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 am committed to being a strong advocate for Ward 9 on City Council, to build a better community for all residents. That includes having our infrastructure projects becoming a top priority.
My work experience overseeing major projects would be a strong asset to getting projects done right, and on budget.
We need to build an interchange at Terwillegar Drive and Bulyea Road. Currently, the traffic signals at this intersection result in backups and stop-and-go traffic that extend 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. An overpass at 40th avenue is the only way to take pressure off of Whitemud Drive and alleviate this serious safety concern.
With a bridge at 40 Avenue, Rabbit Hill Road effectively becomes the entry point to Terwillegar Drive and Whitemud Drive. This would allow us to introduce traffic calming measures along Bulyea Road to minimize shortcutting through the neighborhood, and to minimize the congestion effects of the surplus school site development that has just begun. It is time to build this bridge.
We need to work with our partners at the Province to construct improvements on Anthony Henday Drive. We need at least one additional lane in each direction between Lessard Road and Highway 2. 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 the new access into Heritage Valley that would permit closure of the very dangerous intersection at Anthony Henday and 127 street.
We need to work with our developer partners, to ensure that they actively continue to build up the arterial roadway system south of Anthony Henday Drive. We need to find a way to get four lanes constructed as early as possible on Ellerslie Road, 121 Street and 127 Street south of Ellerslie, and James Mowatt Trail.
Between 75% and 85% of Heritage Valley and Windermere are not yet developed. We will add over 80,000 people to these communities in the next 10 years. Beyond that, we have the annexation of Leduc County. We need to start developing transportation solutions now, before further development brings unbearable pressures to our communities.
Transportation issues are not trivial, and solutions are expensive. For too many years, Southwest Edmonton has had disproportionately more development and expansion than any other part of the City, and disproportionately less infrastructure investment than other parts of the City. Transit and Transportation in Southwest Edmonton will be a key concern for the next City Council to deal with. If elected, I will work diligently and relentlessly to bring transportation investments to Ward 9.