A better solution
Tonight’s (May 20) meeting at the Civic Centre is the second meeting to be held proposing changes to parking in the downtown core.
Planners are curious to know if the public agrees with their proposal to eliminate some 50 downtown parking stalls, replace diagonal parking (again), and add additional driving lanes on some streets.
The proposal is an attempt to increase downtown traffic movement that has been severely impaired by changes all along 2nd Street West over the past year.
Drumheller traffic has yet to feel the full impact of these changes as construction on the 52 year old Gordon Taylor Bridge continues, and continues and continues.
This office has complained about this project for some time and is encouraged by like-minded citizens who write-in or comment to us that they are in agreement with our statements and they themselves propose improvements that continue to go unheeded. But wait, we have a solution. Instead of pushing through half-baked traffic solutions that will only continue to anger traffic, locals and visitors alike, leave that band-aid solution alone. Don’t do it! Rather, put all the efforts into a better solution. The town, along with provincial planners and our MLA should re-think the problem and, in- stead, build a four lane access into downtown from the Canadian Tire corner, crossing the soonto-be abandoned train tracks, and coming out at the 7-11. If, as they say, 2/3 of our traffic enters Drumheller along the Highway 9 corridor from the Calgary area, we provide locals and visitors with far better access into and out of the downtown.
We then provide instant access to downtown instead of making them curse at poor, ineffectual solutions currently proposed.
Most of the infrastructure is already there and this solution provides an immediate, practical cohesiveness between the highway traffic and access to downtown.
All of a sudden, there are no exit problems along 3rd Avenue and the ill-conceived solution can die on the planning board.
One of the salient points that was brought out at the April 30 meeting where this situation was first discussed (and quickly passed over) was that the life of the Gordon Taylor Bridge would end in 20 - 25 years.
If so, we should really be made aware of how that 2nd Street corridor will be affected by realignment to match the construction of a new bridge. Planning of a 4 lane bridge should be thought out now.
Besides, the ribbon-cutting plans for the new bridge, could somehow match the final completion of construction on the current bridge.