Hello Chestermere! Well, the kids are back in school and the Christmas bills are rearing their ugly heads. I am sure many of you are budgeting for the upcoming year. Speaking of budgets, we just received the annual request from the Government on capital priorities. I thought I would fill you in on what I have asked for in and around Chestermere. As always, I submit 2 lists, a “low-cost” list and a “high-cost” list. Even given the Government’s dire financial situation there are many low-cost projects which would enhance the safety of us all and some high cost projects such as new schools which are necessities, not luxuries. Note that municipal infrastructure is not part of this process, only assets that will be owned by the Province.
On the “low-cost” list, my number one priority remains the intersection of Highway 1 and 791. The reduced speed limit in my opinion has made things less safe at this intersection. In fact, Alberta Transportation said this option would not solve the problem yet the Government chose it anyway. In the interim before an interchange is built I will continue to advocate for lights at this intersection with sensors and timers to keep Highway 1 “on green” when heavy traffic is not leaving the High School.
Other “low cost” items on my list are signage improvements at many of our intersections and the addition of acceleration lanes for traffic entering major, increasingly busy commuter routes such as Glenmore Trail. The level crossings at Glenmore are becoming more dangerous as the near lane is the through lane. Many people mistakenly assume this an acceleration lane and turn in front of high speed traffic. Add icy roads and we have serious accidents waiting to happen.
For the big ticket items I have asked for the interchange in Balzac which would benefit the entire Calgary-Airdire region, and the proposed interchange at Highway 1 and 791. The Balzac interchange has been removed from the 3-year capital plan for some reason but anyone who has been to Crossiron Mills knows that it is desperately needed as the area grows and more and more businesses make their home there. The Highway 1 and 791 interchange will be needed even if the stop-gap measure of lights is adopted.
I have also asked the Government to expedite the construction of the Langdon High School, the proposed Chestermere K-9, and more portable classrooms for our increasingly crowded schools. These are not partisan political issues. Our children need schools and our teachers need the resources to help them realize their potential. Schools are considered “full” at 85% capacity. Chestermere High School, for example, is projected to be at over 100% capacity by September 2019.
As always, we love to hear from you.