To say that transportation is an issue in Ward 9 is a tremendous understatement. Residents of our Ward must continually adjust for our deficient transportation network as they consider how to get to and from work, how to get their kids to school, how to get to those extra-curricular activities, or whether to participate in those activities at all.
I would first like to say that I have heard loud and clear from Ward 9 residents that one of the initial options presented as part of the Terwillegar Drive Concept Planning Study (North Section Option B), is not acceptable. I agree that the Bulyea Heights community needs to have all access to the Whitemud, and to Terwillegar Drive, and I have met with City Administration to ensure that this viewpoint is fully understood, and will continue to advocate on your behalf.
I am focused on working on other potential solutions that would be cost effective, and give 40th avenue/Bulyea Road all access to roadways. Another key focus of mine is to ensure that the end result of Terwillegar Drive development is a corridor that has an average speed that allows for the free flow of traffic, not the stop and go, 15 minutes to advance 2.5 kilometers we currently experience.
I am committed to ensuring that there is efficient travel for Ward 9 residents along our main corridor, Terwillegar Drive. As you’re aware, the traffic signals at the Terwillegar Drive and 40th Avenue/Bulyea intersection currently result in backups and stop-and-go traffic that extends on to Whitemud Drive. We have all had the experience of sitting stopped in the left lane of Whitemud Drive, nervously eyeing our rear view mirrors, wondering if it is our turn for that big rear-end collision.
We also need to work with our partners at the Province to construct improvements on Anthony Henday Drive, and to understand the realities associated with Haddow Drive being in close proximity to a provincial roadway, which hampers the City’s ability to build ramp access to future Terwillegar Drive development..
I will advocate for at least one additional lane in each direction between Lessard Road and Highway 2 on Anthony Henday Drive. We need an overpass on 136 street, and we need a second overpass at the Terwillegar Drive/AHD interchange. These measures would address congestion on Anthony Henday Drive, would address daily backups along Terwillegar Drive, and provide an additional access into Heritage Valley.
Finally, we need to be forward thinking in how we can maximize the upgrades of the corridor to ensure that mass transit is a consideration, without impeding on the flow of traffic for commuters.
I am committed to working to ensure that the start of upgrades for Terwillegar Drive are a part of the 4 year capital budget. In addition, I will be pushing for a commitment that the entire Terwillegar Drive upgrade is on the 10 year infrastructure master plan.
For your information, the following is a short-term project timeline for Terwillegar Drive:
Fall 2017 - Spring 2018
Concept Planning Study Update
Public Event 1 (gather feedback on options)
Public Event 2 (gather feedback on recommended option)
Present concept planning study for Council approval
Preliminary engineering for Bulyea Road/40 Avenue Interchange
More information on the Terwillegar Drive Concept Planning study, including a survey, can be accessed using the following link: https://www.edmonton.ca/projects_plans/terwillegar-drive.aspx.
Please continue to share your feedback on this project, and feel free to share my viewpoint with your friends and neighbours.