Ring Road looms large in Lakeview's future

Post date: May 30, 2010 3:48:00 AM

By Duncan Kent

Your Lakeview Community Association Board of Directors has held two special meetings in the past month to discuss strategy with respect to the Southwest Ring Road study.

The more we learn about the Province’s project, the more we understand that the impacts on Lakeview of a ring road alignment down 37th Street would be massive.

At our request, Alex Broda from the study team and Peter Clark of MLA Alison Redford’s constituency office attended the most recent meeting of the Board of Directors on Monday, May 10th, to provide us with an update.

We were told that the Province’s planning process for the ultimate Ring Road solution is running somewhat behind schedule and the first open house for the study will likely not take place until after the municipal election this fall.

The study team is gathering data for use in evaluating the shortest route down 37th Street against alternatives and also deciding what criteria should be used to compare the alternatives.

The Ring Road study team is basing their evaluation on a high-speed eight-lane controlled access roadway, but concede that it might not be possible to design for the 110 km/hr speed limit that will be in place in the rest of the ring road system.

One major problem faced by the study team is how to build the curve that would be necessary to turn this high-speed road from an east/west alignment along Glenmore Trail to the north/south alignment of 37th Street.

This curve would have to turn through the heart of Lakeview if it is not possible to obtain land from the Tsuu T’ina for the road.

We were told that the design size of the Ring Road will be based on information from the City of Calgary about travel needs.

The study group believes that this information will indicate that approximately 90 percent of the traffic on this segment of the ring road would be moving around Calgary and only 10 percent would be starting or ending their journeys outside Calgary.

At peak commuting time, the road would carry approximately 10,000 vehicles per hour. The obvious question for those who would plan to use the ring road to commute to work is how they would get from the ring road into the city, deal with congestion downtown and then park.

Our Alderman, Brian Pincott, also attended our meeting. He is well aware of the issues associated with the potential ring road, including the enormous cost of upgrading city roads to take traffic into downtown. Brian has long been an advocate for better public transit to reduce the need for road construction. We are fortunate in Lakeview to have the No. 63 express bus (though it doesn’t run often enough) but much could be done to make public transit faster and more convenient.

Public transit is not a feasible solution for everyone but the better it is, the more people will use it and fewer vehicles will be on the road.

Your LCA board is working hard on this issue. However, you should not sit back and rely on the community association or your elected representatives to protect your interests!

Please take advantage of every opportunity to voice your concerns and apply pressure on the decision-makers to choose a solution that minimizes impact on our homes and our community.

(Duncan Kent is the president of the Lakeview Community Association. He can be reached at duncan.kent@shaw.ca)

This ring road map is posted on the City of Calgary's website: