From 118 Avenue north, the road flows well. But if you take 97 Street during rush hour, between 111 Avenue and 118 Avenue, you have my sympathy. It is not necessarily bumper to bumper, but rarely have I pressed the gas pedal without immediately applying the brake afterward. The worst fuel economy is from frequently and premature stopping. By design, 97 Street is backlogged, congested, and inefficient. We can do better. Many residents of Ward 3 are unnecessarily snarled in this daily mess. Should a City Councillor fight to make the lives of their constituents better? You bet.
There are six intersections along this section of road. Whenever a turn is sought, traffic flow is impeded. The simple problem is that there are no dedicated turning lanes. On other roads this would be fine, but 97 Street is a major arterial thoroughfare. While we push transit here and there, we need to make roads efficient as well. Buses use roads too… For cyclists and pedestrians, this design is unsafe. Everyone is failed.
97 Street, in this section, is beautiful and known for the boulevard trees. I truly enjoy this part of the street but it is a chokepoint. I am proposing that dedicated turning lanes be carved out of the medians without impacting the trees or changing the character of this segment of 97 Street.
The changes that I am advocating for are minor in scale but major in impact. For a small cost, we could increase the efficiency of the road. More importantly, we could improve the safety of the road. By carving out a car length deceleration dedicated turning lane from the existing medians, in each direction, those cars choosing to turn will be safely removed from those carrying on straight.
(see the blog photo for clarification)
The current intersections are basically ‘no-mans zones’ of chaos. The road is not even painted! Drivers typically do not know what to do—which often means that they do not sufficiently get out of the way. Vehicles patiently wait when the centre lane turns into a default turning lane. Confusion ensues.
My proposal does not remove trees. My proposal adds marginal road capacity exactly where it is needed. Only a few yards of grass would be replaced by asphalt. Less vehicles would idle. Frustration would be reduced.
I also believe that with a better design, people would choose to drive up 97 Street to frequent the businesses within Ward 3 more often. Right now this part of the road discourages downtown residents from dining and shopping in Ward 3. I want to support our businesses and make them vibrant.
On the north side we should demand what would be obvious on the south side.
On October 16, vote ‘Jon D for Ward 3’. Vote Jon Dziadyk for change.
Let’s reapply common sense to all of our decisions.
I hope to gain your support! Exciting times are ahead.
North Side Journal.