikely.
Community Association president, Duncan Kent said people want answers and
“People want to know what the province is planning,” he said.
“There is a lot of uncertainty, and fear and doubt.”
Redford said the idea of working with Tsuu T’inna to make the plan happen has
not been ruled out but the nation will have to make the first move.
The province is aiming to have the full ring road completed by 2015.