Concerns surround road expansion in southern Alberta town

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A roadway extension project is raising concerns in Coaldale. As Erik Bay reports, residents along 16th Avenue feel their concerns about the plan aren’t being addressed and fear what the development will mean for their neighbourhood – Jun 9, 2021

A Coaldale, Alta., resident hopes the town hits the brakes on the expansion of 16 Avenue.

The quiet roadway is set to become a primary road to a new joint school and recreation centre, but Clive Schaupmeyer said it would ruin a calm residential street.

“I’m a resident of 16 Avenue and we’re concerned about a huge increase in traffic,” Schaupmeyer said. “This is a quiet residential road and it will be one of the main thoroughfare’s to the rec centre.”

Read more: Province rejects municipal inspection for Town of Coaldale

In a statement to Global News, Coaldale’s chief administrative officer Kalen Hastings said, in part, “The town’s transportation planning consultants have confirmed that the way the existing portion of 16 Avenue is currently constructed — in terms of lane widths and a sidewalk on the south side of the road — it is able to carry the expected additional volume of traffic to and from the school and recreation centre.”

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But Schaupmeyer said that does not account for the traffic noise.

“It doesn’t help us at all. The fact is it’s a quiet residential street,” he said.

“We’re very concerned about traffic safety, traffic speeding and just sheer volume of traffic down this street.”

Read more: Legal battle continues between Town of Coaldale and former employee

According to Hastings, the extension project has been public knowledge since 2007 and has been included in multiple public engagement sessions by the town, but Schaupmeyer does not think the town has listened to feedback.

“I expressed concerns about traffic and traffic congestion in 2018 to the town and they’ve completely ignored those concerns.”

The town said there will be a second entry point to the joint facility off of 18 Avenue. It will also continue to monitor the growth of the area, upgrading the infrastructure as needed to meet demand.

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