A draft Transportation Master Plan (TMP) was created to address the growing needs of the City, and provide safe and efficient transportation infrastructure over the next 20 years.
The TMP outlines a variety of projects that will improve traffic flow in and around the City. Revitalization of the Downtown area and creating minor collector routes through the City, will make the City more accessible, and prevent congestion at the same time.
The downtown routes of 100 Street and 100 Avenue are prime examples of roads recommended for change. Currently these are arterial roads, which in the past were widened to accommodate the City’s growing traffic needs. The result of that is a downtown that is focussed on vehicles, rather than an inviting area with character.
A main recommendation of the TMP is to redesign both roads to a new three-lane configuration, with one through lane in each direction and a centre left-turn lane. There would still be parallel parking on both sides of the streets, and the extra room gained by narrowing the paved road would be reallocated to wider sidewalks and other public uses. The combined projected cost of redeveloping 100 St., and 100 Ave., is $12,130,000.
At the same time as the TMP recommends a reduction in lanes through the downtown, it also recommends upgrading the section of 100 St. from 110 Avenue to the North By-pass Road to be upgraded to a four-lane segment. This segment is one of the connections where it is believed it will see increasing volumes due to future development in the northwest quadrant of the City. This upgrade is projected to cost $11,240,000.
To make up for the reduced roadway capacity of the downtown redesign, the TMP suggests developing the minor collector route of 97 Avenue as an east-west downtown by-pass route. The route was chosen because it avoids many of the established residential areas north of 100 Ave., but is close enough to 100 Ave., to function as a by-pass route. Upgrading this road, from 96 St. to 108 St., is projected to cost $1,850,000.
Also in the downtown core, the TMP recommends improving the transit centre, located at the North Peace Cultural Centre on 100 Street. If the right-turn exit from the Cultural Centre parking lot were removed, the parking for buses would be almost doubled, making it much more attractive for people waiting for transit.
While changes to the downtown core are but a small part of the projected $66.6 million in improvements recommended by the TMP, the City has previously identified the downtown as a key area for change in the community.
Here is the full report: