On Wednesday April. 30, approximately 30 people attended an open house that was held at the Town Hall for the Chestermere Boulevard Corridor Plan. Chestermere Blvd, formerly known as Highway 1A, was renamed in 2013 after a change in ownership from the Province to the Town of Chestermere.
The Corridor Plan was revealed at the open house which includes ideas for consideration for each of the five key segments of the major stretch of roadway. The guiding principles developed by project managers describe that Chestermere Blvd will be a safe urban street that serves as a gateway with an active street front that serves as a local destination.
According to Town officials, the purpose of the Corridor Plan is to guide the evolution of Chestermere Blvd. from a provincial rural highway to an urban street. “[The goal of the open house was] to get input from the public about how the Town could improve Chestermere Blvd. and accommodate growth in the future,” says Heather Kauer, Town of Chestermere Project Manager.
Information boards that included visuals were used to show how the roadway has been broken into five segments that include the Central Corridor, which is straddled by the future Town Centre to the west; and the Lakeside Commercial Centre to the east followed by both the Eastern and Western Gateways.
The Lakeside Commercial Centre is described as being the space around the current Chestermere Station shopping centre and Anniversary beach area whereas the Town Centre will be located in the future Waterbridge development on the west side of Chestermere.
Both of these shopping and recreational areas are shown to be designed for commuter traffic allowing room for future transit while exploring options that include new intersections and pedestrian facilities that would presumably create connectivity and flow improvements.
The idea of the transitional zones on either end of Chestermere Blvd is to serve as a gateway to the City of Calgary to the west and the Trans-Canada Hwy to the east. The Eastern Gateway could include a reconfiguration or widening of the existing causeway/bridge.
According to Heather Kauer, the feedback received at the open house was generally favorable, although there were some concerns about transport trucks on the road as well as commute times and congestion at existing intersections.
“As the corridor changes in character, truckers aren’t going to want to use it as a through-route, they will simply go around on Hwy 1 or perhaps Peigan [Trail] as it develops,” says Kauer, “In terms of commute times – the design of Chestermere Blvd. will be optimized to accommodate commute times and at the same time accommodate local traffic. The plan makes recommendations for intersection design that optimizes car movements and at the same time increase pedestrian safety.”
The Corridor Plan states that the feedback and input received during the open house and through the feedback forms will be used to further refine options and help in the final evaluation process. A final corridor plan detailing each segment will be recommended and presented to council in the coming months. “We’re hoping to have it adopted by this summer,” says Kauer.
Kauer feels the feedback they received will help them move forward with plans, and says that residents input is important to the project, “It’s very important to give residents the opportunity to provide feedback, they have more practical experience with the roadway and intersections than anyone and so their knowledge is invaluable.
Visit the Town’s website to see the information shared during the Open House at www.chestermere.ca/corridorstudy.