This week, I received the most current issue of the London Road Neighbourhood Association newsletter. On the front page was a short article reporting on a recent meeting where members discussed the hypothetical widening of 6 Avenue South.
The City is studying the feasibility of building a third bridge between the Westside and Southside. A part of the study, they are considering to different locations, as well as what would happen if no bridge is built. One of the scenarios that has popped up in the case that no bridge is built is the widening of 6 Av S.
This roadway is an extension of Whoop-Up Drive, the city’s heaviest used freeway. It consists of two lanes in both directions, light-controlled intersections every block until Stafford Drive, left-hand turning lanes at each of those intersections, and a parking lane on the south side of the street.
Naturally, nearby residents are concerned that a widening of the roadway would have several negative effects, especially endangerment of pedestrians and closer proximity to front yards.
A solution exists that can provide a six-lane roadway without actually making the roadway any wider.
1. Eliminate left-hand turning.
2. Eliminate on-street parking.
While this does address safety issue, it means drivers will have to change their driving habits. Those travelling east who need to turn north will have to do so at Scenic Drive or Stafford. Those travelling west who want to turn south will have to do so at Stafford Drive. They could do it at Scenic, but it would be pretty convoluted. Likewise, parking will have to be done off the back lanes.