Thursday, June 3, 2010

Up, down, blue, brown . . .

My quandary with the Traffic Bridge is that I would like to see it preserved and the best way to do so is to declare it a heritage site; but the cost down the road could be so horrendous, and heritage people are generally unreasonable about restorations. Added to that is a city council that can't keep any project on budget, the lights on the Traffic Bridge being a prime example.

According to the SP (June 3/10) the city is already spending $250,000.00 to have Stantec Consulting do another study of this bridge, the last one being about five years old. The last study indicated the lifespan of the bridge was limited, whether it was full traffic or pedestrian. The Municipal Heritage Committee, chaired by none other than Lenore Swystun, wants a task force and more community dialogue and input. How about community input via a simple referendum question with the price tags of the options attached?

Yesterday on CBC I heard Ward 6 Councillor Clark speaking to converting this bridge for use by cyclists and pedestrians only. I hope he also has plan to reconfigure the roadway system as the residents between the Broadway and and Buckwold bridges and 8th Street and Rotary Park are already somewhat boxed in. I'm sure there must be a plan for that as the city vehicles will have to get to our spanking new lift station.

As an aside, council found $250,000.00 to refresh an existing study, but $270,000.00 could not be found for mosquito and dutch elm disease control. Go figure.

And I'm still in a quandary. Is there a way to save the bridge without bankrupting the taxpayers?


  1. I don't understand the point of this new study, even less so when I see now that it basically cost us the mosquito protection.

    The one we had done 5 years ago said it would take $30 million to restore it properly. Is council hoping that a new lower figure comes back in? Is this even an option anyways with the money being spent on the new south bridge? I understand we are the city of bridges but after we chip in nearly 100 million on that, we are now going to pay another 50 million on this (probably the new cost with inflation, further deterioration).

    I got a chuckle on the CBC website about Charlie's comments as well. Anyone who has tried to cross the river from near Rotary park knows what a headache it is without the Traffic Bridge. Clearly this shows his lack of connect with the residents of his ward. I can't think of one person in the area who regularly has to cross the river (say for work) who doesn't see the problems it would create without the Traffic Bridge

  2. Enough attacking Charlie Clark, he clearly has his finger on the pulse of the ward. There are so many benefits to finally getting rid of traffic on this bridge.

    We could construct a farmers type market on the bridge in the summer and have street performers there as well. It would be an off-Broadway type theme. In the winter this could be incorporated into the river skating program that Charlie advanced earlier.

    Clearly the majority of Nutana residents would benefit from the being shutdown to traffic.

    To the Mistress I say, is driving another 2 minutes in your Lexus to get to the Broadway Bridge such a big deal, it is 100m up the hill?

    I agree completely with Councillor Clark to put this bridge to use where it benefits ALL residents of Saskatoon and not just those select few who use it for their convenience.

  3. I got a chuckle from the first you also going to advocate for bridges at 11th Street and Avenue P....cause everyone knows it's a headache to cross the river there without a bridge, same with at 33rd street and Pinehouse Drive and Lenore Drive....maybe we should actually just build a raised platform over the entire river so we don't have to break up the traffic grid anywhere.

    The Traffic Bridge is an underused bridge...there are two other bridges very near by, it would make a lot of sense to either turn it into a pedestrian/cycling bridge or transit only bridge. It was great when it was closed to car traffic a couple years ago....and I really doubt it delayed peoples travel into downtown by more than a few minutes....which is pretty insignificant, especially when you start thinking of the lack of cycling space in town and how that results in cyclists frequently either going well out of their way to find a safe route or riding next to aggresive drivers on busy roadways.

    Clearly your comment (and Elaine's post) lack any connection to the residents of Clark's ward.

  4. 11th & Ave H. and I agree with you Tim.

    I'm curious what commenters on this board who constantly rag on Councillor Clark will do now that he is moving into Nutana. Maybe they can start going after Penner, Pringle, or Neault for not living in their ward's instead?

  5. About time Charlie moved into the ward.... since he's been in charge we've now seen:

    1. New lift station
    2. Being primary target of insane pipe replacement charges
    3. Nothing done about potholes in neighborhood
    4. Zero advocacy for anything 'ward related' at council
    5. Insane and impractical ideas like skating rink on the river and turning a pillar of infrastructure in the community into a useless hippie bridge

    I cycle around the city plenty, your idea about this bridge makes little sense. You already note in your post about having to go out of your way to find safe cycling paths. Well unless you are cycling directly down Victoria or 3rd Ave this won't help your problem, cause most people will have to go out of their way to get to this bridge. Shutting down this bridge will do NOTHING to help cyclists in this city, educating drivers and cyclists alike is the solution. Not wasting important traffic infrastructure.

    Welcome to the ward Comrade Charlie....finally

  6. For the record, I will rag on any councillor, MLA or MP who doesn't reside in the constituency that they represent. If our electoral system is based on representation by population then my elected representative better damn well live and experience what I do.

    Not be some party hack ushered in by a party with the intent of gaining control at another level of government (aka Comrade Charlie Clark, nephew of Nettie, and the municipal hand puppet of the NDP)

  7. If I had a Lexus, and I wish I did, I wouldn't complain about driving an additional 100 metres to the Broadway Bridge - if I could turn left at this intersection and go downtown.

    Last time they published traffic counts on the bridges, the Traffic Bridge handled 10,000 cars a day and the Broadway Bridge carried about 18,000.

    As for a farmers market on the bridge in the summer and street performers, why did we spend large sums of tax dollars to develop the Saskatoon Farmers Market/Town Square on River Landing if they only want to use it occasionally in the winter months? And is there still a market being held at The Refinery weekly?

    As Caswell tries to create itself as a arts community, and a volume of traffic is diverted away from Boardway after the South Bridge is built, Broadway is going to need the uniqueness it currently enjoys to keep vibrant. It doesn't need new venues to divert its customers.

    Finally, disagreeing with a councillor is not an attack. But I'm happy Chuck is moving into the hood. When's the housewarming?

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. ...and much like what we will do to Comrade Clark when he brings his Commie ass to the neighborhood

  10. It's appears the mistress is a bit absent minded when she criticizes council for overspending on traffic lights on the bridge - which happened under her watch while she was on council. Maybe she should start taking some responsibility instead of conveniently blaming others.

  11. Anon 844,

    who cares if she was on council, since you know so much did the Mistress oppose the lights or support them?

    I love that about the left, bend the facts then throw unwarranted accusations at others. Such cowards. So glad I moved out of Saskatoon, the backwards thinking of you people is disturbing.

  12. The great thing about being the blog administrator is that you can remove slanderous comments with a click of your mouse. Good-bye to some of you, although one was ushered into cyberspace inadverently.

    In response to Anon 8:44 - you are wrong. I was not on council for the massive over-spending on the Traffic Bridge lights.


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