Southwest commuters presented with five options for ring road

Global News: Thursday, February 3, 2011

CALGARY – The winding road towards building a southwest ring road just took five more turns.

The province and city are considering five different routes; each connecting to Stoney Trail using either Glenmore Trail, 37th Street or the Deerfoot to get from point A to point B.

But community association members don’t like what they see.

“The province asked a bunch of highway design engineers how to build a highway through Calgary; they came up with five ideas, none of which are very good,” says Duncan Kent, Lakeview Community Association.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi agrees. He dislikes the plans because all five run directly through the city.

“I don’t understand what he problem trying to be solved is here. To me, the problem is how do we solve congestion in southwest Calgary and how do we get southwest Calgary moving again.”

While the mayor isn’t considering the plans, the only option that seems to be getting a second look by the community is option four, which traces Glenmore Trail to 37th Street then over the Glenmore Reservoir linking to the 22X.

“It means less conflict from existing roads but it means running a major new bridge and highway across our drinking water supply,” says Kent.

“It means tearing out a number of homes in Lakeview and Glamorgan.”

But the province says it has no choice since using Tsuu T’ina land is no longer and option.

Nenshi says never say never.

“I know the chief and his council are really dedicated to being good neighbours and finding a win-win situation.”

The province is also willing to open up talks again. In a statement to Global News, Chief Sanford Big Plume replied saying “Tsuu T’ina is always open to conversations with the City or the Province on issues related to regional transportation.”

In the meantime, it remains unclear if that means yet another option is on the table once again.

The general public will have a chance to weigh-in on the issue. Open houses are tentatively planned for later this month or early March.

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