The City of Edmonton is going to roll out its plan to convert a stretch of westbound Stony Plain Road, between 149 Street and 156 Street, into a one-way street next week. It’s part of the west LRT design.
The idea of making that westbound stretch of road a one-way street came about in March when city council voted to keep the intersection at 149 Street “at grade” to save $160 million. But now there’s a question on the placement of the tracks.
The Stony Plain Road and Area Business Association wants the trains to run up the middle, but the city is looking at taking the entire south side of the street to keep room for parking in the westbound lanes.
“It wasn’t anything like we envisioned,” executive director Diane Kereluk said in an interview.
She’s worried about the businesses on the south side of Stony Plain Road being limited.
“People on the left can turn south, and drivers on the right can turn north,” Kereluk said. “But when the city came back, the LRT was moved straight south against the sidewalk. We’d lose a lane.”
No one from the administration will talk before the public consultation session on July 26. However, Councillor Andrew Knack said he had taken the business association’s concerns to infrastructure planners a few weeks ago. Knack said the tracks are likely on the south curb of the road to allow for parking next to the westbound lanes on the north.
“We’d lose the parking. It was something that was going to be reintroduced with the one-way option,” Knack said.
“If we went with a centre-running LRT, where do the cars park? They’d have to park on the side streets. They wouldn’t be able to park along Stony Plain Road anymore.”
A spokesperson for the City of Edmonton said having the train going down the centre of a one-way westbound alignment is an option, but right now, the preferred configuration is the train running on the south edge of Stony Plain Road.
The west LRT route has long been a controversial one, with many still chiming in on social media to call for changes. Kereluk said she would prefer if the line ran north of the district.
“This is a personal opinion. I always thought that 107 [Avenue] was a better choice.”
Kereluk said crossing through a main street is better than running down a main street. She said she’s concerned the proposed plan, especially in light of some upgrades on the streets that cross Stony Plain Road that were made in the last few years.
“We went through major construction to create nice, pedestrian, wide streets. And now to turn around and have it reversed, depending on what the recommendation [is], to do the one-way, we will lose one lane of traffic which we hadn’t anticipated.”
The public engagement session will give Edmontonians a chance to provide feedback on the design on Thursday, July 26. It is scheduled to run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the West End Christian Reformed Church at 10015 – 149 St.
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