Throughout my first term on Council, I have heard from a number of constituents about their concerns and frustrations with the Capital Line LRT, specifically relating to the difficulties experienced crossing the intersections along 111 Street. Yesterday, a report was released that detailed the anticipated performance of the various intersections along the SE portion of the Valley Line LRT and to say this information was pleasing would be false.
That being said, the decisions on the style, route, and design of the Valley Line were made quite some time ago, and there are strategies available to prepare for and mitigate against the potential congestion experiences around the Valley Line LRT.
I am also pleased to remind people the plan for the South LRT Extension has the train running underground at 23rd Avenue and 111th Street to avoid unpleasant conflicts at that busy intersection.
Currently, of great importance to me is the public engagement that is taking place for the eventual south extension of the Capital Line LRT down 111 Street to the planned Heritage Valley Park & Ride at 127 Street & Ellerslie Road. This is an important project for South Edmonton and the information collected during this engagement will be used in conjunction with our newly created LRT Crossing Assessment Framework to update the preliminary engineering/concept design that was previously completed. I am encouraging the residents who will be affected by this extension to complete the survey. The LRT Crossing Assessment Framework is an evidence based traffic modelling tool to determine which intersections LRT needs to be separated from.
This is especially important for the residents of Twin Brooks. With a population of ~6300 people, Twin Brooks is one of the largest communities in Edmonton. On top of that, the community was designed with only 2 main entrances/exits. Given this, coupled with the fact that 111 Street is one of the busiest North/South roadways out of Southwest Edmonton, I will be a strong advocate on Council for grade separation at 9th Avenue and 12th Avenue, and I firmly believe your survey comments, the traffic data, and the criteria set out in our newly developed LRT Crossing Assessment Framework will give me a solid foundation to do so.
As for the other intersections that are not grade separated along the Capital Line such as 51st, 40th and 34th avenues, I routinely monitor those for signal light optimization. I know how frustrated people are. I share your frustration as member of the Ward 10 community. I can assure you that while I was not on council at the time those decisions were made, our current council has learned very clearly the need to examine intersection grade separations in both south and west Edmonton.
We also now appear to have willing partners in the Federal and Provincial government to help pay for LRT so the whole burden doesn’t haven’t to fall on property taxpayers and our city debt load. It is much easier to make the right decisions when you can afford to.