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LETTER: Proposed high collision location for St. Albert

letter-sta

The developer of Riverbank Landing has moved its proposed right in/right out access further northward on Bellerose Drive so that, if allowed, it would now be immediately adjacent to homes on Orion Close. This access would cause numerous nuisance factors for those living in close proximity to it, will slow and impede traffic on Bellerose Drive, and will create a significant risk of traffic accidents. At this location, Bellerose Drive is a curving uphill slope, and the developer’s site plan also shows an internal road which must climb uphill and turn sharply to reach Bellerose. It is foreseeable that visibility will be significantly impeded for drivers using both Bellerose and the internal access road. It is also foreseeable that drivers exiting the access will have to accelerate quickly to enter onto Bellerose where traffic frequently is accelerating uphill and away from the lights at Evergreen. The problems will be even worse during the lengthy construction period when heavy trucks and equipment will require both lanes to negotiate this very tight turn. In short, this is a recipe for disaster which is destined to become a new high collision location for St. Albert.

Undoubtedly this likelihood of danger is one of the reasons why the city has rules against allowing accesses onto arterial roads such as Bellerose. The other main reason is the general disruption of traffic flow which such accesses create. Arterial roads are supposed to move traffic efficiently. When residents of Erin Ridge North requested an access from a condo project onto Neil Ross Road last year, the city said they were serious about enforcing these rules, and categorically refused the requested access, even though the access was proposed for the purpose of avoiding traffic dangers for young children attending Lois E. Hole Elementary School.

The Riverbank Landing developer originally proposed a right in/right out access onto Bellerose from a private internal road within the condo project. Being forewarned about this problem by my previous (Sept.) letter to the Gazette, they have now made a change in an attempt to circumvent the city’s rules. They are now proposing that the internal condo road be declared a public road, with the hope that this will circumvent the city’s rules. There is, however, one problem with this approach: they will need the city’s help to declare the road to be a public road. When the city refused to help the children of Erin Ridge North, will the city now help this developer?

The city’s engineering standards specifically state that “the distinction between private property and public property is irrelevant to the adherence to the Municipal Engineering Standards”. Moreover, the dangers created by these types of accesses will remain, regardless of whether they are public or private.

Bill Barclay, St. Albert