June 16th, 2024

Traffic redesign plan for 3 Avenue much-needed for the area

By Lethbridge Herald on February 1, 2023.


I’m afraid I must disagree with Mr. B. Ewing’s assertion that re-designing traffic flow along the 3rd Avenue South corridor between Stafford Drive and Mayor Magrath Drives South will be harmful to the community. 

Mr. Ewing neglects to realize that the whole of the Warehouse District does not exist to move motor vehicles from one space to the next, but is rather a place of commerce for over 300 local businesses, is bordered by neighbourhoods with over 10,000 residents within walking distance, and indeed is undergoing a dramatic shift in its use, with many of the larger lots being speculated for high-density residential development. 

Perhaps Mr. Ewing doesn’t realize that the bike lanes, as drawn out in the documents presented at the Community Conversation he mentioned, are separated from traffic, allowing for much safer pedestrian and cyclist access to the area? 

Perhaps he’s unaware that traffic along this corridor moves too quickly due to its poor design and heightens the risk for pedestrians and cyclists in this area? 

While it is true that the 3 Avenue area is a business area, it is also true that the businesses and residents who do live in the area have expressed to council that street trees/canopy, to cool the area in the heat of summer, have been needed for decades. 

I can only assume that Mr. Ewing wrote his letter as a frustrated driver since his only concern seems to be for the inconvenience of the drivers and not for the pedestrians who are so often being struck by irresponsible motorists moving too quickly through public spaces, as he cites in his letter. 

The re-design of the street will not only improve traffic flow, it opens up the use of the street for more opportunity by the public. 

It’s a good design and badly needed for this long-neglected part of the city. 

Parking will be easier and safer to access, traffic will be slowed but not stopped (heaven forbid it takes an extra 2.5 minutes to traverse 15 blocks), and safety for pedestrians and cyclists will be taken into account. This plan will breathe new life into this space. I, for one, am excited for it. 

Kelti Baird 

Business owner in the district in question

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Citi Zen

Disagree. We have already witnessed traffic congestion and back-ups at this location. Having a plan designed primarily for pedestrians or bicycles isn’t really the most intelligent.
Discouraging motor vehicles, or making it more difficult for them, will only hurt the downtown business scene. Keep up with the dislike for the car driver, keep up with increasing parking fines, keep up with the downtown congestion, and say good-bye to drivers like myself who frequent the downtown less and less as time goes by.

Last edited 1 year ago by Citi Zen

All of the great ideas that the planners had seemed purposefully designed to kill downtown. I wonder if they know developers or real estate agents who want to kill downtown, lower prices, buy up blocks, and then find a way to increase values by luring taxpayers into “reviatization” projects so they can multiply their investments.
They may not be aware of how these decisions have a negative effect on downtown and deter customers, consumers, and those who support businesses and pay their bills from wanting to visit downtown.
I believe that many people at City Hall need to be replaced with people who listen to the entire population, not just the 1% of people who constantly demand things that cost millions or tens of millions!
Is it necessary to spend more than $40 million on bike paths when government funding is cut and taxes are going up? It ought to be a time for necessary infrastructure and projects!
Despite the fact that we are living in uncertain times, everything that we observe by these actions and planning, raises taxes further.
In 25 years, how big will Lethbridge be? Did they even think about it?


Well Ms. Baird, you are so wrong in your ‘assumptions’ regarding my letter and if someone is frustrated it seems to be you, one of the businesses who wants to expand their patio for their Theoretical Brewing Company perhaps, which by the way . . . is not even on 3rd avenue! Or is it because you supported the SCS, were outspoken about it’s support and want to attack me for protesting it?
I would think since one of my suggestions was using 2 avenue, where your establisment is, would be even better for you and it is a wide street.
I watched Calgary destroy traffic flow years ago. Lethbridge has not stopped growing and the business community will need more traffic space for transporting their goods to their stores or from their stores and for increased traffic to those new businesses.
3rd avenue is a main artery! If you want to put shrubs and trees along it, I am for it. If you want to give it a facelift, I am for it!
I went to LCI and as it was then called Hamilton Junior High. I lived walked to Hamilton and drove to LCI. I know the area very well since many or my friends lived within a couple of blocks.
I grew up in this city, not West Kelowna, as you Ms. Baird did.
There are many who still today will not go to the big box stores on the south end of Lethbridge because of all the traffic lights, starting and stopping constantly, and the traffic issues are well known to the rural community as well.
The proposal is to add traffic lights and pedestrian crossing lights, further restricting traffic flow Add to that bicycles who refuse to wait lights most of the time and dart across the pedestrian crossing, and you have an accident waiting to happen, and the bicyclist would be the loser when hit by a car, add to that kids with their families.
I have driven in most of the major cities in North America, most of Canada and others overseas. I know bad planning when I see it and this doesn’t consider the future, the future businesses, even hotels that may want to build there at some point.
3rd avenue is the only major roadway between Scenic drive and MM drive that is not residential. There are plenty of other choices! A bike path is not going to increase your business! You can be charged for impaired on a bicycle as well.
I would suggest Ms. Baird you chill on one of your brews. It will never be allowed!
The citizens of this city are tired of property taxes going up for such projects. Give it a facelift, leave traffic flow alone!

Last edited 1 year ago by ewingbt