Cathy's Plan - Traffic & Safety
Traffic on Ray Gibbon Drive. Traffic on St. Albert Trail. Traffic in Erin Ridge. While these feel like specific issues, they are all part of a single city-wide system. Our road systems are over saturated.
Ray Gibbon drive was supposed to relieve traffic within St. Albert, but it is sorely lacking. Which means many people prefer St. Albert trail instead, and traffic on the trail is now too high. This drives a lot of people to short-cut through the neighborhoods to avoid the trail, creating issues like Erin Ridge is experiencing.
Most of St. Albert's road systems were designed decades ago when we were a much smaller city. As the population has grown, so has our traffic congestion. With more people moving to St. Albert, this will only get worse, not better.
We need a few things to happen if we are to overcome our traffic woes.
- Ray Gibbon Drive needs to be twinned. That will alleviate a lot of the congestion and frustration. But at a cost of $300 million or more, this is not a project the City of St. Albert can afford alone. We need the province to step in, something I've been working on for years. I am happy to report that due to current advocacy RGD is now on the provincial list of projects! The next step is to get them to fund it in their budget. Expanding RGD in phases is another achievable approach to this issue. The bottle neck and traffic counts are on the south end from LeClaire to Anthony Henday. I plan on pushing this phase first.
- St. Albert Trail lights need to by smartly synchronized. In fact, I have already started on this project. In the 2017 budget "Signal Optimization" was approved. In the future, I want to aggressively go after a recently announced 10 million grant that I feel St. Albert is poised to receive due to our Smart City focus.
- Better Transit needs to be in place. A lot of our traffic within St. Albert is "local to local", meaning parents driving kids to Servus Place, school or the mall, people driving to the farmers market, or other predictable local traffic. If we can find a way to create a reliable local transit system so the teens don't need "moms taxi", or residents can easily take a bus to the mall, we could reduce the traffic and thus give ourselves breathing room on the current traffic woes.
- Something worth exploring is increasing the speed limit gap between roads. By increasing speed limits on the roads where we want traffic (St. Albert Trail and Ray Gibbon Drive, as examples) and reducing residential speed limits we can encourage drivers to use the right roads to get them there faster. Appropriate speed limits will have the added benefit of alleviating photo radar frustration.