Road improvements needed to reduce congestion

Every time I hear the sound of the emergency sirens or read the police report in the Sylvan Lake News I am reminded of my procrastination

Dear Editor,

Every time I hear the sound of the emergency sirens or read the police report in the Sylvan Lake News I am reminded of my procrastination in writing this letter.

I viewed the Town of Sylvan Lake Municipal Development Plan online and I have a few questions.

My concerns are about major roads and traffic congestion, both now and in future. Looking at the plan, it shows proposed highway changes and new interchanges at two locations: Range Road 15 and Highway 20. Does the 10-year forecast or vision have two sets of traffic lights on Highway 11 servicing Sylvan Lake access?

Let’s briefly discuss 781. The only information I know is what I read in the Sylvan Lake News through the years through Letters to the Editor. What was the reason given for declining installing traffic lights at this intersection? Was it to keep traffic flow at a quicker pace? I’m sure the traffic count is higher at Sylvan Lake than it is in Rocky Mountain House; how many sets of lights are there going through town on Highway 11?

I’m not an expert on either municipal or provincial politics, but who was the driver in the Memorial Trail decision? Traffic flow has been pushed east to 20, creating high volumes and bottlenecks at 47th, Memorial and others. I am not criticizing or condemning anyone, just putting it out there. Decisions whether personal or public need to be evaluated after the fact in the interest of “continuous improvement.”

Recently I noticed several new Alberta Government road project signs by 11 and 20. Is this for the realignment of Highway 781 to 20? I’m just a bit nervous about this one; there is a huge volume of traffic here. Looking at a town map, 781 north into town is such a natural main artery, especially noting the large population potential available for housing in the southeast and southwest quadrants.

This may have been suggested already but I am just “brainstorming.” Install lights at RR 15 and leave 20 as is and where is.

Years ago we resided in the Bonnyville/Cold Lake area. The intersection on Highway 55 and Secondary 892 was similar to what we are experiencing in Sylvan Lake. Alberta Transportation was dead set against installing traffic lights on 55. What they proposed to construct was a very large traffic circle. I admit I was not sold on this idea.

This summer we were in the area and I was impressed. The roundabout slows traffic a bit, but has an effect of moving a large volume of traffic, safely, effectively and quickly in all four directions. Town Planning can contact Transportation and review traffic counts and accident comparisons before and after this installation. This could be a good option at 781? The southeast and southwest residential would have easy access and it would take a huge load off 20, Memorial and 47th.

Good luck with whatever decision that comes out. I don’t know what Transportation is saying to Mayor McIntyre and town council representing all of us in Sylvan Lake. Just as an example — if they are saying “only two sets of lights are allowed on Highway 11” — in the interest of safety, efficiency and future growth, if you know and feel it should be three, keep pushing them. It is better to get it right the first time.

Thanks for the opportunity to share an opinion.

Robert Bordun,

Sylvan Lake