Edmonton

Problem-plagued Pleasantview traffic-calming project scrapped

The city is pulling the plug a few months early on a problem-plagued, controversial traffic-calming pilot project in the Pleasantview neighbourhood.

Coun. Michael Walters said initiative was failing

Residents of Pleasantview have been putting up signs like this one to discourage motorists from going through their neighbourhood. (CBC)

The city will pull the plug a few months early on a controversial, problem-plagued traffic-calming project in the Pleasantview neighbourhood.

Residents who earlier had warned the city that the pilot project would create confusion have now been told that measures put in place to reduce shortcutting and speeding will be removed.  

Barricades were put up near 56th Avenue, forcing drivers heading south on 106th Street to turn east, in the hope that would stop drivers from using the street as a shortcut.

But all it has done is create confusion and chaos in the neighbourhood, some local residents say.

Stuart Tate, chair of the community committee involved with the initiative, said data showed the project was working.

He's not happy that it was shuttered and said it could instead have been adjusted as the project evolved.

"It's not a perfect process, and no one has said everyone's going to be happy about it," he said.

"But it's for the betterment of the community as a whole, and how this would impact traffic flows in the communities around us. So, for a data-driven process, the data did not prevail — it became politicized."

Coun. Michael Walters doesn't agree.

"Negative feedback and more traffic counts ... revealed traffic was actually dispersing through the neighbourhood rather than diverting away from [the] community," Coun. Michael Walters texted on Thursday.

"Ninety-three per cent felt measures made [the] community less safe. The trial wasn't successful, so we have more work to do to solve the original speeding issues."  

Tate said the situation will now return to its original state: Angry residents fearing for the safety of their neighbourhood versus angry drivers looking for a shortcut.

The city "has bungled this," he said.   

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