Thursday, February 2, 2012

A straight answer please

I know it is the year in which Councillors will try to profile themselves on issues related to their own wards and I expect that is what Councillor Darren Hill is trying to do in asking for a review on the future of the Traffic Bridge. Thus he raises the issue of the Traffic Bridge vis-a-vis a North Bridge (SP Feb. 2/12.) But there is a time when you have to look at the city as a whole and not just your own turf.

I assume Hill knows that the province has a long-term plan for a perimeter highway around the city connecting to a North Bridge as a route into Northern Saskatchewan. It is not intended to be just a city bridge but a provincial crossing and I expect the province will be bearing much of the cost.

I also assume he knows that a least a half dozen years ago the city had reports done on all the bridges and the University and Broadway bridges will need massive and expensive repairs in the not too distant future. When one of those bridges is closed for repairs, pressure is placed on the remaining bridges to carry the traffic load. And in its day, the Traffic Bridge carried a surprisingly high volume of traffic.

I do think when the South Bridge opens that a considerable amount traffic will be diverted from the city centre bridges. But the city also has a plan to increase the density in the core areas through in-fill projects and, in particular, the city centre. I recall the goal was to increase downtown residency to 10,000 souls.

It seems to me it is poor planning to want to double the size of our population within the existing city footprint without a plan as to how all these folks will get about the city.

As well, I thought the issue of a full service bridge vis-a-vis a pedestrian/bike bridge had already been determined. And I won't get into the heritage issue.

Could we not just have a valuable dialogue on this matter rather than political monologues?

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