Residents oppose widening Stony Plain Road for LRT

A suggestion to widen a section of Stony Plain Road to accommodate the west LRT expansion was soundly rejected by area residents Thursday who told councilors that's not what the city said it would do if the route was approved.

A suggestion to widen Stony Plain Road to accommodate more lanes of traffic alongside the planned LRT line was soundly rejected by area residents Thursday.

"Proposal to widen Stony Plain Road without reopening the whole LRT route choice debate has all the appearance of a bait and switch tactic," Grovenor resident Don Gibson told the transportation and public works committee.

"I urge the committee not to polarize this planning process by such an infuriating tactic."

The west LRT route will travel along Stony Plain Road and 104th Avenue from 156th Street to Grant MacEwan University. City staff were asked for ideas on how to deal with the traffic that would be displaced once the line is built. 

One scenario would see the road widened to accommodate three or four lines of traffic, as well as the LRT. It would mean some buildings along Stony Plain Road would have to be torn down.

"We have no intention of leaving our current location. Nor will we accept any changes to our site," said Bruce Clark from St. Paul's Anglican Church, located at 145th Street and Stony Plain Road.

"St. Paul's along with the Grovenor Community League agreed to the Stony Plain route based on both the corridor and the alignment being two lanes of traffic."

Committee members also opposed the road widening. Coun. Don Iveson said it wasn't in the LRT plan when he voted on it.

"The motion I voted for, the key word was displace, because that's what we spent the whole time talking about ," he said.

City transportation officials say the proposal to expand to road to four lanes of traffic is now off the table. They are still looking at a three-lane option but the issue is to be discussed by councillors next week.