City wants public input on Saskatoon growth plan

A new 24th Street bridge would alleviate congestion on University Bridge

First in a series of feedback sessions

Crews will begin working to remove the old pipeline today. (Steve Pasqualotto/CBC)

People in Saskatoon are being invited to weigh in on the city's growth plan. 

Saskatoon's population is expected to double by 2060.

So the city is developing a strategy to deal with such things as rapid transit, redevelopment along major roadways, and improving travel across the river.

The first in a series of public meetings kicked off on Tuesday.

Alan Wallace, the director of planning and development, said it's going to get harder to move around as the city grows.

"How are we going to move around differently? How are we going to move around effectively?" Wallace said. "Do we have enough choice for people to move around? Have we provided that choice? We don't think we're quite there yet."

'How are we going to move around differently?
- Alan Wallace Director of Planning and development

Wallace said more bridge capacity in the city centre is needed. So a bridge connecting 24th Street and College Drive is being considered. Another proposed location is 33rd Street. Wallace said a new crossing would alleviate congestion on the University Bridge and improve public transit.

"You've got a major employer at the University," Wallace continued. "A major employer being downtown. So you're obviously going to connect those two somehow. So there are some limited options in terms of geography. But we need to explore all of them to find out what people prefer."

Joan Feather, President of the Saskatoon Nature Society, said she'd like to see more bridges dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists.

"If we continue to make it convenient for cars to move back and forth through and into the core then it's just going to continue to be more congested," Feather said.

As the city continues to push the idea of rapid transit on buses and better service along streets like 8th street and College Drive, city planners want to have the proper infrastructure in place to accommodate a robust public transit system.

Elliot PausJenssen, President of the Saskatoon Council on Aging, said she's looking to see how seniors will be accommodated in the plan for rapid transit.

"Transit is very important because we need to be able to get around," Jenssen explained. I"m very hopeful that they're looking at making transit better."

The feedback from the public sessions and online will be part of a detailed growth plan. It will be presented to council in 18 months.

Replay the Saskatoon Morning live chat that asked people to weigh in on the issue..


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