Councillor Andrew Knack Update: 231 St and Parking on Secord Blvd

I wanted to provide a update on both issues (231st Street Access and the parking by the exit on Secord Blvd) that have been raised. I’ll provide a bit of history in case this is the first time someone is hearing about these issues.

231st Access: I have learned that the city signed an agreement in 2012 or prior that would require Walton to fully urbanize 231st Street from the access to Highway 16A by the end of 2015. This work requires completely ripping up the road to install sewer lines.

As we all can see, this deadline was not met. Because the work required to fully urbanize a road will take a number of months, there is no way this road will be completed by the end of this year.

I wish I could answer the question that most people probably have about why wouldn’t the city have prepared a Plan B in case the deadline wasn’t met in 2015 so that we could complete the work in 2016. I cannot speak for how the agreements were previously written but I have already raised this example with the Sustainable Development department so that the same mistakes are not made in future areas.

As some residents may know, people were using the access even though it wasn’t officially opened but after some Secord residents called the city to express safety concerns, the city had to have the access closed until either Walton completed their work or temporary measures were put in place by Hopewell.

I was originally told that the requirements to allow temporary access to 231st Street were built into an agreement with Hopewell. While there was no requirement to complete the temporary access before the homes started being constructed in the West portion of Secord, there was a requirement to get an updated traffic impact assessment (TIA). These TIAs are completed to determine whether or not an increase in vehicular traffic can be supported by existing road networks. The TIA that was completed showed that even if the 231st access was not opened in 2015, the traffic created by the new homes could be supported by the existing network of roads. That doesn’t mean that there would never be any back ups but that the roadway network could support the overall traffic volume.

In a previous post I suggested that the temporary measures would not be too onerous on Hopewell but upon learning that 231st Street will be built to a full urban standard, any money spent by Hopewell to allow temporary access would not be able to be recovered because Walton will be tearing up the entire road to put in sewer services. So while it is true that the work may not be too onerous, it would essentially be wasted as it won’t impact the main work that needs to be done.

As mentioned above, this shouldn’t have been an issue but no Plan B was built into the agreement made on or before 2012. While I’m not an expert in this area, it does seem like this is something that should be factored into agreements for servicing in new communities even though the TIA does show the roadway network can handle the increase in traffic.

Recognizing that is not the update people were hoping for I want to provide an update on the other item as a resolution to the parking issue may help alleviate some of the concerns in the short term.

Parking at the exit of Secord Blvd: A few days ago someone asked about the parking that is currently allowed on the South side of Secord Blvd just before Winterburn Road. It was suggested that because cars are parked there in the morning, traffic that is looking to turn right onto Winterburn Road can sometimes be held up by the traffic looking to turn left and go straight. A request was made to explore if parking can be banned on that stretch of road to help traffic flow more smoothly.

I have put in a request to our Transportation Operations team to look into this request because while it is not a perfect solution to the lack of access on 231st Street, it could at least help traffic flow more efficiently in the morning when residents are trying to exit the community. I am hoping to have an update on this early next week and will be certain to post that update as soon as I get it.

That is the latest information but I am always happy to answer additional questions. Many communities including Secord are hosting events today and tomorrow so I will not be able to respond immediately. I will be at your community event by 8pm at the latest and will be available to answer any questions on these topics. I will also be discussing the latest information on the Lewis Farms Rec Centre as there will be an open house on October 4th to provide feedback on one specific aspect of the centre.

Thanks for your time and sorry for the lengthy post.