By Woodard, Dale on July 18, 2020.
The City of Lethbridge welcomed a bit of extra feedback in regards to an important intersection.
Looking to generate response from people on foot, cycling or driving in their functional planning and design process for the 5 Avenue and 13 Street North and surrounding corridors, the City extended a public survey for suggestions by an extra two weeks.
With the survey closed Tuesday, the City will now take those suggestions into the next phase.
“We just posted this round of public feedback and the extra two weeks is done,” said Adam St. Amant, Transportation Engineer, Infrastructure Services at the City of Lethbridge. “We were originally planning on ending it at the end of June, so we’ve made sure we added that little extra push to make sure those other corridors were highlighted. The next phase is our consultants are going to take the information and we’ll work with them on processing that information and deciding where to go from here. Once we have figured out which option we’re going to pursue based on technical aspects as well as the community feedback then they’ll do the functional plans for the corridor and make sure everything fits and everything works and that they have the recommendations for improvements, whether it’s short-term or long-term, cost estimates for the project, that’s the next phase of this. So hopefully some time in the fall we should have a final plan in place to bring to city council.”
The project originally started off addressing safety improvements and envisioning the future for the roadways, said St. Amant.
“With the cycling master plan that was approved in 2017, it also brought in the cycling aspect of it. So we’ve had options to have the cycling component. I think that has been where a lot of discussion has been around, including cycling on 13 Street or one of the parallel corridors. Overall, it seems like most people are receptive to some kind of change being needed on 13 Street and some kind of improvement to 5 Avenue North as well and then trying to make it a complete street and considering all the different modes. So whether you’re a person walking, a person biking, a person driving or a person riding the bus, being able to make sure all of those different modes of transportation are accommodated within this important corridor because it is one of the few corridors that connects the north and south in the city and it also connects east and west with 5 Avenue being connecting through residential zones, commercial zones and into industrial zones.”
St. Amant said there was some concern regarding the wording of the project, which led some to believe the redesign was only for 5 Avenue North and 13 Street.
Other areas of focus included 5 Avenue from Stafford Drive to 43 Street North – excluding the section between 23 Street and 28 Street North – and 13 Street from 26 Avenue North to 16 Avenue South, and 16 Avenue South from Scenic Drive South to 13 Street South as well as options including bicycle boulevards on 12C Street North and 15 Street south.
“We extended the survey to be open for an extra two weeks and did a couple more social media pushes to try and bring in the fact there are more corridors being considered, that 12C Street, 15 Street and 6 Avenue North are also being looked at as well as a small section on 16 Avenue South between 13 Street and Scenic. So those are all parts of this project that have been brought in and we have gotten public feedback,” said St. Amant.
Available parking spots in the redesign were also put under the microscope.
“There are a few different options we’ve presented. Some of them avoided 13 Street entirely and just had on-street bike boulevards,” said St. Amant. “The same thing with 5 Avenue North. There was a parallel bike boulevard, so on the northside it was 6 Avenue North instead of 5 Avenue North,” he said. “The options for 13 Street was for the northside it was 12C Street and on the southside it was 15 Street being a bike boulevard and then we wouldn’t be touching the parking on either 13 Street or 5 Avenue. So there are options that don’t impact the parking. We do try to minimize the impacts of parking as well as much as possible, especially through the north part. I believe both options kept parking, whether it was parallel bike boulevard or cycling on 13 Street, both options kept parking within that commercial stretch in north Lethbridge.”
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