Since you asked….

Story by Jill Iverson

We often hear that as our city grows we’re still holding onto that small-town feel. Neighbourhoods are friendly and people look out for and help each other; for the most part people really love Airdrie.

But as with all things, there is room for improvement, too. As an Airdrie resident, you probably have wondered, asked, or at least Facebook scrolled past a few of the most common questions and requests for improvements we receive here at the City.

Here’s a quick look at the top five we receive regularly:

  1. What’s going on with the Luxstone pedestrian underpass?

Reminiscent of the ‘rat hole,’ the existing Luxstone ‘pedestrian’ connection is actually a box culvert built for drainage under the train tracks. The pathway up to it was an add-on, intended to allow pedestrian crossings when safely accessible in the summer and early fall. However, the pedestrian linkage into Nose Creek Park was well liked by residents and a permanent, purpose-built pedestrian tunnel is important to keep people from crossing the track. Design is underway for a new version of a tunnel (where drainage wouldn’t be an issue) with construction expected to be completed by the end of this year.

  1. How about the 40 Avenue interchange over the QEII?

The Province hasn’t committed to this project yet, but we are lobbying hard for this interchange. Not only would it improve connectivity of our road and pathway networks; it would significantly increase non-residential development potential at the south end of Main Street and improve roadway capacity to accommodate new population growth.

  1. Why can’t Airdrie just get a hospital already?

Trust us, we wish it was that easy! We live here too and quick access to quality health-care facilities is always a top priority for our council and administration. The key thing to remember in this case is that the Province is responsible for deciding where and when new hospitals are constructed. We have for many years and will continue to lobby hard for increased access to health care within our city, but ultimately, the final decision is still out of our control.

  1. Can you fix the Yankee Valley Boulevard rush hour nightmare?

There are a lot of theories on why YVB is so backed up at rush hour. One of these is that the light timing is off. Syncing traffic patterns along a roadway is a lot more than perfectly timed lights in one direction. It’s a fine balance to keep traffic moving in all directions and in the case of YVB, adding train crossings and highway on and off ramps complicates it further. We are continuously monitoring traffic patterns and looking for ways to improve flow at every opportunity.

A long-term solution to ease traffic on YVB is to build another interchange at 40 Avenue (see question 2).

Another is to take YVB under the railroad tracks. Airdrie averages about 12 trains each day which means a lot of waiting in traffic. Allowing traffic to move freely under the railway would be much better. This year we’re working on the design of a grade separation. Next year, pending council budget approval, we’ll work on the detour and how traffic will move when the project is underway. (No pain, no gain, right?) And in 2020 and 2021, again pending council budget approval, things will really get going and construction and utility work will begin.

  1. Why don’t you clear my street of snow during the winter months?

Setting a policy for snow and ice removal is a tricky one. It’s a fine balance between how much we’re willing to pay and for what level of service. Clearing snow from every residential road every snowfall is an expensive ask! To keep costs reasonable, our policy is to keep traffic moving by removing snow from residential streets when they become impassable. During major snow events crews will clear out some residential roads after all other roads have been taken care of.  See our Snow & Ice Policy for more details.

Jill Iverson is the corporate communications team leader for the City of Airdrie. Have more questions about our city that you’d like answered in airdrielife? Drop us a line HERE